Alfredo De La Fé was born in Havana, and then active in the New York clubs from the age of 12. He played with Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. The boy was part of the birth of salsa and his drugs career began at the same time. Ultimately, he was so pinned before a scheduled performance in front of the Pope that he missed the gig. That was 30 years ago and he’s been off the drugs since.
We meet in Bogotá, his adopted home. “Be careful when you visit Colombia,” he says with a wink. “I came on a visit 14 years ago and I’ve never left the place.”