Archive for the ‘Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba’ Category

London jazz festival/Barbican Hall – The Guardian – Cuban wizards conjure a pulsating piano stampede –

London jazz festival/Barbican Hall
This wonderfully well-matched pair laid on an evening of dreamy improv that underlined the festival’s eclecticism and earned them a rapturous ovation

etween Friday morning’s opening shows and the arrival of Cuban piano maestros Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba at the Barbican on Saturday afternoon, some 40 events of the EFG London jazz festival’s 2017 programme had already hurtled by, with 300 or more still due in the coming days in venues all over the city. Valdés and Rubalcaba are in the league of stars with roots in both African and western tradition – able to thrill listeners anywhere, regardless of background or expectation – that this now huge and eclectic festival has been consistently pulling for 25 years. But the LJF has also nourished newcomers, music education, cultural fluidity and the understanding that jazz is buzzing somewhere every night, not just for 10 days in London. The standing ovation for Valdés and Rubalcaba felt like gratitude for that, as well as for the two Cubans’ immensely vivacious show.

Over two decades separate Valdés, the towering 76-year-old father figure of modern Cuban jazz, and the slight and nimble Rubalcaba. But the younger man is a virtuoso of comparable flair and drive – and there lay an absorbing contrast between Valdés’ rugged, drumlike sound and Rubalcaba’s blend of a softer touch and diamond-bright precision. They opened their single-set duet on two facing Steinways in dreamy rumination; Rubalcaba stoked the embers into a flame with silvery runs over a gathering groove, before they sprinted simultaneously into a polyphonic swinger that built to the first of the show’s slam-stop climaxes. Valdés then introduced a dancing Cuban son pulse, Rubalcaba teased it with banging chords and a churning left-hand vamp, and the two played a long double-taking game on various potential endings. They steered a quiet meditation towards a jazz waltz into which Rubalcaba neatly spliced Chopin’s Op 64 No 1, turned a playfully strutting chordal theme into a slinkier tango with Flight of the Bumblebee muttering through it, returning eventually to their signature collective-swing stampede.

If the show had a flaw, it was only that this pair’s astonishing virtuosity and the nowhere-to-hide exposure of a two-piano improv eventually brought overfamiliarity to those story arcs. But an encore on the Duke Ellington classic Caravan, introduced by Rubalcaba drumming on his piano, loosely sketched by Valdés at first and then turned breezily into salsa, was a masterful and a consummately musical gem.

Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba Asian Tour 2017 – Gracias!

CHUCHO VALDES ET GONZALO RUBALCABA – STS Evenements (L.3-1083215) présente

LE LUNDI 20/11/2017 À 20H30  –  LA SEINE MUSICALE  – BOULOGNE BILLANCOURT –***ouverture des portes à 19h30***

Il y a peu de duos de pianos dans l’histoire du jazz et des musiques afro-caribéennes. L’exercice présente le risque de la surenchère de notes, de l’empiètement intempestif, d’une écoute de l’autre insuffisante. Dans ce mikado passionnant qui unit deux protagonistes et 176 touches réparties égalitairement sur deux claviers, les élus doivent être humbles, inspirés et respectueux. C’est à ce prix là que la rencontre peut s’avérer magique. Tel est le but poursuivi par deux maîtres du piano, deux étoiles incontestables du latin jazz : Chucho Valdés et Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Comme son titre le laisse deviner, « Trance » est une collaboration profondément liée aux forces spirituelles qui traversent la musique. Le titre évoque également l’art de la conversation musicale que possèdent ces deux improvisateurs et compositeurs dont l’amitié -et l’admiration mutuelle- remontent à plusieurs décennies.

Plus connu sans doute pour avoir été le fondateur, leader et compositeur/arrangeur du célèbre groupe de jazz-rock afro-cubain Irakere, Chucho Valdés s’est depuis 2005 concentré sur sa carrière solo, révélant ses talents de pianiste et de meneur de petits ensembles. Gonzalo Rubalcaba, qui a grandi en écoutant Chucho, a fait irruption sur la scène jazz internationale dans les années 80 avec Grupo Proyecto, un groupe de jazz-fusion afro-cubain explosif. Au début des années 90, ses performances époustouflantes en tant que meneur d’un trio mettant en scène le contrebassiste Charlie Haden et le batteur Paul Motian l’ont établi parmi les pianistes de jazz les plus inspirés. Par ailleurs, ses duos avec le contrebassiste précité figurent parmi les bijoux les mieux ciselés du jazz moderne, salués encore récemment par la critique.

