Felix Baloy, known as a Cuban singer, sonero, and percussionist, stands as an embodiment of the soulful rhythms that define Cuban music.
Born with a Havana urban accent, Baloy's musical prowess was cultivated in the vibrant streets of Santiago de Cuba, a city renowned for its rich musical heritage. From an early age, his life was steeped in the enchanting beats of Afro-Cuban rhythms, a legacy passed down through generations.
In his youth, Baloy's musical journey commenced as he lent his voice to the group Mi Amparo. However, the winds of change swept across Cuba after the revolution, leading to economic and cultural isolation.
Despite the challenges, Baloy's passion for music persisted, and he continued to sing, even while holding down a regular job to make ends meet.
The 1970s witnessed Cuba grappling with a severe recession, but Baloy's unique voice emerged as a beacon of talent. His distinct timbre caught the attention of Elio Reve (sr.) Orchestra, a Havana-based ensemble that had etched its mark on Cuban music history. Baloy's time with Reve was short yet impactful, drawing attention to his dynamic abilities as a young and exciting sonero.
The publicity he achieved with Reve made him fashionable as one of Cuba's most exciting young soneros and led him to various groups, including Tropicuba and Son 14, under the guidance of Adalberto Álvarez. With Son 14, Baloy's vocals breathed life into their melodies, contributing to the ensemble's vibrancy. The early 1990s marked an emotional homecoming for Baloy, as he returned to Bar Ali, the same stage where he had learned from the legendary Beny Moré.
Baloy's partnership with Tumi Music catalyzed a new phase of his career. His meeting with Mo Fini, the founder of Tumi Music, paved the way for his collaboration with Orquesta América on the album collection "Las Leyendas de la Música Cubana." As the founding member of the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Baloy's voice played an essential role in recapturing the energy of the big band era.
Baloy's charisma and incredible talent graced stages worldwide, often alongside the Afro-Cuban All Stars, sharing the limelight with fellow luminaries of Cuban music. His debut solo album, "Son de Baloy," released in 2000 under Tumi Records, showcased his mastery as a soloist, signaling a new phase in his career.
In 2002, Baloy ventured to form his own group, Felix Baloy and the Cuban Son All Stars. The album "Un Poquito de Fé" marked the birth of this new endeavor, celebrating the rich traditions of son and Baloy's enduring passion for Cuban music. With almost 40 albums to his name, Baloy stands as one of the preeminent representatives of Cuban Son, a genre that pulses through his veins.
Felix Baloy's journey is one of unwavering dedication, a testament to the power of rhythm and the enduring legacy of Cuban music. From Santiago de Cuba's bustling streets to international stages, his voice carries the essence of Cuba's musical heartbeat, a timeless rhythm that resonates across generations and continents.