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"

Upcoming Shows

MAR 22&23
Funky Butt Brass Band & Friends
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Funky Butt Brass Band & Friends

Funky Butt Brass Band’s shows at Jazz St. Louis have become legendary, as the band uses the opportunity to put together performances featuring new material, their extended family, and a few very special guests. Past shows have included guests such as vocalists Anita Jackson, Roland Johnson, Al Holliday and Emily Wallace, guitarist Jimmy Griffin, keyboardist Dave Grelle, percussionist Matt Henry, and saxophonist Derick Tramel. When the most explosive band in St. Louis is joined by a plethora of talented friends, it’s all we can do to keep the doors on their hinges!

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MAR 27-31
Mark Guiliana’s Jazz Quartet

APR 2-4
Branford Marsalis Quartet

APR 5 & 6
Marcus Strickland, Ron Miles & Matt Wilson
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Ron Miles & Matt Wilson

Artist Residency Program Sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts, The Clifford Willard Gaylord Foundation & Sandy
Artist Residency Performances Sponsored by American Family Insurance – Ted Wheeler Agency

 

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FEB 20 & 21

Cyrus Chestnut Trio

MAY 1 & 2

Arturo O’Farrill


MISSION

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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