Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers 

Border Free - Harmonia Mundi/Jazz Village

click to enlarge 1554439.jpg

Leading Cuban jazz pianist, composer and band leader Chucho Valdes says his new album Border-Free “combines compatible styles with Afro-Cuban roots …” These related styles, ranging from Spanish flamenco, Arabic music, Comanche music and classical, and are woven into the Afro-Cuban musical fabric that provides the framework of the various compositions. 

Multiple Grammy award-winning Chucho Valdes is one of the most powerful and impressive jazz pianists in the world today. He was the founder of the Latin fusion orchestra Irakere, which got its start in 1972 and is often referred to as the Latin “Weather Report.” His father is the legendary pianist Bebo Valdes, who was also the former director of the popular “Tropicana Nightclub” in Havana. 

Chucho Valdes’ pianistic style is characterized by prominent traditional and modern rhythms, lyrical melodic phrases and massive chords, all played to perfection by this true virtuoso who plays with total precision, even at highly accelerated tempos.

Valdes’ band consists of well-seasoned top players, including Reinaldo Melian Alvarez on trumpet; Dreiser Durrethy Bombale on batas and lead vocals; Rodney Barreto Illarza on drums and vocals; Angel Gaston Joya Perellada on double bass and vocals; Yaroldy Abreu Robles, percussion and vocals; and special guest, saxophonist Branford Marsalis on “Tabu.” With this classic lineup of instrumentalists doubling on vocals, Chucho’s got a full vocal and percussion choir backing him up!

This highly spirited album delivers so much — from great writing and arranging to stylistic variety and great musicianship. You’ll likely be compelled to play it over and over again — each time hearing new things


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation