“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.” – DownBeat
Three legends. Two nights. Twelve GRAMMY® Awards. This all-star concert features the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz, Chucho Valdés, sharing the stage for unforgettable duets with iconic vocalist Dianne Reeves and celebrated saxophonist Joe Lovano.
Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today — her arsenal of talents is richly on display in each and every song of her limitless repertoire. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Dianne has received five GRAMMY® Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album, an honorary doctorate of music from Julliard and was recently named a 2018 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master. Dianne’s magical, timeless voice, exceptional personality and the sheer force of her performance mark her as a captivating world-class artist. Wynton Marsalis exclaims, “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time.” Dianne’s GRAMMY® Award winning album, Beautiful Life, epitomizes the spirit of her storied and extraordinary career, traversing many genres and collaborating with a diverse collection of artists. Adored by audiences and critics alike throughout the world, Dianne Reeves is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Winner of six GRAMMY® Awards and four 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. Chucho’s musical education includes formal studies and countless nights on the best stages in Cuba 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 the their anniversary tour in 2015, Chucho released the GRAMMY® Award winning album, Tribute to Irakere: Live at Marciac (Jazz Village/Harmonia Mundi).
Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer and producer Joe Lovano is fearless in finding new modes of artistic expression. With a GRAMMY® win for his 52nd Street Themes and 14 other nominations, he has won Down Beat Magazine’s Critics and Readers Polls countless times as Tenor Saxophonist, Musician of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year and Triple Crowns from Downbeat. He has also gotten numerous awards from Jazz Times and the Jazz Journalists Association for Tenor Saxophone, Album of the Year and Musician of the Year. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29, 1952 he attended the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston where years later he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Since 2001 he has held the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance and since 2009, has been a founding faculty member at the Global Jazz Institute at Berklee directed by Danilo Perez. He is a guest lecturer at New York University’s Jazz Program, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, as well as Clinician at Universities around the globe. Joe has also performed and recorded with a long list of jazz greats, including: Woody Herman, Mel Lewis, Bob Brookmeyer, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tony Bennett, Abbey Lincoln, Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Gunther Schuller, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Ed Blackwell, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Hank Jones, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas, Judi Silvano, Ravi Coltrane, Chucho Valdés, Ornette Coleman and many others. In addition, composer Mark Anthony Turnage wrote a Concerto for Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra for Joe called “A Man Descending” which has been performed globally and Maestro Michael Abene orchestrated an album of all-Lovano originals called “Symphonica” for the WDR Symphonic Orchestra and Big Band, which was released on Blue Note and received a GRAMMY® nomination.