Cuba’s Chucho Valdes Wins 5th Grammy

By Circles Robinson

Chucho Valdes. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 14 — Cuba’s famed jazz pianist Chucho Valdes won his fifth Grammy Award on Sunday night in Los Angeles, California. Valdes and his band The Afro-Cuban Messengers competed in the Best Latin Jazz Album category with the CD Chucho’s Steps.

Valdes, 69, who organizes the annual Jazz Plaza festival in Havana, won out over Pablo Aslan (Tango Grill), Hector Martignon (Second Chance), Poncho Sancez (Psychedelic Blues), Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet (Bien Bien).

Chucho Valdes. Photo: Caridad

Chucho’s previous Grammy awards were in 1979 with the Irakere band and the album with that same name; in 1997 with Roy Hargrove’s Crisol and the album Habana;  in 2000 with the album Live at the Village Vanguard and in 2009 he won a Latin Grammy with the album Juntos para siempre, sharing the honors with his father Bebo Valdes.

Two other Cubans were nominated for Grammy Awards 2011 but did not win.  Alex Cuba in the Best Latin Pop Album category and Edesio Alejandro in the Best Tropical Latin Album.

For the full Grammy Awards list click on the official site.