Chucho Valdes

Chucho Valdes

Chucho Valdes

Chucho Valdes (real name Jesús Dionisio Valdés in Quivicán, Cuba, October 9, 1941) is a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. In 1972 he created the group Irakere, one of Cuba’s best-known Latin jazz bands. With pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Valdés is revered as one of Cuba’s greatest jazz pianists. His father is another famed Cuban pianist and former director of Havana’s famous “Tropicana” night club band Bebo Valdés.


Chucho has won 4 Grammy awards: in 1978 for the album Live at Newport by Irakere; in 1998 for his contribution to the CD Havana by his band Crisol (formed in 1997), with two songs Mr. Bruce and Mambo para Roy written by Chucho in 2003 for his album Live at the Village Vanguard; and in 2011 for his album Chucho Steps. Chucho Valdes by his Piano


On 16 October 2006, Chucho Valdes was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations


Renowned the world over as a musical giant, the six and a half foot tall Chucho Valdes physical stature apes his musical accomplishment. The Afro-Cuban musician has been the recipient of five Grammy Award nominations and two Grammys. His fascinating blend of African, South American, Cuban, and Spanish musical traditions seemed to rate a category of music all its own, and was just beginning to garner wide recognition in the United States in the late 1990s. In 1996 Valdes played on Roy Hargrove’s widely acclaimed album Crisol, and numerous U.S. concert dates and a North American record contract followed.


Musicians in Cuba were not officially permitted to perform in the United States until 1988. Most Cuban musicians, including Valdes’s father, overcame that obstacle by defecting. But Valdes, who remained in his own country, was loved not only for his musical genius, but also for the fact that unlike so many musicians, he chose to continue living in Havana, claiming it as his permanent home. Despite the fact that the Cuban government has presented Valdés’s success as one of its own, many Cuban people viewed Valdés as “one of them,” and therefore, his success as their own.


Video Chucho Valdes playing piano


Chucho Valdes is by far one of Cuba`s most famous musicians

Chucho ValdŽes

Chucho Valdes


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