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Chuchito Valdes

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 his youth he studied with many Cuban masters, such as the great Cuban pianist, Chucho Valdes (who also happens to be his father). Chuchito is recognized as a master at Cuban music including Mambo, Danzon, and Cuban Timba and Guaguanco. He has also extensively studied classical music including harmony and composition. When he is not travelling around the world performing, Chuchito lives in Cancun, Mexico where he leads his Afro-Cuban based Latin-Jazz ensemble. His original compositions and arrangements draw on classical harmonic and structural techniques. In his performances, Chuchito’s music draws on many styles including Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz, Bebop, Danzon, Cha-Cha- Cha, Son Montuno and much more.

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"Raised in Havana, Jesus "Chuchito" Valdes has inherited more then his father's famous name: on a recording made in Chicago last summer, he displays the hell-bent intensity and daredevil technique of the elder Valdes-qualities recognized worldwide as hallmarks of Cuban Jazz.

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."

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