Chucho Valdés to perform his ‘Jazz Batá 2’  at The Soraya

Chucho Valdes / Carol Friedman photo

Winner of six Grammy and three Latin Grammy Awards, Cuban pianist, composer and arranger, Chucho Valdés, is the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz.  Now, he will be performing tracks from his 2018 release Jazz Batá 2, inspired by his seminal record Jazz Batá, at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 8pm.

The new Jazz Batá band is comprised of Valdés, piano; Ramon Vazquez, acoustic bass; Yaroldy Abreu Robles, congas; and Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé, on batá and voice. Batá is the sacred, hourglass-shaped drum from Cuba and West Africa, and the traditional beats of both cultures permeate Valdés’ piano solos throughout the album. The subject matter of both records is the folklore and religious beliefs of the Yoruba slaves shipped to the Caribbean between 1770 and 1840.

Jazz Batá 2 was released to mark the centenary of the birth of Ramón “Bebo” Valdés, Valdés’ late father and teacher. The two giants of Cuban music shared a birthday on Oct. 9. “Between the two of them, they’ve exercised a massive musical influence since the 1940s,” Latin Jazz Network  noted. Jazz Times calls Jazz Batá 2, “Utterly contemporary, no matter how far into the past (or the future) it may probe…effortlessly melding genres, generations, and cultural motifs into a new and fully realized whole.”
Tickets for Chucho Valdés Jazz Bata start at $39 and are available at or by calling (818) 677-3000.
The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.