Chucho Valdés – Jazz Batá
Special opening performance by Edmar Castaneda, jazz harp and Grégoire Maret, chromatic harmonica
April 12, 2018
Venue Matthews Theatre
The name Chucho Valdés is synonymous with Cuban jazz, since he is not only one of the world’s great jazz pianists, but remains the most influential figure in the evolution of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz. Winner of six Grammys and three Latin Grammys, the Cuban pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader, is a virtuoso of seemingly limitless abilities. Irakere, the revolutionary group he formed in 1973, became an explosive force that changed the landscape of Cuban music with its eclectic mix of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban rhythms. The Colombian harpist, Edmar Castaneda, will similarly leave you in awe of his artistry as he crafts almost unbelievable feats of cross-rhythms layered with choral nuances rivaling those of a flamenco guitarist. With his versatility and charisma, he has taken the harp out of the shadows and revolutionized the way we think of it. Grégoire Maret has succeeded the late Toots Thielemans as the reigning master of the chromatic harmonica, a genre-crossing innovator who has taken his instrument into a world it has never been before.