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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 2, 2012

Hancher to present Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers on Feb. 10

Grammy Award-winning jazz artist Chucho Valdés is one of the most influential Latin jazz musicians performing today. The University of Iowa's Hancher will present Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Englert Theatre.

Valdés has won eight Grammy Awards, three Latin Grammy Awards, has been awarded three honorary doctorates, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of Latin Jazz in Los Angeles, and has been dubbed "the dean of Latin jazz" by the New York Times.

Both of his parents were musicians -- his father, Bebo, was an important figure in Cuban music and at the famed Tropicana Club -- and by age 3 he was already playing piano. Valdés began formally training on the piano at age 5 and finished his musical studies at age 14 at the Municipal Music Conservatory in Havana, Cuba. At age 15, he formed his first jazz trio and continued his career as a professional musician with several groups and orchestras around Cuba.

In 1970, he attended the International Jazz Festival in Poland and was named among the top five pianists along with Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. In 1973, he formed the group Irakere, which is among the most important groups in the history of Cuban music because of the band's innovative approach to traditional Latin jazz.

While this is Valdés' first Hancher performance, he has performed several times in the United States, as well as in Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America. He has won several international awards for his performances abroad.

Tickets are $37-$32 for nonstudents, college student $33.30-$10, senior citizens $33.30-$28.80, and youth $18.50-$16 – available from the Hancher Box Office. The Hancher Box Office, located on the first floor of the south end of the Old Capitol Mall near the parking ramp, is open for phone (319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER) or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at the Englert Theatre.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University News Services, 319-384-0037,