I was born on March 28.03.1974 in Camagüey, province of Camagüey (Cuba) as the son of Humberto Zaldívar Wambrug and Carmen Ann Michel Thomas. I come from a traditional family of musicians: my father, whose main instrument was the trumpet, was the conductor of a symphony orchestra in my native town as well as a composer, arranger and professor at the Camagüey College of Music. I received my first music lessons from my father at the age of 6. Four years later, I successfully passed the entrance exam for trumpet at the "Escuela Vocacional de Artes" / E.V.A. (college specializing in music) in Camagüey. I also received my basic musical training there.
In 1986, I took part in a regional competition in classical and Cuban music in the province of Camagüey, which I passed with distinction (1st prize) in both categories. In the same year, I was allowed to represent my city of Camagüey at the "Amadeo Roldán" competition at national level in Havana. Students from all of Cuba's music schools and institutions took part in this contest. I came second overall and first in the Cuban music category.
After completing my elementary education, I enrolled at the most prestigious state music academy "Escuela Nacional de Arte / E.N.A." in Havana to complete my classical studies. At my exams on May 22, 1993, I graduated in the main subject "Classical Trumpet" as well as in another subject "Teaching in Music Theory and Practice".
During the rest of 1993, I initially spent six months practicing music as part of the 12-piece vocal group "Ébano y Marfil". After that, I was the first trumpet player in the band "Campo Alegre" and accompanied the "Reina de la Música Campesina" ("Queen of Folklore") Celina Gonzales and Reutilio jr. (vocals). With this formation we appeared in various television and radio programs, made documentary films and went on international tours, including in Japan, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia, I was able to perform at various festivals in 1995: Feria de Cali, Feria de las Flores de Medellín, etc., with Oscar de León, "Grupo Niche", Gambino Pampini, Joe Arroyo and "Guaya- cán", among others.
In 1996 I joined the young formation "Grupo Asere". At the end of the year, I played with the tres virtuoso Juan de la Cruz / "Cotó" and his band "Eco del Caribe", with whom I recorded my first CD entitled "A mi Yemayá" in 1997 at the well-known EGREM studio in Havana. Later that year, I also performed with the aforementioned formation as part of the "Foundation of Cuban Authors and Artists" / U.N.E.A.C. (Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba) in Havana, among other things with solo accompaniment (trumpet) by guest musician Jane Bunnett (jazz flute and soprano saxophone).
In that year (1996) I was also contacted by Compay Segundo "Buena Vista Social Club" to record three CDs with him in the "Studio Ojalá" of the guitarist, singer and composer Silvio Rodríguez for the label "Warner Music"; "LO MEJOR DE LA VIDA", "DUET" and "GRACIAS COMPAY".
In 1997 I finished the year with the band "Ecos del Caribe" with a successful tour in the Dominican Republic, which included several presentations on Cuban television, among others with other prominent musicians - Chucho Valdéz with Irakere, Papi Oviedo, etc. -. In 1998/99 I worked regularly on Cuban television and radio for various music programs, including the series "Mi Salsa".
In January 2000, I played a theme with the band "Eco del Caribe" in the film "Cuban Fire", which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival and elsewhere. At the same time, I took part in the first recording of a CD of unedited tracks by the late musician and composer Lili Martínez. In the course of July 2000, I accompanied the well-known Cuban singer Caridad Hierrezuelo on an extensive European tour (12 concerts in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Austria). During this tour, the jazz drummer Julio Barreto (ex-musician of the formation of the famous jazz piano virtuoso Gonzalo Rubalcaba) became aware of me and engaged me for his quartet for his European tour (12 concerts in Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Germany)


In 2001 I began my career in Germany accompanying various musicians and formations, e.g. "Cubanísimo" from Hamburg and "Sexteto Chanchullo". In July of that year I performed at the Andria Jazz Festival in Italy with the "Jazz Sexteto Chanchullo"; in August I played at the Jazz Festival in Hamburg with the band "Cómplices" and subsequently recorded a CD with this formation. This was followed at the end of the year by a tour of Norway, which received positive reviews, with the "Jazz Cuarteto Chanchullo" accompanying the aforementioned "Diva del Son" Caridad Hierrezuelo. In 2002, the Lecco Jazz Festival in Italy with the "Chanchullo Sextet" was in the foreground.
At the beginning of 2003 I played in the Rolf-Liebermann-Studio of the NDR in Hamburg with the Gateway Orquestra as part of the classical crossover project "Parsifal goes La Habana"/ Reminiscence of Richard Wagner. Later in the year I performed at the "Festival de Musica Cubana" with the "Chanchullo Sextet" at the Conzertgebouw in Amsterdam and then started a project with the pop singer Juliette "Chocolatina Blanca".
Since 2005 I have been playing together with Roberto Blanco at various concerts and since 2010 I have been a member of the world-famous Afro-Cuban All Stars band from the USA and Cuba. We play at many festivals all over the world. In the years 2016 to 2018 I was allowed to participate in further CD productions; "Seguimos" with the band "Son pa Ti" from Germany, "Erste Schritte" with Carolyne Pirulli" and "The offbeat of hearts - corazon sincopado" with the band "Salsamania".
Since 2017 I have also been performing with Helene Fischer and since 2019 with the famous Cuban musician Tony Martinez & Cuban Power, who lives in Lucerne, and together with the Branko Armsek jazz project throughout Germany.

I am currently working on my Cuban Jazz project and my first album as a soloist.

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© Humberto Zaldivar Michel