With a combined 12 Grammy Awards, jazz legends Chucho Valdés, Dianne Reeves, and Joe Lovano take the Moss Arts Center stage for “Duets” on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
In accordance with current university policy for indoor events, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the Moss Arts Center are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
This all-star performance features one of the most influential figures in modern Afro-Cuban jazz, pianist Chucho Valdés, sharing the stage with preeminent jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves and celebrated saxophonist Joe Lovano. Launching their U.S. tour at the Moss, the project unites the artists for classics such as a breathtaking, spacious duet of “My Foolish Heart,” featuring Valdés and Reeves.
Winner of six Grammy and three Latin Grammy Awards, Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger Chucho Valdés has pushed boundaries in pursuit of new expressions in Afro-Cuban music throughout his rich career spanning 60 years. His musical education includes formal studies and countless nights on the best stages in Cuba as the pianist with his father, Bebo Valdés, and his orchestra, Sabor de Cuba. Valdés is perhaps best known as the founder, pianist, and main composer and arranger of Irakere, a landmark ensemble in Cuban music.
Valdes is celebrating his 80th birthday in 2021, and his technique and creative output are as prodigious as ever. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has been inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, and received a DC Jazz Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dianne Reeves has virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings that have garnered her five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album, an honorary doctorate of music from Juilliard, and the honor of being named a 2018 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master. According to Wynton Marsalis, “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time.” Reeves’s Grammy Award-winning album “Beautiful Life” epitomizes the spirit of her storied and extraordinary career, traversing many genres and collaborating with a diverse collection of artists.
Joe Lovano is a Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, and arranger. DownBeat magazine has twice named him Jazz Artist of the Year, and he scored a prestigious trifecta in 1998: nominations for Musician of the Year, Improviser of the Year, and Best Tenor Saxophonist in the New York Jazz Awards. Lovano attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the early 1970s and received an honorary doctor of music degree from the college in 1998. In the fall of 2001 he began a prestigious teaching residency in the Berklee Ensemble Department, known as the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance. Lovano has released nearly 40 albums as leader or co-leader and has collaborated with many legendary musicians, including McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, Branford Marsalis, Jim Hall, and Paul Motian.
“Duets” is presented in partnership with the Black Cultural Center, Ujima, and the Center for the Study of Cuban Culture and Economy and is supported in part by gifts from Don and Libby Drapeau, Dr. James M. Shuler and Ms. Margaret F. Shuler, and Mr. Edwin H. Talley and Mrs. Melinda P. Talley.