Jazz superstars Chucho Valdés and Joe Lovano, who have shared the legendary Blue Note Records label, are joining forces to form the Chuco Valdés – Joe Lovano Quintent. The group will play at the Rialto Center for the Arts on November 13.
“These are both world-class musicians and highly creative composers. I can’t imagine that we won’t see something innovative on stage,” says Gordon Vernick, associate professor of music and coordinator of jazz studies at Georgia State University. Vernick, who has played trumpet and taught with Lovano, says he comes from the era when great tenor saxophonists each had their own distinct sounds. “You can recognize Lovano’s tone in two notes,” he says. Lovano first appeared on Blue Note in 1985 and has cut more albums for the label than anyone else. He has garnered ample recognition, including earning eight Grammy nominations and winning one in 2000 for “52nd Street Themes.”
Cuban-born pianist Chucho Valdés has been a driving force in the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz for 50 years. The five-time Grammy winner is known for taking traditional Cuban songs and weaving in elements of folk, jazz and classical music to create his own unique fusion.
Vernick expects a balanced concert comprising new pieces and audience favorites. “Whatever they play, it will be fabulous,” he says.