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Chucho Valdés, president of the Jazz Plaza Festival, dedicated the last session of the Fourth International Jazz Plaza Symposium to Cortés, musical director of NG La Banda. "José Luis Cortés, el Tosco, is an exceptional musician... He is a fervent improviser, both in popular Cuban music and in Jazz," said Valdés.

Valdés spoke about Cortés stage as a member of Irakere, the group directed by Chucho that singlehandedly brought afro-Cuban jazz back to the international stage in the 1980s. Valdés said that el Tosco was born with the gift to move the public and added that people sometimes only notice the least important things about him.

Fridays closing colloquium featured a talk by musicologist Nerys González and philologist Liliana Casanella entitled Entramado y sortilegios de NG La Banda (The structure and sorcery of NG La Banda).

Specialists from the Cuban Music Research and Development Center (CIDMUD) spoke about the importance of NG La Banda and its wide influence, analyzing their contributions to Cuban music, their lyrics and José Luis Cortés link to jazz.

The symposium also featured an all-star panel of Cuban musicians including César Pupi Pedroso (director of Los que son son), who worked with Cortés in Los Van Van; Giraldo Piloto (director of Klimax) who worked with Cortés in NG La Banda; and singer Osdalgia who worked with Cortés on solo projects and spoke about the boost José Luis Cortés has given women son singers.

The symposium ended with the presentation of the documentary El Tosco, el rey de la timba, and a special concert dedicated to el Tosco by Descarga, with the participation of Cortés and several other guest musicians.


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