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CHUCHO VALDÉS January 21, 2012

PACO PENA March 31, 2012

CHUCHO VALDÉS and the Afro-Cuban Messengers
Special Guest Vocalist BUIKA
Saturday January 21, 2012

CHUCHO VALDÉS Makes Historic Return to CARNEGIE HALL First Concert on Carnegie Main Stage Since 1978 Irakere Debut

Flamenco jazz singer BUIKA joins Valdés for first time in North America

Concert to Feature Music from Grammy-Winning CDs "CHUCHO'S STEPS" and "EL ULTIMO TRAGO"


"Mr. Valdés's embrace of Cuban music and American jazz is bold, without stylistic prejudice, and always marked by invention. He's crafted his own towering legacy atop his inheritance." WALL STREET JOURNAL

One of the most celebrated musicians to come out of Cuba in the last 50 years, Chucho Valdés (Quivican, Cuba, 1941) has won 5 Grammys and 3 Latin Grammys for his work as pianist, composer, bandleader and arranger. Learning piano from his father, the legendary Bebo Valdés, and later at the Havana Conservatory, Chucho achieved his own international fame with the formation of the influential Latin jazz ensemble Irakere, featuring luminaries such as saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. That group made its New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1978, a concert that was personally, as well as musically, historic: it was backstage at that show where Chucho was reunited with his father after an 18-year separation. This is Chucho's first show at Carnegie since that momentous date.

It will also be the first time in North America that Valdés will perform with the extraordinary Spanish jazz singer Buika. Her 2010 collaboration with Valdés, El Ultimo Trago (The Last Drink), won a 2010 Latin Grammy for "Best Traditional Tropical Album." Buika has recently made her screen debut, appearing as a singer performing two songs in the Pedro Almodovar film The Skin I Live In.

Chucho and his Afro-Cuban Messengers will be performing music from Chucho's Steps (which just won the pianist his latest Grammy for "Best Latin Jazz CD". The CD, released on the Four Quarters label, features musical tributes to a range of American jazz artists that Valdés sites as influences, including Cole Porter, Joe Zawinul, Art Tatum, John Coltrane, Branford Marsalis, even going back to the Voice of America radio broadcasts Valdés heard growing up as a child in Havana.

Chucho's Steps could also refer to the geographic as well as artistic ground that Valdés is covering. The pianist's 2011/2012 touring schedule is his busiest ever, with dates in such far-flung places as Angola, Macao and Taipei, and large tours thoughout South America, Europe and North America. Speaking about this period in his remarkable career to Barcelona Jazz Fest director Joan Cararach in All About Jazz, Valdés enthuses: "The music flows easily, and even I am surprised. I truly believe that this is one of my richest stages."

The pianist first met Buika in 2008 at Spain's Vitoria Jazz Festival. The singer, whose parents were political exiles who fled to Mallorca from Equatorial Guinea, has been influenced equally by American jazz, African music and flamenco. She and Chucho quickly decided they should work together and soon found themselves in Havana recording "El Ultimo Trago," a heartfelt tribute to the iconic Mexican singer Chavela Vargas who helped launch Buika's career in Latin America. Her third release on Warner Latin in the States, the CD garnered the singer her first Latin Grammy, as well as enough excitement in music circles to warrant her inclusion in NPR's "50 Greatest Voices." A "singer’s singer," Buika's fans now include Alicia Keys, Gloria Estefan and Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. She recently moved from Spain to Miami to better take advantage of her many opportunities in the American market.

Chucho Valdés, who now makes his home in Malaga, Spain has been called "the dean of Latin jazz" by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times writes he is "compared to everyone from Oscar Peterson to McCoy Tyner to Duke Ellington to Count Basie... [Valdés] is spoke of in reverent terms throughout the international community of jazz musicians." Most meaningful to Chucho of all accolades to this remarkable musician? His father Bebo calls him "the best pianist in the world."

and the Afro-Cuban Messengers
** Special Guest Vocalist BUIKA **

Saturday January 21, 2012
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
881 Seventh Avenue at 57th St., New York, NY
Tickets Prices: $25 - $75