Chucho Valdés: JAZZ BATÁ

Feb 5-7

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Winner of six Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the Cuban pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Chucho Valdés has been a key figure in the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz for the past 50 years. In 1972, Chucho released his fourth album, a recording with bass and batá drums entitled simply, Jazz Batá. This ten-song exploration of the descarga roots of Cuban jazz was a departure from his early quintet recordings. Blending jazz with traditional rhythms of the sacred batá, the music showcased Chucho’s virtuosity and formed the stylistic foundation of what would become Chucho’s history-making group, Irakere. Decades later, Chucho returns to the Jazz Batá sound, joined by bassist Yelsy Heredia, plus percussionists Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé and Yaroldy Abreu Robles in a journey to discover modern interpretations of classic forms. Chucho looks forward to the release of the next Jazz Batá album in November 2018.

Chucho’s musical education includes formal studies and countless nights on the best stages in Cuba as the pianist with his father, Bebo Valdés, and his orchestra Sabor de Cuba, and also the seminal Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna. In the early 70s, Chucho distilled his experiences into the foundation of Irakere, an ensemble that marked a before and after in Afro-Cuban jazz. Chucho was the director, pianist, main composer and arranger of Irakere for more than 30 years. But since 2005, he has focused on his personal career, highlighting his work as a pianist and leading small ensembles. Now in his mid-70s, Chucho’s technique and creative output are as prodigious as ever. Border-Free finds Chucho at the top of his game, leading the Afro-Cuban Messengers, a spectacular quintet comprised of brilliant young Cuban musicians. In conjunction with their anniversary tour in 2015, Chucho released the Grammy Award winning album, Tribute to Irakere: Live at Marciac (Jazz Village/Harmonia Mundi).


"As a pianist, composer and arranger, Chucho Valdés has become one of the most influential figures in modern Afro-Cuban jazz"

"A pianist of imperial command, possessed of a dazzling, deceptively casual virtuosity"

"El maestro Chucho Valdés is one of the great treasures of the music world… Valdés grounds his work in the aural history of mother Cuba, while seamlessly weaving in aspects of folk, jazz and classical to create a singular musical vision"

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Jeremy Davenport
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Jeremy Davenport

Jeremy Davenport infuses a unique style of storytelling with original lyrics and music, creating not only a modern edge, but also a feeling reminiscent of the time when jazz was at its peak of popularity. Davenport, a St. Louis native, studied and played with members and guests of the Symphony, which included an early introduction to Wynton Marsalis. A member of Harry Connick, Jr.’s big band for six years, Davenport now tours the world, plays regularly in New Orleans, and returns home annually for this Thanksgiving tradition at Jazz St. Louis.

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DEC 1
Sound of The Trumpet: an Evan Horne mystery by Bill Moody
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SOUND OF THE TRUMPET: AN EVAN HORNE MYSTERY BY BILL MOODY

Out of print and not available at Left Bank Books

The sound and the fury…

On a dark night in Pennsylvania, a jazz legend met his death.  But now, in the heat and light of Las Vegas, the sound of Clifford Brown’s soaring trumpet is coming back to life.  Because a man named Evan Horne, who knows all about jazz and pain, is unraveling a puzzle that reaches back forty years to Brown’s last hours–and that has already gotten one person killed.

Horne was called to Las Vegas to authenticate some recordings purported to be the lost tapes of Clifford Brown. But when a murder interrupts his listening session, Horne becomes the key player in a dangerous duet.  Carrying a worn old trumpet that may have belonged to Clifford Brown himself, Horne is pursuing the truth behind an audiotape that may be worth a fortune, may be a hoax and may be just one haunting melody in a killer’s murderous obsession. . .

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Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.

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