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Alfa Jazz Fest 2017

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Alfa Jazz Fest 2017 Lviv, Ukraine June 23-27, 2017 Jazz festivals are different in Europe. There are more of them, and they are crucial to the economic viability, social solidarity and creative evolution of the jazz art form. Many European towns that host their own annual jazz events seem like unlikely sites for festivals. They are small, and/or industrial, and/or off the beaten path. In the case of Alfa Jazz Fest, in Lviv, Ukraine, ...


Irakere 40 at SFJAZZ

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Irakere 40 SFJAZZ San Francisco, California October 30, 2015 “They were smoking." That was KPFA's Art Sato, host of “In Your Ear"--a weekly Saturday afternoon Latin Jazz, jazz and flamenco music program on KPFA in Berkeley, California--evaluating legendary Cuban band Irakere's then-ongoing performance at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. Indeed they were! Presenting sizzling, searing music, leaping from a polyrhythmic frying pan, the band has melded a variety of musical forms ...


Omara Portuondo & Chucho Valdes: Omara & Chucho

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Omara Portuondo and Chucho ValdésOmara & ChuchoWorld Village2011 After 50 years of carrying a torch for Bueno Vista Social Club singer Omara Portuondo, pianist Chucho Valdés has finally succeeded in getting her into bed. The rear sleeve photo on Omara & Chucho shows the pair side by side between the sheets and smiling broadly, although, admittedly, both appear to be clothed, and are mugging it up for the camera. ...


Chucho Valdes & the Afro-Cuban Messengers: Chucho's Steps

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The odyssey of pianist Chucho Valdés has been well documented from his early days in Cuba playing in his father Bebo's Sabor de Cuba Orchestra to the founding of Irakere and on to new pastures as he infused fresh blood into Latin music and jazz. Valdez has never been fettered; his ideas are constantly evolving, finding avenues that give his music broad scope. He filters the narrowest of nooks and fills them with his majestic vision. He is truly a ...


Chucho Valdes: The Music Never Ends

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Chucho Valdés arrived at his All About Jazz interview confident: of his music and of Spain's victory in the South African FIFA World Cup. It was July 11th 2010, and for the first time in its history, Spain's national team had reached a World Cup final, in South Africa. A Cuban interested in football? “A lot of people watch football in Cuba now, especially the Spanish league. I began to get excited about football in the last three years, in ...


Chucho Valdes & The Afro-Cuban Messengers: Chucho's Steps

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The semiology contained on pianist Chucho Valdés' magnificent Chucho's Steps points to the character of the music before the disc has even been taken out of its sleeve. First there's the name of the group and its reference to drummer Art Blakey's ferociously swinging Jazz Messengers. Then there's the title of the opener, “Las dos caras" ("Both Sides"), which hints at the two jazz traditions, American and Afro-Cuban, defining its particular style--an idea reinforced by the image of a crossroads, ...


Chucho Valdes Quintet at 2009 Ottawa International Jazz Festival

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Chucho Valdés Quintet 2009 Ottawa International Jazz Festival Ottawa, Canada July 3, 2009

The rain held off and skies cleared just in time for the Chucho Valdés Quintet to delight the audience at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Confederation Park. The group-consisting of Chucho Valdés on piano, Lazaro Alarcon on bass, drummer Juan Carlos Rojas, percussionist Yurali Abreu and vocalist Mayra Caridad Valdés (who appeared later in the set)--started the set with an Ellington ...


Chucho Valdes And The Birth Of Irakere

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Rumor Records' Jazz Cuba series cherry picks from 300 recordings made primarily for local consumption from the mid 1950s through the late 1980s at the Panart and Areito studios in Havana, Cuba. Some may briefly have surfaced in the US via the Cuban exile community, but none have previously been released in the UK or mainland Europe.

The first five releases include four albums led by or featuring pianist Chucho Valdes which trace the genesis of the seminal ...


Chucho Vald?s: New Conceptions

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Latin jazz’s premiere quartet issues yet another skillful interpretation of Ellingtoniana, straight-ahead jazz and blues tenets – as well as Afro-Cuban music – in a compact, exhilarating release. Jesïs “Chucho” Valdïs is at what might be the zenith of his career, as his chops ably attest. New Conceptions features the usual muscularity, intensity and intellectual reach of the pianist’s Blue Note releases. This time he’s expounding upon them in a small group setting produced by Renï Lïpez, whose musical career ...

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