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Tuesday, 10 April, 2001, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Buena Vista violinist dies after show
Buena Vista Social club album
The album was recorded in just two weeks in Havana
Violinist Pedro Depestre Gonzalez, who plays with the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club, has died after collapsing on stage in Basel, Switzerland.

Depestre, 55, collapsed after performing a solo at Sunday's concert and could not be revived.

Following his death, the group cancelled a planned concert Monday in Cologne, Germany.

Depestre was due to play with Cachaito Lopez at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the La Linea festival this weekend.

That concert will go ahead as planned.

The Buena Vista Social Club are a group of Cuban musicians gathered together by Ry Cooder in 1996 for one last album of music that had long since gone out of fashion in Cuba.

Marco Gonzalez
Marco Gonzalez - the man behind Buena Vista Social Club
Now the musicians - some of whom are in their seventies and eighties - have sold at least four million copies of their album.

They were also featured in a 1999 film by the German director Wim Wenders.

As well as playing with the Buena Vistas, Depestre plays solo violin on the track Mariposita de Primavera, on singer Omara Portuondo's last album.

Portuondo is due to play in London on 12 April.

Portuondo is one of the stars of the Buena Vista show along with singer Ibrahim Ferrer and virtuoso pianist Ruben Gonzalez.

But there are usually about 18 musicians like Depestre onstage at a concert, each applying an individual touch to the collective.

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