The Chucho Valdés Quintet

Music fans were puzzled when they picked up the newest Chucho Valdés album, Border-Free; the cover art showed Valdés, a black Cuban, in a full American Indian feather headdress. The image references ''Afro-Comanche,'' a song on the CD that was inspired by a bit of little-known American Indian history. In the 1700s, Spanish forces took 700 Comanche prisoners, relocating them to Mexico, then Spain and eventually Cuba, where most of them died. ''But while in Cuba, many mixed with Afro-Cubans,'' explains Valdés via press materials. ''No one has looked into this much, and I thought that doing something…to call attention to this story perhaps will inspire more studies.'' The song is sure to be on the set list for the Chucho Valdés Quintet concert today at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Also on Border-Free (and we hope at today's concert) is ''Bebo,'' a tribute to the multi-Grammy Award winner's late father, the well-known bandleader and pianist Bebo Valdés. ''I started to improvise on the spot. I had this idea of doing a tumbao (vamp) in Bebo's style with my left hand, while soloing with my right hand in my own style. So what you have is Bebo on one side and Chucho on the other.''

8:30 p.m. 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit Free.
Tue., Aug. 13, 8:30 p.m., 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez