Concert to commemorate Cuban jazz musician

Concert to commemorate Cuban jazz musician

BLOOMINGTON — Acclaimed pianist and multiple Grammy nominee Chuchito Valdes and his Cuban quartet will perform at 7 p.m. Friday with the Heartland Jazz Orchestra at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts.

The concert will commemorate the music of Chuchito's notable grandfather, Bebo Valdes, who died March 22. A pianist, arranger and composer, Bebo Valdes was at the center of Havana's musical life in the pre-Castro era.

The concert will feature Bebo Valdes' charts for jazz orchestra. The charts belong to Chuchito Valdes and have not been performed for many years, until recently, in New York. Champaign-Urbana musician Thomas "Shab" Wirtel, who directed the jazz studies program at the University of Illinois, will provide a short educational session regarding Bebo Valdes, Cuban music, mambo and cha cha at 6:15 p.m., just prior to the concert.

Also, the Normal Theater on Thursday will screen the Oscar-nominated animated film, "Chico and Rita," which features Bebo Valdes' music. Chuchito Valdes will appear before the screening to discuss memories of his grandfather and his music.

Tickets for the concert are $20 and $25 and are on sale at Or call the performing arts center at 309-434-2777 or 866-686-9541.

Topics (1):Music