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Sat, Mar 25


Frederiksted Promenade

USVI Caribbean Music Festival: Chucho Valdes

Get carried away by the blend of Afro-Cuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock, and more that's uniquely Chucho Valdes.

USVI Caribbean Music Festival: Chucho Valdes
USVI Caribbean Music Festival: Chucho Valdes

Time & Location

Mar 25, 2023, 6:30 PM – Mar 26, 2023, 11:30 PM

Frederiksted Promenade, Frederiksted, St Croix 00840, USVI

About the event

High Energy. Cool Vibes.

Chucho Valdes

w/ Special Guests Terrence Blanchard & Joe Lovano

  • Opening Act: VI Jazz Collective
  • Closing Act: The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with Gabriela Cavassa

For the second installation of the Caribbean Music Festival series, Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger Chucho Valdés takes the stage. Tonight's event welcomes Terrence Blanchard and Joe Lovano as special guests. Dion Parson and the VI Jazz Collective set the atmosphere for the evening while The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with Gabriela Cavassa round out the experience.


Caribbean Music Festival

The U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Tourism is proud to announce the launch of the USVI Caribbean Music Festival on the island of St. Croix with outstanding programming curated by United Jazz Foundation in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center. The festival is free to the public and will take place over several weekends with a line-up of headliners that reads like the Who's Who of Jazz.

This event:

Saturday, March 25: Chucho Valdes

Other Events:

Friday, February 17: Dianne Reeves

Saturday, May 27: Jon Faddis

We're excited about this series of USVI Caribbean Music Festival events and can't wait to see you there.

Learn more:

Our gratitude to the V.I. Lottery for stepping in as a premier sponsor!


About Tonight's Artists

Chucho Valdes, Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger, is one of the most influential figures in modern Afro-Cuban jazz with a career spanning more than 60 years, both as a solo artist and bandleader. Born in Quivican in 1941, Valdes is the son of the similarly influential Cuban bandleader Bebo Valdes from whom Chucho first received piano lessons. Inspired by such jazz pianists as Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk, Chucho distilled elements of the Afro-Cuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock, and more, into a deeply personal style. In 1970, Valdes and his combo became the first Cuban jazz group to perform abroad after appearing at the Jazz Jamboree International Jazz Festival in Poland. Winner of seven GRAMMY® and five Latin GRAMMY® Awards, he has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science and was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Terence Blanchard, Oscar nominee, six-time GRAMMY®-winner and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer, has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present. He is unique in the jazz world as an artist whose creative endeavors go far beyond the genre into film scoring, crafting television series soundscapes and conceiving grand operas that have been recognized at the highest levels of art appreciation. In addition, Blanchard has been at the forefront of giving voice in his works to socio cultural issues and racial injustices of our time. “Like anybody else, I like to play feel-good party music, but sometimes my music is about the reality of where we are,” says Blanchard who today lives in Los Angeles as well as in his native New Orleans. “I’m just trying to speak the truth.”

Joe Lovano, GRAMMY®-winning saxophonist, composer, and producer, is fearless in finding new modes of artistic expression. With a GRAMMY® win for his 52nd Street Themes and fourteen other nominations, he has won DownBeat Magazine’s Critics and Readers Polls countless times as Tenor Saxophonist, Musician of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year and Triple Crowns. He has also received numerous awards from Jazz Times and the Jazz Journalists’ Association for Tenor Saxophone, Album of the Year and Musician of the Year. Lovano has performed and recorded with a long list of jazz greats including Woody Herman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Mel Lewis, Bob Brookmeyer, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tony Bennett, Abbey Lincoln, Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Gunther Schuller, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Ed Blackwell, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Hank Jones, Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas, Judi Silvano, Ravi Coltrane, Chucho Valdés, Ornette Coleman, Diana Krall, and many others. Joe has created an extensive body of work for his own ensembles including strings, woodwinds, his horn-rich Nonet, the Classic Quartet, Trio Tapestry, and more.

Gabrielle Cavassa is a New Orleans-based, California-born, vocalist-composer of Italian descent who continues to garner attention for her distinctive voice and intimate expression. In 2021, Cavassa was crowned co-winner of the 2021 International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition, joining the ranks of previous winners such as Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, and Samara Joy. Cavassa became acquainted with the music at a young age, when she began collecting, cataloguing and “obsessively listening” to records. Her expression reflects influences ranging from Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse to Frank Ocean and Italian opera. As a songwriter, she confronts challenging topics as though she’s sharing stark, intimate diary entries with the world.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra was formed in 2002 and was designed to celebrate and fortify the American Jazz portfolio while providing infrastructure for developing the New Orleans Jazz Industry. Led by Artistic Director Adonis Rose, this 20-piece big band has an ever-increasing repertoire that exemplifies the influence of Jazz as the grandfather of all modern American music. NOJO has headlined all of America’s major performing arts venues and clubs and produced the first local, ticketed Jazz Concert Series in the history of New Orleans.

The VI Jazz Collective is an ensemble of young musicians showcasing the musical cultural heritage of the US Virgin Islands and their forefathers within the harmonic structure of jazz. As alumni of United Jazz Foundation's VI Youth Ensemble (VIYE), a performance-based music education program directed by educator and composer Dion Parson, many of these locally born artists have performed at the Mark Livingston Music Festival, St. Thomas and other venues on the US Virgin Islands; the prestigious Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center (NYC); the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NYC); the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC); Waterville Brewer Company (Maine), and more. Under the Direction of Mr. Dion Parson, the VI Jazz Collective includes:

Keshawn Hardy, Trumpet ● Sherwin Williams, Saxophone ● Jairay Petty, Piano ● Uriel Rogers, Bass ● Joshua Farrell, Drums ● Eljhaie Brathwaite, Steel Pan ● Howard Peters, Vibes

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