José Luis Cortés a.k.a Tosco

From “Ryu Murakami: New World Beats | Pleasure Guide to Cuban Music” (1993)

He is a dear friend of mine, and we call each other brothers. Jose Luis is a band leader, lyricist/composer, arranger, and flutist (he is also a singer, dancer, and plays the baritone saxophone), all of which are top-notch, but when it comes to playing the flute, is undoubtedly a genius, the best in the world, and no one can match him.
How many times have I thought, “This is what talent means.” He is a person who doesn’t care about people, so he is misunderstood as saucy and maverick but at heart, he is very kind.
When he recorded the album “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS” in Havana with singer Xiomara Laguart, he did a perfect job as music director. It was perfect in the truest sense of the word. He is a musical genius, having been indoctrinated into classical music and playing jazz quite easily (as if he were laughing at jazz), but when he was little he wondered if he should become a fisherman or a musician.

Today, the fusion of Afro and European music, the “new world beat,” the new music that follows classical music exists only in José Luis Cortés. When I mention this, he always smiles shyly, but he seems to be proud of himself.

I like his way of saying it. “Don’t be silly, I’m amazing.”

Born in Villa Clara state in 1951. Her mother was a very good singer, but she was not a singer. In 1965, he entered ENA and majored in violin, but halfway through he switched to flute. He also learned the saxophone. He was with Los Van Van from 1970 to 1980. He learned how to make the audience dance. Los Van Van also played songs by Jose Luis. Then, in 1980, he received a call from Irakere and transferred. He said he practiced alone for several hours every day. The flute improvisations he left behind during his time at Irakere are worthy of special mention. He left Irakere in 1986 and formed NG La Banda in 1988.

He was born on October 5, 1951, in Santa Clara, Cuba, and passed away on April 18, 2022, at the age of 70. He was called “Tosco”. “Tosco” means “a blunt guy.”

NG La Banda perfected the musical style known as timba, and Jose Luis Cortés is a legendary musician highly respected by Cubans.

NG La Banda’s excellent albums “Cabaret Panorámico | Échale Limón (1993)” and “La Bruja” were recorded by Ryu Murakami. “Murakami’s Mambo” is included in “Cabaret Panorámico | Échale Limón (1993)“.

More about José Luis Cortés, there are introductions in the original liner notes by Ryu Murakami that can be found on the pages of “Cabaret Panorámico” and “The Man” who called “TOSCO”.