Grandson of “Bebo” Valdés and son of Dionisio Jesus “Chucho” Valdés, Jesus “Chuchito” Valdés is an acclaimed and accomplished Afro-Cuban pianist. Born in Havana, Cuba, on October 10, 1964, Chuchito currently makes his home in Cancun, Mexico. He performs throughout the world and visits Chicago often. Chuchito said, “The beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois, is where the world of jazz opened its doors to me.” He played at the 19th Annual Havana Jazz Festival in Cuba in 2000.
Chuchito has recorded and performed with the world-renowned Cuban band Irakere, founded and led by his father, for two years. He is recognized as a master of Cuban music including Son, Danzon, Cuban Timba and Guaguanco. Chuchito has also extensively studied classical music including harmony and composition. While his early influences were the music of Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, and Juan Tizol, his original compositions and arrangements draw on classical harmonic and structural techniques.
He credits his father for just telling him he had to study, and describes his grandfather as the “motor of my family,” a musician who was way ahead of his time.
He has earned five Latin Grammy nominations: Live in Chicago (2012), Piano & Charango with Eddy Navia (2012), New York is Now/Vival el sonido Cubano (2011), Cuban Dreams (2010), and Keys of Latin Jazz (2007).
Chuchito Valdés has performed three time in Bloomington IL with the Heartland Jazz Orchestra; in 2007 and 2013 at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts, and in 2011 at the Castle Theatre.