Cuban-born and internationally recognized jazz pianist Jesus “Chuchito” Valdes will appear in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville. The concert is part of Gainesville’s community-wide celebration of Cuban artistry, Bulla Cubana, and part of the college’s Master Artist series that brings professional performers to campus to interact with students.
Tickets for adults are $25 on the main floor and $20 in the balcony; $20 for seniors, children, and University of Florida students; and $15 for SF College students, faculty and staff with college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:
“Music, for me, is the spice that gives life its flavor and joy,” Chuchito Valdes says. A pianist, arranger, composer and band director, Chuchito follows in the footsteps of the musical careers of his father, Chucho Valdes, and grandfather, Bebo Valdes.
Born the oldest of five siblings in Havana, Chuchito was a prodigy who made an extensive study of classical music and was influenced by many styles including Afro-Cuban Latin jazz, bebop, danzon (the official musical genre and dance of Cuba), cha-cha-cha and the work of Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, and Bill Evans.
Valdes made his first professional appearance at the age of 16 with Cuban singer and trumpeter Bobby Carcasses. In the mid 1980s, he played with the Cuban jazz combo Sonido Contemporaneo. By the late 1990s, he had taken his father’s spot in the renowned band Irakere when the elder Valdes went solo.
Now recognized as a master of Cuban musical styles including son, danzon, timba and guaguanco, Valdes has performed at clubs, festivals and concerts through the world from Cuba and the Caribbean to North America, South America and Europe. He lives in Cancun, Mexico, and performs frequently in the United States and Canada.
“We’re really looking forward to this concert and there’s going to be a special surprise for the audience,” said Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes.
A series of events aimed at cultivating the free flow of arts, culture, ideas and inspiration between the USA and Cuba, Bulla Cubana will take place in multiple venues throughout Gainesville from January through March 2017. The celebration will showcase the talents of invited fine artists, muralists, dancers, musicians, chefs, mixologists, photographers and filmmakers. “Bulla” (pronounced BOO-ya) means “ado,” “noise,” or “hubbub” and captures the energy of these events that are designed to reflect the passion and spirit of Cuban arts and culture.
The concert by Chuchito Valdes is sponsored in part by SF College and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.
For more information or photographs, call SF College Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes, 352-395-5296.