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Havana Affair

Chucho Valdés makes fast work of the keys at SSU



You could walk into a toy store and wind up about eight different music boxes all at once, and you might get something resembling Chucho Valdés' "Son No. 1." Like Art Tatum's high-speed solo recordings or, more laterally, a barrage of flying bats, Valdés' unfathomable flurry of notes is impossible to duck. Best to hop along for the ride.

Whether Valdés plays "Son No. 1" at the Green Music Center this week is almost immaterial, since there's more from the creative well from which it sprang. "I study all this music very hard," he recently said in an interview, citing Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and Cecil Taylor as American signposts in his Cuban jazz pianism.

The son of Cuban legend Bebo Valdés and founding member of the groundbreaking group Irakere, Valdés is a true jazz treasure. See him play with his well-oiled quintet on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 7pm. $20-$70. 866.955.6040.

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