As a child, Yuri was rocked by European music (Gregorian chants, French songs and classical music listened to by his father) and by the percussion, marimba and African songs that resound on the beaches of his native island, Buenaventura. In 1995, while working as a percussionist in the Paris metro, he picked up the microphone offered by his musicians and was propelled into a musical adventure he had never imagined. Claiming his roots, he chose Buenaventura as his stage name.
His work, marked by this polarity between the lyricism of Europe and the drums of Africa, is also marked by the black spirit that surrounds him. Indeed, his parents sheltered their union in the land of refuge of the black-maroons. From black music, Yuri perceives a distress, but a sublimated distress. He will never cease to transmit to his contemporaries the strength of the African heritage.
The artist's salsa is nourished by his musical discoveries and encounters: Paco de Lucia, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr, Nina Simone, Bob Marley... With them, he understands that his own values vibrate beyond his land. From then on, he felt connected to thousands of beings and sounds, to Africans as well as to black Americans, to Spanish, Slavic and North African music. This gave him the creative freedom to explore the universality of instruments. Moreover, through his music, he sets out to meet the Other by addressing the humanity that beats in each of us.
After a career spanning thirty years, the artist's honesty is intact and his music is still strongly inspired by the Afro-Caribbean movement.
Young Yuri arrives in Paris to study. But more than knowledge, he met music within a very active Colombian and South American community. At the beginning of the 90s, he took part in various musical groups and practiced his talent in the metro, surviving on odd jobs but already breathing warm and sunny notes into the hearts of the French.
To record his first album, Herencia Africana, Yuri Buenaventura returned to Colombia. His adaptation of Ne me quitte pas fell on the ears of music journalist Remy Kolpa Kopoul, who was immediately captivated by the tone and sensuality of his Latin roots. The record is released on the PolyGram label and unleashes passions. Herencia Africana, 1st album, 1st gold disc. Yuri will subsequently receive 4 more gold discs for each of his albums (Yo soy in 2000, Vagabundo in 2003, Salsa Duraen 2005 and Cita Con La Luz in 2009).
In 2012, Yuri produced the soundtrack for the series Pablo Escobar, the boss of evil. He wrote and composed more than 300 tracks for the series, which was sold worldwide and broadcast on Netflix. The theme song La Ultima Bala, also performed by Yuri Buenaventura, was downloaded millions of times. The soundtrack received the award for best music for a television series at the Cartagena International Film Festival and the Lo Nuestro award from Colombian television.
Two years later, in 2014, Buenaventura no me dejes más, the documentary film that traces the life of Yuri Buenaventura, was released, earning him an Emmy nomination. In the same year, Yuri Buenaventura was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres medal at the French Embassy in Colombia.
The album Paroles, was released in 2015 on the Sony Music France label. It was recorded in Cali, Colombia and mixed in France. In 2017, Yuri was awarded the medal of great cultural merit of the Republic of Colombia, with the title of Maestro. The following year Manigua, his album with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, was released. In 2019, he created the Yuri Buenaventura Foundation, which produces 120 albums by emerging Colombian artists.
Returning to his native country in 2019 to devote himself to the promotion of Colombian culture and his foundation for children in difficulty, the salsa legend signs his return to France with Historia de un Amor. He presents this new album as "the soundtrack to an Almodovar film by Sinatra". His vocal prowess (his voice was recorded in a single take in the pure tradition of the 1950s performers that he embodies in the present) is a reflection of his total involvement in his art.
What a joy of life! Yuri and his backing singers are real balls of energy and happiness on stage. Very communicative and outstanding dancers, they literally live their music and even become contagious. You have an excellent evening and come away from this salsa experience with a big smile on your face.
What can we say about Yuri Buenaventura if not that he is an undisputed master of his art. His salsa is catchy, bewitching and makes even the poorest dancers wiggle. In the purest Latin American tradition, he mixes his culture with influences from all over the world with panache and finesse. Because for him, universality is the key and music a vehicle for peace. We are very lucky to receive this artist, who loves France, so often in our country!
Yuri Buenaventura set the stage on fire for his performance at the "Les Suds" festival.
One thing is certain, he did not pretend. From the very first chords, the Colombian artist seemed to be transcended by the notes, in perfect synchronisation with his orchestra. A communion on stage also felt in the audience.