Omara Portuondo & Chucho Valdés
Cuban jazz titans with a history
By: Dan Grunebaum | Apr 24, 2012 | Issue: 944 | No Comments | 884 views

Courtesy of Blue Note Tokyo

Cuban jazz titans Omara Portuondo and Chucho Valdés go back so far, Portuondo was a ballerina under the baton of Valdés’s father. A collective century of musical experience belies the freshness of their 2011 album Omara & Chucho. The silver-toned Portuondo is the voice of the Buena Vista Social Club and, at 81, plays sempai to 70-year-old, piano-playing kohai Valdés. Legend has it Valdés hit on Portuondo when she was a ballerina in his dad’s Tropicana revue. She rebuffed him—but a lifelong friendship was created.

Blue Note Tokyo, April 30-May 5 (listing).

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