The Maestro: The Life & Legacy of Chucho Valdés

< Back

Monday February 04, 2019


The Maestro: The Life & Legacy of Chucho Valdés
Edited/Produced by Ross Eustis

A film produced by SFJAZZ celebrating the life and legacy of Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés, the honoree of the SFJAZZ Gala 2019 on January 31, 2019, featuring heartfelt words from Chucho’s many friends and collaborators including Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Christian McBride, Omara Portuondo, Rebeca Mauleón, Danilo Pérez, John Santos, Carlitos Del Puerto, Pedrito Martinez, Branford Marsalis, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

We honor the life and work of Chucho Valdés, the greatest living Cuban pianist and a singular force in jazz for more than half a century. As the prodigious son of Cuban maestro Bebo Valdés, Chucho was recognized as a vital young artist when he launched the revolutionary band Irakere in 1973 with a lineup including saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Discovered and introduced internationally by jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, the band’s unprecedented synthesis of folkloric Afro-Cuban rhythms, sacred drums, rock, funk, and jazz opened up vast new musical frontiers for exploration, influencing generations of musicians to follow. As a solo performer, composer, and bandleader, Chucho has continued to blaze trails, winning six GRAMMY awards, three Latin GRAMMYs, and the 2018 Latin GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award.