Omara Portuondo & Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes is considered to be the Duke Ellington of Cuba. His is a master of various Cuban styles, as well jazz forms going back to the 1920s. In 1973, he founded the group Irakare, which won a Grammy in 1978 for their album “Live at Newport”. As a solo artist Valdes has been under contract with Blue Note Records for over a decade. During this time he has released seven critically-acclaimed albums, including a Grammy-winning “Live at the Village Vanguard”. His current group is called the Afro-Cuban Messengers. The name refers to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and like Blakey, Valdes encourages and promotes younger musicians.
Chucho Valdes’ latest album is “Chucho’s Steps”, which includes a tribute to Joe Zawinul called “Zawinul’s Mambo”. Valdes will be performing in Vienna with the legendary singer Omara Portuondo, a master of the musical style known as Filin, or Feeling. She was also the only female musician featured in Ry Cooder’s Buna Vista Social Club project. A joint album featuring both artists will be released in April 2011.