« Notre duo entretient une relation historique avec la tradition cubaine du piano, fait remarquer Chucho ; c’est ce qui donne à ce projet quelque chose de très particulier, tel un son qui a émergé naturellement, organiquement. Nos deux pianos jouent déjà comme un seul. »
De son côté, Gonzalo ajoute qu’« il aurait été facile de prendre quelques classiques et de les interpréter, mais nous voulions quelque chose de spécial. Nous écrivons tous deux de la musique pour piano et aimons réinventer des airs qui vont des succès populaires et classiques du répertoire cubain à la musique de Thelonious Monk. »

Ce duo de seigneurs est présenté en exclusivité et pour la première fois en France à l’auditorium de La Seine Musicale.

Jazz Notes: Umbria Jazz Festival In Perugia, Italy Brings Out the Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, August 1, 2017

…..Valdés and Rubalcaba, both Afro-Cuban piano virtuosos of different generations, started out low key and lyrical before the conversations, with a subtle sense of humor, began and carried the 88 keys into a grand display of mastery. They looked across at each other with big smiles, played tricks on each other and complemented each other as they traded lines and harmonized. They spurred each other on. Disappointedly, they left the duo setting and settled for solo territory. Valdés began with his magical take on “Waltz for Debby” and a lyrical swing through “Irresistibly You” before giving way to Rubalcaba who launched into unpredictable chordal splashes then settled into a heartfelt homage to his friend and collaborator the late bassist Charlie Haden by playing “My Love and I” (introduced as “Mi Amor y Yo”), a Johnny Mercer tune that Haden played with his Quartet West group. Valdés returned and the pair played their finest in an extended version of “Caravan,” whimsically playing off each other with shape-shifting tempos and rhythms. Fresh and crisp, the duo dreamed up surprise after surprise, turning the stage into a jazz playground…..

Jazz Times – Concert Review: Umbria Jazz Festival – Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Jazz Times 

7/26/17

 

…. the pairing of Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba worked beautifully. They overcame the limitations of the piano duo by an obvious means: They are both world-class solo pianists and they mostly played separately, only coming together for occasional interludes. Rubalcaba is versatile. The last time he played Umbria, in 2014, he appeared with drummers Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo in a sustained explosion of rhythmic virtuosity. In 2017 he played an achingly poignant version of Johnny Mercer’s “My Love and I” (“Mi Amor y Yo,” in Rubalcaba’s introduction). It was so soft he barely touched the keys, but it was no problem in the Arena, because 2,000 people sat absolutely rapt and silent. It was like an unfolding of the heart, closely held, from emotion, and gradually released and shared, from emotion. Valdés is one of the living masters of a genre he helped create, Afro-Cuban jazz. When he applied his rhythmic passion to a piece like Bill Evans’ “Waltz for Debby,” it was a new revelation of universal meaning in a famous song….

Valdes e Rubalcaba tra virtuosismo tecnico e creatività artistica incantano lo Scolacium (VIDEO)

Umbria Jazz: si vola ai Caraibi! Il duo di star cubane incanta l’Arena … Valentina Scarponi 13 luglio 2017

Exclusive Video…

Umbria Jazz: si vola ai Caraibi! Il duo di star cubane incanta l’Arena
„E’ una danza a quattro mani quella che dà vita alla sesta serata degli appuntamenti all’Arena Santa Giuliana. Ecco i virtuosi del pianoforte Chucho Valdes e Gonzalo Rubalcaba“

 

Due pianoforti. Che vibrano, si rincorrono. Si annodano per poi sciogliersi e infine, si riprendono. E’ una danza a quattro mani quella che dà vita alla sesta serata degli appuntamenti all’Arena Santa Giuliana, il “tempio” estivo della grande rassegna jazz che anche quest’anno non manca di ospitare le stelle della musica.Potrebbe interessarti:

Spazio ancora ad un altro eccezionale duo:  Chucho Valdes e Gonzalo Rubalcaba, considerati dalla critica musicale due autentici virtuosi del pianoforte. L’uno di fronte all’altro, seduti davanti a due gran coda, danno vita a un jazz condito da rimandi latini che non tardano a coinvolgere la platea.

