CHUCHO VALDÉS LA CREACIÓN
All ages require a ticket; no children under 2 years.
In celebration of his 80th birthday in 2021, Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés went back to the beginning, the very beginning. La Creación, his new three-movement suite for big band, Afro-Cuban percussion and vocals, recounts the story of creation according to La Regla de Ocha, the Afro-Cuban religion also known as Santería. This personal project makes its Bay Area debut with this performance.
Encompassing sacred Yoruba chants, the blues, post-bop harmonies and what Valdés describes as “an atmosphere in the style of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew,” it’s an extraordinary career-spanning masterwork rendered with the vibrant sonic palette he forged in the epochal Cuban jazz fusion band Irakere.
As the heir to a verdant Cuban jazz tradition kindled partly by his father, piano patriarch Bebo Valdés (1918 – 2013), Chucho wasn’t exactly the Big Bang of Havana’s post-revolutionary jazz scene. But in the face of official indifference he turned Irakere into an international creative force known for seminal compositions like “La Misa Negra.” With fellow Cuban piano master Hilario Durán and John Beasley serving as music directors of Beasley’s talent-laden 14-piece MONK’estra, La Creación extends Valdés’s legacy with sweeping grandeur.