Jazz Journey Concert: Chucho Valdes
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the legendary Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés and his band in a Jazz Journey concert at the Joy Theater on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Admission is free! No advance tickets are available and there is no reserved seating. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The concert is the latest in a longstanding concert series that has brought many of the world's top jazz musicians to New Orleans.
Coming to New Orleans for the concert? We have a discount with the beautifully renovated Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center hotel. Click here to make a reservation - and take advantage of our discount by using the code "Jazz Journey Concert."
Chucho Valdes is one of the world's foremost jazz pianists, and a legend in his native Cuba.
His father is the famed Cuban pianist and former director of Havana's famous "Tropicana" night club band, Bebo Valdés. Growing up in a musical household, Chuco began his training at age 5, and by age 15 had formed his first jazz group.
In 1970, he became ond of the first Cubans of the modern era to lead a group at an international festival (in Poland), and he soon enjoyed a reputation as one of the world's premier pianists, along with the likes of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.
It was in 1972 that he co-founded the group Irakere (which also included the legends Arturo Sandoval on trumpet and Paquito d'Rivera on woodwinds). Their fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with popular dance music and modern jazz defined a sound whose influence is still heard around the world. An album recorded live at the Newport and Montreux jazz festivals led to a Grammy award for Irakere in 1978.
Although d'Rivera and Sandoval defected to the United States, Chucho has remained a resident of Cuba, where he is revered as a national treasure - the Duke Ellington of his country.
In 2006, he was named a Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Opening the concert will be Alexey Marti, a young Cuban percussionist who is studying in the jazz program at the University of New Orleans. He'll lead a Latin jazz ensemble and also do a special duet performance with the young Cuban jazz pianist Aldo Lopez-Gavilan.