What We Do

Program Notes

Chucho Valdés, Pedrito Martínez & Wynton Marsalis (Jazz at Lincoln Center)

The geographic distance between New Orleans and Havana can be measured in miles. Musically, talk of distances can be deceiving.

Cuban pianist and composer Jesus “Chucho” Valdés (pictured) likes to illustrate the point with an elegant sleight of hand; he begins by playing Scott Joplin’s classic “The Entertainer” as ragtime, and then subtly, imperceptibly at first, he gives the music a Caribbean lilt.
“If you change a rhythmic cell, it’s a danzón,” says Valdés. “Music is like a language: you change a comma, and it means something else. Here, you change an accent, and you are no longer in New Orleans; you are in Havana. ”

Old Sounds, New Voices Ana Moura and Buika (Carnegie Hall)

Singers Ana Moura, from Portugal, and Buika, from Spain, are two of the most distinctive voices in world pop. Each has taken an indigenous, popular genre—fado in the case of Moura, copla for Buika—mastered it, imprinted it with her own style, and used it as a point of departure for other explorations.

Familia Habichuela: Legendary Dynasties (The Town Hall)

Flamenco guitarist Pepe Habichuela, 73, is the rarest kind of master. Yes, he’s an invaluable link to the history and deepest traditions in the music, but he´s also a seemingly fearless experimenter and a champion of the younger musicians following on his steps. [...]

Born José Antonio Carmona Carmona in Granada, Andalucía, Spain, Pepe Habichuela (the nickname, Habichuela, green bean, is a family mark that has been passed on down from his grandfather) is the patriarch of one of the most influential Gypsy dynasties in flamenco.