Pianist and composer Chucho Valdés will perform in Storrs, CT with the Afro-Cuban Messengers on Jan 27 & 28, 2012, featuring performances from the Grammy Award winning album, Chucho's Steps.
About the performance: In his first solo project since 2003's New Conception, Valdés once again speaks through his distinctive and extraordinary compositions and arrangements, reflecting his personal and creative evolution.
About the artist: "Born in Quivicán, Cuba, in 1941, Chucho Valdés is one of Cuba's most famous pianists, bandleaders, composers and arrangers. Having began his music training with his father, famed pianist Bebo Valdés, when he was 3 years old, Chucho's style melds his diverse experiences and skills: classical, jazz, bop, Cuban and swing, all combined by his virtuosic dexterity on the piano. Perhaps best known for founding the influential Latin jazz band IRAKERE in 1972, Valdés continues to develop unique works of art, generating ideas for a change of style, orchestral format and concept, that nonetheless end up characteristically reflecting pure Chucho."
"While exploring his own growth, Valdés, joined by the Afro-Cuban Messengers, pays tribute to those that have influenced him and aided his musical development. For example, the title track, a tribute to John Coltrane and his masterpiece Giant Steps, rounds off the harmonic structure in 50 bars without repetition. The improvisation and variations heard in this track create the illusion of a concert or suite, while exhibiting the virtuosity of Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers. The upbeat and funky opening track, "Zawinul's Mambo," pays homage to Austrian keyboardist and composer, Joe Zawinul, whom Valdés cites as an integral inspiration to the development of his composition and technique."
"New Orleans," a tribute to the musicians of New Orleans, specifically the Marsalis family, is a walk through the history of the "birthplace of jazz" beginning with Jelly Roll Morton's transformation of ragtime to jazz.
In the opening notes of "Yansa," Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers deftly evoke Yoruba mythology's "Queen of the Wind and Storms." In conjuring this powerful Goddess, Valdés juxtaposes the powerful cacophony of violent storms with the melodic resolution found in the call and response of a chorus. His interpretation of this classic deity weaves the clave rhythm in and out of the composition in a very non-traditional manner, providing a fresh modern insight to an ancient religious belief.
"Julian," a bluesy lullaby dedicated to Chucho's youngest son, is a melodic tune ranging from the lyrical to the playful. The beautiful melody, along with the saxophone and trumpet solos, contribute to the wonder of simplicity inspired by father-son tenderness.
Chucho's illustrious career has garnered him 8 Grammy wins and 17 nominations over the past three decades. His most recent wins, a 2010 Grammy and a 2009 Latin Grammy for the record Juntos para Siempre, saw him collaborate with his father, Bebo Valdés, a major player on the Cuban jazz scene in his own right. Chucho Valdés has recorded over eighty CD's and performed with everybody who is somebody in the world of jazz, from Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie, to Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea. His reputation as one of the greatest living Cuban jazz pianists has earned him appearances on the greatest stages in music, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and The Hollywood Bowl.
Chucho Valdés/ Piano
Juan Carlos Rojas Castro / Drums
Lázaro Rivero Alarcón / Bass
Yaroldy Abreu Robles / Percussion
Carlos Manuel Miyares Hernandez / Tenor Saxophone (except "Begin To Be Good")
Reinaldo Melián Álvarez / Trumpet (except "Danzon")
Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé - / Voice Leader & Drums Bata (on "Yansa")
Baira Fermina Ramirez, Yemi Menocal, Lázaro Rivero Alarcón, Yaroldy Abreu Robles / Chorus (on "Yansa")
CHUCHO VALDÉS CHUCHO'S STEPS 2012 TOUR DATES
DATE VENUE CITY
January 20 McCarter Theatre Princeton, NJ
January 21 Carnegie Hall New York, NY
January 22 Prudential Hall Newark, NJ
January 24 American Theatre Hampton, VA
January 26 Merriam Theater Philadelphia, PA
January 27 & 28 Jorgensen Auditorium Storrs, CT
January 29 Staller Center for The Arts Stony Brook, NY
January 31 Eisenhower Auditorium University Park, PA
February 1 Camp Concert Hall Richmond, VA
February 3 Center for the Arts Concert Hall Fairfax, VA
February 4 Fairfield University's Quick Center Fairfield, CT
February 7 Music Hall Center for Performing Arts Detroit, MI
February 8 Gartner Auditorium Cleveland, OH
February 10 The Englert Theatre Iowa City, IA
February 11 Sheldon Concert Hall St. Louis, MO
February 12 Missouri Theatre Columbia, MO
February 14 Gates Concert Hall Denver, CO
February 16 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, CA
February 18 Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall Davis, CA
February 19 Dinkelspiel Auditorium Stanford, CA
February 20 Herbst Theatre San Francisco, CA