Winner of six GRAMMY® and three Latin GRAMMY® Awards, the Cuban pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés is the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz.
Chucho Valdés: Irakere 45 is a celebration of Irakere, the Cuban band that, with its bold fusion of Afro-Cuban ritual music, popular Afro-Cuban music styles, jazz and rock, marked a before and after in Latin jazz.
This program also serves as a compendium of the extraordinary contributions of six-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy-winning pianist, composer and bandleader Jesús “Chucho” Valdés, Irakere’s founder, main composer and arranger. His most recent Grammy win was for 2015’s Tribute to Irakere, was recorded live in Marciac for during the Irakere 40th anniversary tour.
Leading a nine-piece band comprising of the Afro-Cuban Messengers expanded with two trumpets and two saxophones, Valdés offers a vivid retrospective of his work the decades. It is also a wide angle view of the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz as the program includes classics of Irakere´s repertoire such as “Misa Negra” “Estela Va A Estallar” (“Stella By Starlight”), ”Juana 1600,” and “Bacalao Con Pan,” but also more recent compositions, originally performed with the Messengers, in new arrangements, such as “Yansa,” “Abdel” and “Lorena’s Tango.” Joining Valdés for a couple of songs will be guest singer Aymée Nuviola.
The evening will begin with Diego Figueiredo, who George Benson described as "one of the greatest guitarists I've seen my whole life!" Figueiredo is also a producer, arranger, orchestrator, and multi-instramentalist which makes his music is a unique fusion of jazz, bossa nova, and classical. He has performed in over forty countries and his phenomenal technique and passion has created an explosion of adoring fans around the world.
DANIEL AZOULAY STUDIO