Rekindling Strong Musical Relationships: Paquito D’Rivera & Chucho Valdés

by chipboaz on March 24, 2017

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At it’s core, music – any type of music – is built on relationships. There’s lots of different types of relationships that can drive musical projects, but its that connection between human beings that can make music special. Like many relationships, time changes the circumstances of that connection, sometimes even putting distance between the people. In this case, musical collaboration might become impossible, but the relationship remain. When the strength of the relationship brings two people back together, the years of separation melt away, bringing musical inspiration back to the forefront.

Pianist Chucho Valdés and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera have built a musical relationship that has some strong foundations. As young musicians in Cuba, they shared some very powerful qualities – they both grew up with musical fathers, they both shared a deep love for jazz, and they both dedicated a huge portion of their lives developing dazzling skills on their instruments. They solidified their connection during the early years of Irakere, where they brought their forbidden passion for jazz into the forefront of the Cuban dance music. D’Rivera left Cuba and Valdés stayed, making things difficult for them to play music together. Fortunately, international travel and the changing winds of political policy in the United States have brought them onto the same stage occasionally and the results are always breath taking. Here’s be two musicians performing a classic from their Irakere days, “Claudia.”

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Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
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Remembering Dave Valentin (Part 3): Manteca
Remembering Dave Valentin (Part 2): Orquesta Libre
Remembering Dave Valentin (Part 1): Oasis

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