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Cuban Giants: Valdés and Rubalcaba Play Chicago

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Friday February 23, 2018

From The Chicago Tribune

Cuban giants: Valdés and Rubalcaba head to Chicago
By: Howard Reich

What happens when two of the world’s greatest jazz pianists share a stage, 20 remarkably skilled fingers working 176 keys? And what happens when both of those pianists happen to come from an island that long has produced instrumentalists of colossal technique and deep erudition?

For Valdes and Rubalcaba, the Trance tour has been enlightening.

“I have learned a lot from him, from his way of playing,” says Valdes, referring to Rubalcaba. “His playing is more contemporary. I am having a lot of influences from him.”

Says Rubalcaba, “The most valuable (insight) for me is to see Chucho, at this moment in his life, and the love he feels for the music, the love and the interest he feels and shows and continues looking for new ways to play, exploring new ways to interpret the music. It’s beautiful to see that, and it must be a real example for the young generations. Don’t believe, ever, that when you get some success or laurels, you get some people following you, people love something you did – an album or a concert – don’t think that there’s nothing else beyond that to do.”

Valdes considers their partnership “a dialogue – it has never been a competition,” he says. “It’s more like a conversation and exchange of ideas.”

Read the rest of the article and go see the show tonight at 8PM