Chucho Valdés performing “Caridad Amaro,” a tribute to his beloved, and very influential, grandmother, at the Victoires du Jazz Festival 2010.
Cuban pianist, composer, and bandleader Chucho Valdés will offer a solo mini-concert from his home in South Florida tomorrow, Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. EST.
It will be his fourth free online concert.
“Some people have asked me why I do this because, after all, I’m not getting paid. And I tell them that what happens in these concerts is for me more valuable than money,” said Valdés in a phone conversation earlier this afternoon. “The comments I get, the beautiful responses, the gratitude, it’s all so stimulating. No money can buy that.”
The repertoire on these performances is never pre-planned.
“Sometimes when I’m at the piano I remember something I like or something I haven’t played in a while and then, I talk about it,” he explained. “I prefer doing it this way: it’s organic, free.”
As for the experience of inviting the world to his home to hear him play, “it’s different,” he said. “It’s not the first time I do something like this and still, it’s an incredible feeling. I just got a call from Clarín [a newspaper in Argentina] and I reminded them that in 2003 I played two concerts at Teatro Colón [in Buenos Aires]. One was a solo piano concert, the other with a symphony orchestra, and in total, 5,000 people were there. Great. But the first online concert [on March 17] was seen by 250,000 people. It’s a global concert, and you get the feeling that you are reaching out well beyond your regular audience.”
Besides, “I enjoy a lot playing at home,” he said. “And here I’m playing for myself, doing what I want to do, but at the same time, I’m sharing it with so many people who are, like me, locked-in in their homes. Maybe this will bring them some calm, some reassurance.”
“This virus doesn’t differentiate. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, white or black, and it doesn’t care about where you are. It’s time to realize we are all one people and we need to come together.”