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Chucho Valdes – Jazz Great Carries On Tradition

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Family dynasties are the backbone of Cuba’s rich musical history. Big bands that were formed during the golden age of Cuban music – the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s – are still performing today, with the son of the founder at the helm (and sometimes the original bandleader as well).

Latin-jazz great Chucho Valdes began learning piano when he was three, at the knee of his father, Bebo, a bandleader. As a teenager, he joined his father’s big band, Sabor de Cuba (Taste of Cuba), which had a residency at the Tropicana nightclub cabaret.

Havana in the 1950s was a holiday hotspot, and the Tropicana was one of its most popular nightclubs. One would think that being the boss’s son would have been a nerve-wracking experience, but Valdes says that his father prepared him well, and besides, the orchestra itself was just part of his son’s education.

Story Source: The Age Entertainment Photo Source:Provided

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