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Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdés & The Afro-Cuban Messengers
@ the Barbican Centre
18 Novemer 2010 - November 2008

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Biography

Chucho Valdés’ musical career began at the age of three, in 1944. Master pianist Bebo Valdés, his father, was also his first teacher. Being a renowned pianist, bandleader and composer, Bebo brought the young Jesus to the attention of such greats as singer Beny Moré and composer/pianist Ernesto Lecuona. Other teachers included Zenaida Romeu and Rosario Franco. By the time he was 16, Valdés had formed his first jazz trio, and two years later had two albums under his belt for RCA Victor. In 1965, he became a part of the Elio Reve Orchestra, moving on in 1967 to co-found the well-received Orquesta de Musica Moderna. By the end of the decade, Valdés had developed a distinctive style both as a pianist and a composer.

For 25 years, Valdés has been musical director of Irakere, the Grammy-winning band he co-founded to play both Afro-Cuban mainstream music as well as Latin jazz. Thanks to Irakere, we enjoy the sound of African bata drums, chekere and a uniquely flavoured mix of jazz with songo rhythms. The album, Yemaya on EMI/Blue Note, celebrates the further development of this style. Produced by Valdés and Rene Lopez (who produced Bele Bele), the pianist contributes songs and arrangements that envelop the listener in a tantalizing swirl of dance rhythms and melodies, grooves and jams.

To date Valdés has won five Grammy awards for his recorded material. He has toured more than fifty countries and worked with other giants of music such as Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Carlos Santana, Branford & Winton Marsalis, Grover Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Korea and Jack DeJonnette to name but a few.

The Afro-Cuban Messengers

The Afro-Cuban Messengers The Afro-Cuban Messengers

 

The Afro-Cuban Messengers

Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdés

Mayra Caridad Valdés


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