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Alfa Jazz Fest 2017
Chucho Valdés is a truly remarkable pianist whose playing illuminates the links between jazz and Latin music. Taking the reins from his father, Bebo (a legend of the Cuban piano), Chucho pioneered bata jazz, a percussion-led style of improvised music that is now a recognised subgenre. With several Grammys (and Latin grammys) to his name, he is a veteran composer who has stretched and challenged the boundaries of his twin influences, creating new ground for the next generations to exploit. If Cuba is the root of the tree when it comes to Afro-Latin sounds, the Chucho has spent his career tirelessly growing and pruning the branches.
Here he is at the Alfa Jazz Festival in the Ukraine alongside bandmates Yelsy Heredia, an adventurous and classically-trained Cuban bass maestro, as well as his customary percussion section, made up of Georvis Pio Milian and Pedro Pablo Rodríguez. The groove is constantly flowing, sparkling with subtle artistry and rhythms that carry all manner of cultural stories. Chucho’s repertoire features original compositions, ones from his father and from other greats such as Miles Davis.