Acclaimed Cuban Pianist Chucho Valdés to serve as Artist-in-Residence at the 2022 Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage
DETROIT – The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation proudly presents Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés,
the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz, as its Artist-in-Residence for the 2022 Detroit
Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage to be held back live in downtown Detroit.
As the 2022 Artist-in-Residence, Valdés will support Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation educational
initiatives for students and community engagement activities across the region throughout the year
in addition to leading multiple diverse performances during Labor Day Weekend. He will also
perform during the April 30 Preview Event to be held at the future home of the Gretchen C. Valade
Jazz Center on Wayne State University’s campus.
“Chucho Valdés’ selection as the 2022 Artist-in-Residence is an immediate reflection of our
ongoing international outreach initiatives, profoundly grown global audience during the pandemic,
and our ongoing commitment to present jazz artists and performances that showcase the diverse
tapestry of jazz including legendary artists and the next generation of jazz leaders,” said Chris
Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “His artistry at the
Festival, coupled with his monumental career and status as a worldwide leader in Afro-Cuban jazz
will make the perfect statement as we transition back into an in-person format with a new
Valdés is the winner of seven Grammy and three Latin Grammy Awards. He received a Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and was inducted in
the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, he has distilled elements of the AfroCuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock and more, into an organic, personal style that has both, a distinct style and substance.
As it turns out, Valdés is perhaps best known as the founder, pianist and main composer and
arranger of a landmark ensemble in Cuban music: Irakere (1973-2005). Not well known outside
Cuba, Irakere was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie, who was visiting Havana on a jazz cruise, in
1977. The following year, Bruce Lundvall, then president of CBS, went to Cuba on Dizzy’s advice,
heard the band live and signed it on the spot.
That original band featured future global jazz stars such as Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval,
but over its rich, long life, Irakere became a rolling university of Afro-Cuban music while also
featuring influential prominent Cuban musicians. Valdés stayed with Irakere until 2005.
The Detroit Jazz Festival will be held in downtown Detroit on Sept. 2 – 5.
“There is no better place in the world for jazz than Labor Day weekend in Detroit,” said Gretchen
Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. “We’re truly excited for
another great jazz festival and welcome our guests from around the world to our beautiful city.”
About the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation
\Under the leadership of President and Artistic Director Chris Collins, the Detroit Jazz Festival
Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational
workshops throughout the year. The Foundation produces the Detroit Jazz Festival, which is the
signature event for the Foundation and the largest free jazz festival in the world. The Festival is
also a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 26 percent of its audience coming from
out of state. For more information, visit detroitjazzfest.org.
The Foundation receives grant funding from the Kresge Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb
Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural
Affairs, Arts Midwest, D’Addario Foundation and Carolyn Wanzo and the Purify Wanzo CTAA
Endowment at Wayne State University. Hundreds of individuals also contribute to the Festival
through membership and donations.
Major corporate partners include Rocket Mortgage, Carhartt, Absopure, DTE Foundation and J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co.
Media partners include Fox 2 Detroit, WJR Newstalk 760 AM, WEMU-FM, DownBeat, JazzTimes,
WDET-FM 101.9, WRCJ 90.9 FM, Channel 22, city of Detroit’s new arts and entertainment
channel; and Detroit Public Television.
For more information, visit:
Website – www.detroitjazzfest.org
Facebook — @DetroitJazzFestival
Twitter — @DetroitJazzFest
Instagram — @DetroitJazzFest
Click here to view the press release announcing acclaimed Cuban Pianist Chucho Valdés as the 2022 Artist-in-Residence.