Chucho Valdés (Havana, 1941) is an icon. The Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger has a career spanning well over 50 years. His first recording sessions as a leader date from 1964 including Paquito D’Rivera on alto saxophone and clarinet and Carlos Emilio Morales on guitar. With his band mates he co-founded the Orquestra Cubana de Música Moderna which would back up such Cuban icon singers as Omara Portuondo and Elena Burke. In 1973 along with other members of Orquestra Cubana de Música Moderna he founded Irakere. This group fused the popular Cuban songo style with Afro-Cuban jazz and became one of the most loved bands in the history of Cuban music. Combining his work with Irakere, Valdés continued his solo career, even signing with Blue Note Records which gained Valdés universal critical acclaim. During his career Valdés won five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.
Photo taken on July 13, 2014 at North Sea Jazz Festival
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