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Chuchito Valdés: Through the Generations

Pianist is heir to great Cuban jazz tradition

Chuchito Valdés Jr.
Chucito Valdes at Caramoor Festival

Jesus “Chuchito” Valdés lives a dream unfulfilled. Though the 42-year-old Cuban pianist enjoys an impassioned worldwide following, a family he visibly adores, and a perpetually-full touring schedule that conveys him to the world’s most glamorous cities, he longs for an accomplishment that’s eluded him throughout the entirety of his life. And the time to achieve it is running out.

“My father, my grandfather and I should all play together as three generations of pianists. They are geniuses and it would make history,” he mourned between performance sets at the Cape May Jazz Festival in New Jersey this past April. “But my grandfather is 91 already. …”

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