Basta sentire l’applauso sincero di un pubblico appassionato che conosce l’arte di queste virtuose star cubane. Basti pensare, ancora, che Valdes nella sua carriera, ha già conquistato cinque Grammy e tre Latin Grammy. Ma non è solo il plauso di tali, ambiti riconoscimenti, a rendere speciale la sua musica. Profonda e calda come l’Havana, intrisa di contraddizioni e melanconia, ecco innalzarsi al cielo una lenta e appassionata dedica alla sua terra, all’alma latina, ai Caraibi.

Dall’afro jazz alle tradizioni popolari; dal piano escono mille suoni del mondo, raccontanti secondo il suo stile unico. E’stato lui, celebre fondatore degli Irakere, a ridare forma ai tratti identitari della musica latina. Ma sul palco, insieme a lui, c’è Gonzalo Rubalcaba, nato nell’Avana post-rivoluzione e intriso di folklore caraibico e jazz americano, ma dal solido studio classico. Insieme, quasi fossero una sola anima, incantano il pubblico dell’Arena. E se pensavate che l’Avana fosse così lontana, stasera questi due virtuosi ce l’hanno portata a Perugia.

http://www.perugiatoday.it/eventi/umbria-jazz-duo-star-cubane-13-luglio-2017.html
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“TRANCE” Chucho Valdes e Gonzalo Rubalcaba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due gran coda, uno di fronte all’altro, ed alla tastiera due autentici virtuosi. È quanto vedranno gli spettatori dell’arena Santa Giuliana la sera del 13 luglio quando a Umbria Jazz faranno tappa le star cubane Chucho Valdes e Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Cinque Grammy e tre Latin Grammy il primo, quattro Grammy il secondo, possono essere una adeguata presentazione. In realtà i premi, anche quelli più prestigiosi, non bastano a descrivere l’arte di questi due pianisti ne’ a raccontare le loro carriere.
Chucho Valdes è semplicemente uno dei più influenti artisti cubani di sempre, nonché grande interprete della musica latina. Fondatore e leader degli storici Irakere, di cui recentemente è stato festeggiato il quarantesimo anniversario, e’ stato lui a ridefinire, non solo con Irakere ma anche con le altre band da lui formate e guidate successivamente, i tratti identitari della musica cubana degli ultimi anni introducendovi afro-jazz, rock, tradizioni popolari.
Gonzalo Rubalcaba è di una generazione più giovane (è nato nel 1963 nell’Avana del doporivoluzione) ed ha alle spalle una eccellente formazione classica (diploma di composizione all’Istituto di belle arti dell’Avana) ma nello stesso tempo ha assorbito fin da ragazzo il folclore caraibico ed il jazz americano. Da qui, una straordinaria abilità nel far coesistere ritmo e melodia che ha conquistato verso la metà degli anni 80 grandi jazzmen come Dizzy Gillespie e Charlie Haden ed il presidente di Blue Note, Bruce Lundvall. Era nata una stella.

Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba Duo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Joao Gonzalez

Nuovo progetto: “TRANCE”. Un duo straordinario, due maestri indiscussi del pianismo latin che hanno scritto alcune delle più belle pagine della storia del jazz contemporaneo insieme in Europa per presentare per la prima volta un progetto unico e imperdibile.

New Project: “TRANCE” An extraordinary duo, two undisputed masters of latin piano that have written some of the most beautiful pages in the history of contemporary jazz are together in Europe to present for the first time this unique and unmissable project.

“Trance”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Joao Gonzalez

Nuovo progetto: “TRANCE”. Un duo straordinario, due maestri indiscussi del pianismo latin che hanno scritto alcune delle più belle pagine della storia del jazz contemporaneo insieme in Europa per presentare per la prima volta un progetto unico e imperdibile.

New Project: “TRANCE” An extraordinary duo, two undisputed masters of latin piano that have written some of the most beautiful pages in the history of contemporary jazz are together in Europe to present for the first time this unique and unmissable project.

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