We still find it incredible that in just a little over 50 years, the Cuban culture has been so welcomed in our city that it has become synonymous with Miami’s identity. It feels as though The Magic City was always filled with cafecito, fresh tropical fruit juices, and the distance ringing of salsa music. It’s no surprise that every aspect of the Cuban diaspora can be found throughout our city, especially in the aspects of food and music. And there is no other name more related to Cuban music than Chucho Valdés.
Cuban culture has existed in Miami for as long as Chucho Valdés has been gracing the world with his high-level talent. The six-time GRAMMY Award winner’s music originally began as a stellar combo rooted in jazz, that eventually became some of the founding sounds in Cuba’s Orquesta Cubana de Música de Moderna, backing big-name singers and bringing Cuban jazz to the main stage. As Cuban culture proudly embraced its colorful roots, Valdés and his multiple ensembles were at the forefront of fusing traditional genres like songo with their skill sets, throwing Afro-Cuban Jazz into world-wide popularity.
Eventually Chucho Valdés moved from his collaborative ensembles and in the early 90s solidified his solo sound. The sound that has taken him around the world, and to South Florida for multiple special occasions. Another such moment is happening sooner than you think! Thanks to the Rhythm Foundation, the Cuban jazz legend himself is coming to South Florida once again on June 22nd to round out their free community series at Hollywood ArtsPark. This will be one jazzy, jammy, and funky show so don’t miss it! RSVPs here.
Cover photo – CubaLlama.com