Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Chucho Valdés: Irakere 40
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 8pm — Berklee Performance Center
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present Chucho Valdés: Irakere 40 on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 8pm at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Sponsored by Donna and Mike Egan and D.L. Saunders Real Estate & Hotel Investors Group, AMO.
Tickets start at $45, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Berklee Performance Center box office, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.
This performance marks the third appearance for Chucho Valdés with Celebrity Series of Boston.
The Chucho Valdés: Irakere 40 tour is a celebration of Irakere, the Cuban band that, with its bold fusion of Afro-Cuban ritual music, popular Afro-Cuban music styles, jazz and rock, marked a before and after in Latin jazz. In conjunction with the U.S. tour, Jazz Village/harmonia mundi will be releasing Chucho Valdés: Tribute to Irakere (Live in Marciac) on October 20, featuring Chucho’s current group, The Afro-Cuban Messengers. Leading a ten-piece ensemble comprising the Messengers expanded with three trumpets and two saxophones, Valdés offers a vivid retrospective of his work the past four decades. It is also a wide angle view of the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz as the program includes classics of Irakere´s repertoire such as “Misa Negra” “Estela Va A Estallar” (“Stella By Starlight”), ”Juana 1600,” and “Bacalao Con Pan,” but also more recent compositions, originally performed with the Messengers, in new arrangements, such as “Yansa,” “Abdel” and “Lorena’s Tango.”
“In our first rehearsal of the old pieces with this band I cried,” says Chucho, who will be 74 on October 9. “When I decided to do a tribute to that marvelous band, I also decided I didn’t want to do it with the charter members but with players from the generations of musicians that grew up and learned from Irakere. I thought it would be more meaningful. It’s a tribute from one generation to another.”
Valdés founded Irakere four decades ago, a revolutionary band that introduced African drum traditions to Cuban dance music. A small, Cuban-style big band with an explosive mix of jazz, rock, classical, Afro-Cuban and traditional Cuban music, Irakere was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in a visit to Havana on a 1976 jazz cruise. In 1978 CBS producer Bruce Lundvall signed the band for the label. After winning a Grammy for Best Latin Recording in 1979, the group went on to create an extraordinary body of work that includes great dance recordings such as Homenaje a Beny More (Pimienta, 1989) and Indestructible (Sony, 1997); explorations of Afro-Cuban religious music such as Babalu Aye (Bembe, 1999) featuring the great Orisha music singer Lazaro Ros; as well as ambitious projects such as Tierra En Trance (Areito, 1983) and Misa Negra (Messidor, 1987). With the fresh sound of his Afro-Cuban Messengers, Chucho Valdes honors Cuba’s African roots with Irakere 40.
Winner of five Grammy® Awards and Three Latin Grammy® Awards, Chucho Valdés has performed all over the world in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl, has recorded over 80 CDs, and has performed with countless jazz masters, including Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1941, the pianist, composer, arranger, band leader and music professor began his musical life at home under the direction of his parents; his mother Pilar Rodríguez, a singer and piano teacher and his father, the great Bebo Valdés. At the age of 15 he formed his first jazz trio with Emilio del Monte and Luis Rodríguez and went on to work as pianist in the Deauville and St. John Hotels in Havana and played with the Sabor de Cuba Orchestra directed by his father, accompanying singers like Rolando Laserie, Fernando Alvarez and Pio Leyva.
CHUCHO VALDES: IRAKERE 40 – LINEUP
Chucho Valdés (Piano)
Gastón Joya (Bass)
Rodney Barreto (Drums)
Yaroldy Abreu (Percussion)
Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé (Batás & Vocals)
Manuel Machado (Trumpet)
Reinaldo Melián (Trumpet)
Carlos Sarduy (Trumpet)
Ariel Bringuez (Tenor Sax)
Rafael Àguila (Alto Sax)
Program to be announced from stage.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger; Donna & Mike Egan; Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda; The Garbis & Arminè Barsoumian Charitable Foundation; Stephanie L. Brown; David & Harriet Griesinger; Paul L. King; Jann Leeming & Arthur Little; The Royal Little Family Foundation; Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation; Stewart Myers; Eleanor & Frank Pao; The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation; Stiffler Family Foundation; Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma; Nancy Richmond Winsten; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; EMC Corporation; Foley & Lardner; Massachusetts Cultural Council; National Endowment for the Arts; The Peabody Foundation; PTC; Tufts Health Plan; The D.L. Saunders Real Estate & Hotel Investment Group, AMO; Vertex Pharmaceuticals.