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X Alfonso (Havana, 1972)

Photo: Larisa López

Instrumentist, composer, performer and visual artist, he has developed a multifaceted career that makes him one of the greatest artistic exponents of contemporary Cuba. 

Graduated from the National School of Art, his professional life begins in 1990, the year in which he joins to Síntesis group, whose work is characterized by mixing Afro-Cuban elements with those from rock. Simultaneously he founded the rock and pop rock group Havana, one of the landmarks of the alternative Cuban music scene of the 90s. From 1993 and in parallel to his membership in Síntesis (where he was responsible for arrangements, keyboards and voices, alternating with roles in bass and percussion) develops his solo career, until in 2004 he decides to focus entirely on his personal project.  

He has shared a scene with artists such as Carlos Varela, Santiago Feliú, Descemer Bueno, Meshell Ndegeocello, James T. Slater, Montell Jordan, Rick Wakeman, Cibeles, Bebe and Audioslave and has performed in different international stages in Spain, Panama, Mexico, Italy , Austria, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Brazil, United States and Puerto Rico. He has been part of the selections of several international festivals and events such as Rock in Rio (Brazil), Womex (Seville, 2006), Roskilde (Denmark, 2007), Love & Peace (Sweden, 2010), Luminato (Canada, 2013), SXSW (2016), Havana World Music and AM-PM (Havana).

As a composer he travels through alternative rock and the influence of electronic sounds, going through the ballad with elements of hip hop and pop with Afro-Cuban roots. His versatility has allowed him successfully compose music for theater and contemporary dance (Delirium Tremens, ¿Qué puedo hacer cuando estoy esperando?, MalSon y Vida). Also highlight his work as a composer for the cinema (Maria Antonia; Tres veces dos; Miel para Oshún; Habana Blues -the latter by director Benito Zambrano, whose work as a composer earned to Alfonso a Goya Award for Best Original Music-; Personal Belongins; Ciudad en Rojo y Vestido de novia; among other feature films, short films and documentaries). He has reached several nominations in the Latin Grammys and in 2006 he was the winner in the Latin Revelation category at the Spanish Music Awards. In 2016 he joined with Yissy García, David Blanco and Ernesto Blanco (drummer, vocalist and guitarist, respectively) to create La Flota, a supergroup of rock that had presentations at events such as Havana World Music and SXSW festivals.

As a video clip maker, he is one of the most awarded artists at the Lucas Awards in Cuba. In 2008-2009 he directed the documentary Sin título, about the daily universe of Cuban artists and conceived the Cuban Art Factory (FAC, in Spanish), which as of 2010 becomes a brand new space with transmedia vocation and where emerging young artists (musicians, filmmakers, painters, dancers) converge with others with a longer career. Since 2015, and with X Alfonso in front, FAC has become one of the most important cultural projects in the country, with an artistic proposal, an environment and an audience that have made it worthy of being considered one of the one hundred best places in the world, according to TIME magazine.

In 2010 he received the title of Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF for his artistic work with and for children. 

Discography: 

Reflexión (Single, 2019).

Cambio (Single, 2019).

Reverse (Album, 2009).

Revoluxion (Album, 2007, Award Cubadisco 2008 in the categories Best album Fusion and Best video clip). 

Civilización (Album, 2004, Cubadisco Grand Prix 2005).

Delirium Tremens (Album, 2002, Award Cubadisco 2003 for Best soundtrack for a dance play).

X-Moré (Album, 2001, Nominated for Latin Grammys 2002 in the categories Best rap-hip hop album, Best producer and Best recording engineering).

Mundo real (Album, 1999).