Renowned Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader Jesús “Chucho” Valdés, 80, has amassed a laundry list of awards and accolades in his decades as a musician, including seven Grammy and four Latin Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science and he’s been inducted in the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. This year, he adds another accolade to the list as the Detroit Jazz Festival‘s 2022 artist-in-residence.

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Chucho Valdés has performed solo and as a bandleader, blending elements of Afro-Cuban music tradition with jazz, classical music, rock and more into a deeply personal style. Ahead of the 2022 Labor Day weekend festival, WRCJ “The Swing Set” host Linda Yohn sits down with Valdés to talk about performing at the upcoming festival and his role as the 2022 artist-in-residence.

Chucho Valdés

Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader Chucho Valdés plays the piano. | Photo by One Detroit

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