violinist, Alfredo De La Fé, one of salsa’s
most respected and daring musicians, has been
playing his vibrant style of Cuban charanga for
three decades. De La Fé began studying
at the Amadio Roldan Conservatory in Havana at
the age of seven. At eleven, he moved to New York
City where he played Mendelssohn and Tchaikofski
at Carnegie Hall, earned a scholarship to the
prestigious Juilliard School, and joined the Metropolitan
In 1967, at the age of twelve, De La Fé
changed his musical direction from classical to
salsa after discovering New York’s Latin
Music scene where musicians were passionate about
charanga and violinists were in great demand.
In the same year, flautist José Fajardo
hired him, and taught him the art of nightclub
From this time on, De La Fé performed only
with salsa’s stars, including Celia Cruz,
Cheo Feliciano, Hector Lavoe, the Fania All Stars,
Ismael Miranda, and Charanga ’76. In 1972,
at only eighteen years of age, De La Fé
joined Eddie Palmieri’s band and became
one of the first solo violinists in a salsa orchestra.
When he moved to San Francisco in 1976, De La
Fé played with Santana for almost a year.
Shortly afterward, he returned to New York City
to play with Tipica ’73, one of Salsa’s
most successful young orquestas of the seventies.
1980, De La Fé recorded his first album,
Alfredo, for which he received three Grammy nominations.
His second and third albums, Para Africa con Amor
and Alfredo De La Fé and Charanga 1980,
were released in 1980. The following year, De
La Fé formed a group of his own and released
Triunfo with them, which became a number two hit
in Europe and in Latin American. Taking a break
from the dance scene in 1981, De La Fé
joined Tito Puente’s Latin Jazz Ensemble,
a group that dedicated itself to improvisation,
and enduring solos.
Alfredo explored the world throughout the eighties,
living for a time in Colombia, where Cuban music
is sacred. His album, Colombia, containing the
hit single "La Botja del Abuelito",
was released in 1984.
In 1990, De La Fé released his first two
records produced by Discos Fuentes, Salsa and
Violines de Alfredo De La Fé. His 1995
album, Le Salsa de los Dioses produced the hit
"Ya no te Estoy Creyendo", which has
become one of salsa radio’s most frequently
played favorites. With the release of Latitudes
in 1999, a collection of primarily self-written
songs, De La Fé paid tribute to the Cuban
musical tradition, which inspired his life.