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Chucho Valdes

Chucho Valdés, born Jesús Dionisio Valdés, is a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He was born in Quivicán, Cuba. In 1972 he founded the group Irakere, one of Cuba's best-known Latin jazz bands. Together with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Valdés is revered as one of Cuba's greatest jazz pianists.

His father Bebo Valdés, also a pianist, is the former director of Havana's famous “Tropicana” night club. Bebo Valdés, now in his 80's, is still performing, and won a Latin Grammy award in 2003 together with Israel “Cachao” López and Patato Valdés, and in 2005 together with flamenco singer Diego El Cigala.

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