The New York Times called Cuban musician/bandleader Chucho Valdés ''one of the world's great virtuosic pianists''; Jazziz magazine dubbed him ''the most complete pianist in the world.'' The four Grammy Awards sitting on his mantel seem to indicate the praise is well-deserved. The son of Bebo Valdés, the stylish pianist and bandleader from the golden era of music on the island, Valdés burst on the international scene when he stepped away from his father's elegant style and founded the legendary Latin jazz group Irakere in 1972. Since then, he's built a reputation as a gifted musician well able to mix his native Afro-Cuban rhythms with classical European influences and American jazz traditions. Now, at 70 years old, he's taken over the elder-statesman status his father once held. He appears in Houston today with the Chucho Valdés Quintet as part of the Da Camera jazz series. The set list is sure to include several numbers from Chucho's Steps, the release that won Valdés the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Fri., Nov. 16, 8 p.m., 2012