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“A hurricane where the Buena Vistas were a summer breeze.” —The Guardian
Winner of six Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the Cuban pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Chucho Valdés has been a key figure in the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz for the past 50 years. In 1972, Chucho released his fourth album, a trio recording with bass and batá drums entitled simply, Jazz Batá. This ten-song exploration of the descarga roots of Cuban jazz was a departure from his early quintet recordings. Blending jazz with traditional rhythms of the sacred batá, the music showcased Chucho’s virtuosity and formed the stylistic foundation of what would become Chucho’s history-making group, Irakere. Decades later, Chucho returns to the Jazz Batá sound, joined by bassist Yelsy Heredia, plus percussionists Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé and Yaroldy Abreu Robles in a journey to discover modern interpretations of classic forms.