Born: October 10, 1966
Jesus Chuchito Valdés - (Pianist, arranger, composer, bandleader)
Born in Havana Cuba, Chuchito Valdes comes from one of the most distinguished musical families in Cuba. He has recorded and performed piano with the world renown Cuban band, Irakere, which he led for 2 years. He has performed at festivals, clubs and concerts throughout the world: from Cuba and the Caribbean, across the United States and South America, and throughout Europe. Some of his worldwide appearances have included Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London and Green Dolphin Street in Chicago, The Jazz Festivals of Havana, Cancun and Merida, as well as a recent festival performance in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Music Festival. His ensemble was featured during December of 2000, at the 19th International Havana Jazz Festival, as well as at the Cancun International Jazz Festival in May of 2001 & 2002. The band completed a successful U.S Tour last year performing concerts from Chicago to San Francisco. On Nov. 9th 2001 his band performed at Orchestra Hall In Detroit. In 2002 he was featured with his band at the Chicago Jazz Festival, The Detroit Jazz Festival, AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival, and the Brownsville Latin-Jazz Festival in Texas....
In terms of pure flamboyance, Chuchito Can just about match his dad: he can raise a mountain of rhythmic intensity with a driving montuno, create flutelike filigrees in his fluttering right hand figures, or stagger flashing cords at breakneck speed to build a kaleidoscopic improvisation.
But he seems just as happy to play out a lyrical danzon with unfeigned humility-to throttle back a notch, in other words, and let the music breathe... the relative spaciousness in his stle does set Chuchito apart from most of his countrymen.
--Neil Tesser - Author of the Playboy Guide to Jazz
Article review for a concert at Columbia College:
In the Chicago Art & Culture guide. The Reader
“In a sense, Valdes and his band reinvigorated age old Cuban musical forms, the venerable cha-cha-cha and mambo standards revitalized by the muscular virtuosity of a mostly younger generation of players. This was jazz improvisation of the most sophisticated kind, with arcane chord changes and unexpected bursts of dissonance at almost every turn.”
--Howard Reich, - Chicago Tribune
This is a burning Afro-Cuban jazz CD. The program gives us mostly originals by Chuchito and or/ Reese, (as well as) Coltrane's Giant Steps and Tres Lindas Cubanas.
The music here is simply wonderful, very articulate, strong and clean.
Marshall Vente - Radio Host of Jazz Tropical - 90.9 FM
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