Iconic Cuban Ensemble – Chucho Valdés & Irakere 50
He returns with returns with Irakere 50, the new iteration of the legendary band that changed the course of Latin music in the 1970s and 80s.
Winner of six GRAMMY and three Latin GRAMMY Awards, Cuban pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdéz is the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz.
FEB 15-18 | CHUCHO VALDÉS & IRAKERE: 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Feb 15 – Feb 18, 2024. 7pm shows.
SF JAZZ center.
The most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz for more than half a century, virtuoso pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés returns with Irakere 50, the new iteration of the legendary band that changed the course of Latin music in the 1970s and 80s.
The son of Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, the winner of seven GRAMMYs and four Latin GRAMMY Awards joined Armando Romeu’s celebrated Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music in 1967, a time when the communist government still considered American jazz anti-revolutionary. He was already recognized as the most formidable pianist of his generation when he launched Irakere in 1973 with a phenomenal cast that included saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.
Discovered and introduced internationally by Dizzy Gillespie, the band’s unprecedented synthesis of folkloric Afro-Cuban rhythms, sacred drums, rock, funk, R&B, and jazz opened up vast new frontiers, and helped pave the way for the pervasively popular dance music known as timba. Over the ensuing years, Valdés has concentrated on his career as a solo artist, recording 25 albums and co-writing the landmark 2018 book Decoding Afro-Cuban Jazz in collaboration with SFJAZZ Director of Education Rebeca Mauleón.
A springboard from Valdes’ GRAMMY-winning Afro-Cuban Messengers band, Irakare 50 showcases a blazing new generation of Cuban talent.