Chucho Valdés, Irakere 50, featuring Arturo Sandoval | SFJAZZ 2024-25 Season
Chucho Valdés, Irakere 50, featuring Arturo Sandoval
Legendary Cuban Band

Chucho Valdés, Irakere 50, featuring Arturo Sandoval

FEB 22 | Irakere 50

Feb 22, 2025
Paramount Theatre, Oakland
SatFeb 22
8:00 PM

$50 | $85 | $115 | $145

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Two of most influential figures in Afro-Cuban jazz, virtuoso pianist Chucho Valdés and trumpet icon Arturo Sandoval, reunite as part of Irakere 50, the latest iteration of the legendary band that changed the course of Latin music in the 1970s and 80s and launched both of their stellar careers.

The son of Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, the winner of seven GRAMMYs and four Latin GRAMMY Awards joined Armando Romeu’s celebrated Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music in 1967, a time when the communist government still considered American jazz anti-revolutionary. He was already recognized as the most formidable pianist of his generation when he launched Irakere in 1973 with a phenomenal cast that included Sandoval and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera. Discovered and introduced internationally by Dizzy Gillespie, the band’s unprecedented synthesis of folkloric Afro-Cuban rhythms, sacred drums, rock, funk, R&B, and jazz opened vast new frontiers, and helped pave the way for the pervasively popular dance music known as timba.

A 10-time GRAMMY winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Arturo Sandoval has led a storied life and career, defecting to the U.S. while working with Gillespie’s band and recording nearly 40 albums as a leader. He’s inspired generations of fans with his passionate playing and has collaborated with a staggering list of greats from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to Pete Escovedo and Kurt Elling. 

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Two of most influential figures in Afro-Cuban jazz reunite as part of Irakere 50, the latest iteration of the legendary band that changed the course of Latin music and launched both of their stellar careers. 

Irakere was a force for cultural hybridism from the start, a clutch of virtuosos engaging with multiple traditions.

The New York Times

Irakere was a force for cultural hybridism from the start, a clutch of virtuosos engaging with multiple traditions.

The New York Times

Personnel

Chucho Valdés piano
Arturo Sandoval trumpet, percussion
Others TBA

Post-Castro, Irakere was one of the most influential groups there ever was.

Pianist David Virelles

Personnel

Chucho Valdés piano
Arturo Sandoval trumpet, percussion
Others TBA

Post-Castro, Irakere was one of the most influential groups there ever was.

Pianist David Virelles

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