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Jesus Chucho Valdes

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November 9, 1995 | ROBIN RAUZI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Music may be the universal language, but that doesn't keep it from getting stopped at some borders. When pianist Jesus (Chucho) Valdes and his 11-piece band, Irakere, electrified American audiences at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978, they were the first Cuban group to play in the United States since the Cuban revolution. In 1979 when they won a Grammy in the Latin music category, they weren't allowed back into the United States to pick it up.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2001 | EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST
On the wall of Chucho Valdes' sunny practice room hangs a photograph of the pianist, dukes up, grinning broadly, wearing nothing but boxing trunks and gloves that Muhammad Ali gave him. Valdes is no threat to take the heavyweight crown--he carries a bit of padding around the middle these days, and it would be insanity to risk those precious hands in combat. But the image seems right: Chucho as the Champ.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 1996 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mention the name of Jesus "Chucho" Valdes to jazz fans around the world and expect a smile of recognition. Everywhere, that is, except in the United States, where even the most dedicated listener might respond with a bewildered frown. Yet Valdes is a pianist and composer who has been compared to everyone from Oscar Peterson and McCoy Tyner to Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and who is spoken of in reverent terms throughout most of the international community of jazz musicians.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 1998 | DON HECKMAN
Latin jazz, to most listeners, generally refers to a melding of either Cuban or Brazilian elements with American rhythms and improvisational styles. There are exceptions, of course; Andy Narell's development of Caribbean-styled jazz played on steel pans is one. But few jazz linkages have explored the many other rich musical traditions of the Caribbean and South America. Paquito D'Rivera, the former saxophone- and clarinet-playing star of Cuba's Irakere--and for the past decade a U.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2001 | EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST
On the wall of Chucho Valdes' sunny practice room hangs a photograph of the pianist, dukes up, grinning broadly, wearing nothing but boxing trunks and gloves that Muhammad Ali gave him. Valdes is no threat to take the heavyweight crown--he carries a bit of padding around the middle these days, and it would be insanity to risk those precious hands in combat. But the image seems right: Chucho as the Champ.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 1998 | DON HECKMAN
Latin jazz, to most listeners, generally refers to a melding of either Cuban or Brazilian elements with American rhythms and improvisational styles. There are exceptions, of course; Andy Narell's development of Caribbean-styled jazz played on steel pans is one. But few jazz linkages have explored the many other rich musical traditions of the Caribbean and South America. Paquito D'Rivera, the former saxophone- and clarinet-playing star of Cuba's Irakere--and for the past decade a U.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2000 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The confluence between jazz and Cuban music dates back more than a half-century in direct terms, and probably much more than that indirectly. During that period, the direction of musical flow has generally been the same: American jazz improvisation moving into Cuba; Cuban and Afro-Cuban rhythms coming out.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2000 | DON HECKMAN SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Latin Jazz Night Returns!" was the billing for Wednesday's Lexus Jazzat the Bowl performance. But a good portion of the program had a lot more to do with salsa rhythms and pianistic virtuosity than it did with Latin jazz. The opening band, Son Mayor, which features six Ortiz brothers in its lineup, is one of L.A.'s most popular Cuban music ensembles. And there was no denying the foot-tapping delights that the group provided in its extended set of tunes.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 1998 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It seemed like an intriguing idea to book Cuba's Jesus "Chucho" Valdes on the same bill with Brazil's Ivan Lins. Different in style, substance and language, they nonetheless represent aspects of the enormous, far-reaching variety of Latin music. And both, in their own way, have reciprocated the influence of jazz by producing music that in turn has impacted American artists. But the duo's concert at UCLA's Royce Hall Thursday night didn't quite deliver as expected.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 1996 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mention the name of Jesus "Chucho" Valdes to jazz fans around the world and expect a smile of recognition. Everywhere, that is, except in the United States, where even the most dedicated listener might respond with a bewildered frown. Yet Valdes is a pianist and composer who has been compared to everyone from Oscar Peterson and McCoy Tyner to Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and who is spoken of in reverent terms throughout most of the international community of jazz musicians.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 9, 1995 | ROBIN RAUZI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Music may be the universal language, but that doesn't keep it from getting stopped at some borders. When pianist Jesus (Chucho) Valdes and his 11-piece band, Irakere, electrified American audiences at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978, they were the first Cuban group to play in the United States since the Cuban revolution. In 1979 when they won a Grammy in the Latin music category, they weren't allowed back into the United States to pick it up.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1999 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Irakere has a justifiably exalted reputation as a world-class jazz ensemble. But, after more than 30 years of history, it's not unreasonable to ask which installment of the band deserves the reputation. That question was front and center Friday night when the Cuban band made an appearance at the Conga Room. Of course, such now-famous jazz artists as Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera have not played with the unit for a decade or more.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 1995 | BILL KOHLHAASE
It's unfair to think of Jesus (Chucho) Valdes simply as an Afro-Cuban pianist. Though the rhythms of his homeland dominated Thursday's concert at the Cal State Northridge Performing Arts Center, Valdes transcended category with a dazzling, wide-ranging display at the keyboard.
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