Saturday at 7 PM – 10:30 PM
201 Franklin St, San Francisco, California 94102.
The GRAMMY-winning tenor saxophonist joins the reigning Cuban piano genius and key figure in the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz in this first-time duo collaboration that bridges musical and cultural borders.
Valdés is a singular figure in the history of Cuban jazz, a vanguard player and composer who has continued to expand the synthesis of Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms and post-bop since co-founding the iconic and pervasively influential band Irakere in the early 1970s. He’s released a series of albums on Blue Note that brilliantly capture his awesome keyboard prowess and torrential improvisational flights. Lovano is the rightful heir to the tenor titan lineage that runs from Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon to John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Together, Lovano and Valdés are traveling beyond genre and style to a rarified realm that’s pure inspiration.
A singular force in Cuban music for more than half a century, piano virtuoso Chucho Valdés is reuniting with a new version of Irakere, the legendary band that changed the course of Latin music in the 1970s and 80s.
The son of celebrated pianist and Havana bandleader Bebo Valdés, Chucho was already recognized as the more formidable pianist of his generation when he launched Irakare in 1973 with a phenomenal cast that included Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval. The band’s unprecedented synthesis of folkloric Afro-Cuban rhythms, sacred drums, rock, funk, and jazz opened up vast new frontiers, and helped pave the way for the pervasively popular dance music known as timba.
While Irakere’s albums continued to influence new generations, the band waned after Valdés left in 1997 (though his son, the stellar pianist Chuchito Valdés, performed with the group until 1999). Similar to Valdés’s 2011 Grammy-winning Afro-Cuban Messengers album Chucho’s Steps, the new edition of Irakare is a vivid vehicle designed to introduce audiences to a blazing new generation of Cuban talent.
Chucho Valdés piano
Rafael Águila alto saxophone
Ariel Bringuez tenor saxophone
Carlos Dimet trumpet
Manuel Machado trumpet
Reinaldo Melián trumpet
Gastón Joya bass
Rodney Barreto drums
Dreiser Durruthy batá and vocals
Yaroldy Abreu Robles percussion