Latin jazz at Vail Square |

Latin jazz at Vail Square

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to DailyJesus "Chuchito" Valdes jazz draws from Afro-Cuban Latin jazz, bebop, cha cha cha and more. He performs at Vail Square in Lionshead Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

VAIL ” Thursday evening’s Jazz at Vail Square show will feature four outstanding Cuban jazz musicians, lead by third generation Cuban pianist Jesus “Chuchito” Valdes.

“Chuchito Valdes plays Afro-Cuban Jazz with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a flamboyance, rhythmic intensity and technique that is unsurpassed,” said Howard Stone, artistic director and chair of the Vail Jazz Foundation, which produces Jazz at Vail Square. The Jazz Foundation likes to offer diversity in the performances at Vail Square, he said.

“We like to mix it up and offer different takes on what people think of as jazz,” Stone said.

Jesus “Chuchito” Valdes learned to play piano at the knee of his famed father, Chucho Valdes, and grandfather, Bebo Valdes, and he continues the legacy of great Cuban piano players. Chuchito is recognized as a master of such Cuban music styles as Son, Danon, Cuban Timba and Guaguanco. His studies include extensive work with classical music that included harmony and composition. Chuchito’s music draws styles from Afro-Cuban Latin jazz, bebop, cha cha cha and more.

Chuchito is joined by bassist Jorge “Sawa” Perez, who was also born in Havana and is a graduate of the prestigious Conservatory del Amadeo Roldan.

On congas is Sandy Perez, a member of the talented Villamil family: a prominent folkloric family based in Matanzas, Cuba.

Joining the band on percussion is Ruben Alvarez, whose performance credits include movie soundtracks, jingles and recorded and live appearances with a variety of artists and musical situations, which include legendary Latin artist Eddie Palmieri, Anita Baker, The Commodores, Dave Mason and Dennis DeYoung (STYX) and many more.

Thursday’s concert is the second to last in the Jazz at Vail Square series. The final concert on Aug. 28 will feature the Clayton Brothers Quintet and VJF All-Stars.

The outdoor venue is located in the inner courtyard just outside the Arrabelle hotel in Lionshead. With tented seating for 250 people, the concerts are presented rain or shine.

For more information, visit

What: Cuban jazz with Jesus “Chuchito” Valdes and others.

Where: Vail Square, Lionshead.

When: Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free.

More information: Visit

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