Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdes to perform at Eisenhower Jan. 31

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, known as the “dean of Latin jazz,” has recorded more than 80 albums and performed with a plethora of elite jazz makers. Valdes makes his Penn State debut when he performs with his band, the Afro-Cuban Messengers, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $47 for an adult, $20 for a University Park student and $40 for a person 18 and younger. Buy tickets online at www.cpa.psu.edu or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. resuming Jan. 16) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

“Whether Chucho Valdes is performing a gentle ballad or a rousing foot-stomper, his joy in playing and his love of the music always shines through,” wrote a critic for All About Jazz.

In 2009 he formed his newest band. “Valdes hasn’t called his band the Afro-Cuban Messengers for nothing: it joins much of the hard-boppish crispness and percussive punch of Art Blakey’s legendary Jazz Messengers to the traditional rhythms and drum textures of Cuban dance music,” wrote a reviewer for Britain’s The Guardian. “The leader’s own playing is titanic, from his stirring chordwork behind his already inflamed soloists to his improvisations of blazing trills and cascading runs.”

Valdes has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and many other prestigious venues across the globe. He has shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, and other noteworthy musicians.

Learn more about Valdes at http://www.cpa.psu.edu/events/valdes.html.

Designer’s Studio sponsors the presentation. Jazz Spectrum on THE LION 90.7 FM is the media sponsor. Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or local expert, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity. Seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Last Updated January 18, 2012