A two-concert celebration of Cuban Independence featuring Chucho Valdés’ new work “Musical Journeys of Cuban Independence” by Dranoff 2 Piano
During Dranoff 2 Piano’s performance and poetic writings at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on May 18th and 19, we will explore the evolution of Cuban music from independence from Spain and European music to the infusion of West African music that has become Afro-Cuban, which has brought us to contemporary compositions today. Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation’s “Musical Journeys of Cuban Independence” concerts will culminate in a beautiful and very meaningful new composition from jazz legend Chucho Valdés.
The Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Martin Bejerano will perform “Rhythms & Writings of Cuban Independence from Jose Marti to today” on May 18th with Cuban pianist Kemuel Roig, drummer Ignacio Berroa, and bassist Edward Perez: three generations of Cuban poets interpreting Cuba’s rhythms and writings from Jose Marti to today. A multimedia remembrance and celebration of the Cuban spirit and its art will feature music and language of independence, as well as the island’s artistic identity. In the pre-concert talk, renowned Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa will explain the great rhythms, songs, and dance standards of Cuba that created today’s Cuban Sound.
“New Music of Cuban Independence” celebrates 20 de Mayo with Chucho Valdés’ world premiere of his Suite Afrocubana to Lico Jimenez – the greatest living jazz pianist and performer today. Additionally, the band will perform some of Chucho Valdés’ most famous Cuban hits as well as original contemporary music with Martin Bejerano, Kemuel Roig at the pianos and Roxana Amed singing with bassist Edward Pérez and drummer Ludwig Alfonso.
The May 19th concert was followed by a VIP party with Chucho Valdés, artists, and fans. Cocktails and bites inspired by Cuban rum will be served.
Chucho Valdés will dedicate his Suite Afrocubana – Dranoff 2 Piano 2023 commission – to Black Cuban composer Jose Manuel Jimenez “Lico”Jimenez” who was an outstanding classical composer who influenced the top classical and jazz composers of the early 20th century including Cervantes and Lecuona. Lico Jimenez studied with Brahms, beat Debussy in Paris competitions, and worked with Franz Liszt for many years. Jimenez ultimately left Cuba permanently due to racial discrimination and violence and became Music Director of the Hamburg Conservatory and Orchestra in Germany. Starting with “Musical Journeys of Cuban Independence” Chucho plans to restore Jimenez to his rightful place of prominence in the classical canon and public performances.
Thursday, May 18th, 2023 at 8pm
“Rhythms & Writings of Cuban Independence from Jose Marti to Today”
Ignacio Berroa (Drums and Lecture), Martin Bejerano (Piano), Kemuel Roig (Piano),
Edward Pérez (Bass). Poets: Pablo Medina, Adrian Castro, Cheryl Fiffe.
Friday, May 19th, 2023 at 8:00 pm
“New Music of Cuban Independence” Chucho Valdés World Premiere
Martin Bejerano (Piano), Kemuel Roig (Piano), Roxana Amed (Vocals),
Edward Pérez (Bass), Ludwig Afonso (Drums)
Miami Dade County Auditorium Black Box Theater
2901 W. Flagler Street
$40 VIP Seating w/Reception; $30 General Admission; $5 Students
2-Day Ticket $70 VIP
For 37 years, the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation has been the world’s leading champion of exclusively two piano repertoires and artistry. Dranoff discovers, promotes, and awards honors to top professional duo piano artists through its competition, commissions, and presentations of duo piano concerts in Miami and prestigious concert venues in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Dranoff 2 Piano is one of the leading commissioners of top classical and Jazz composers today including John Corigliano, William Bolcom, Gabriela Lena Frank and 2023 world premiere of Chucho Valdés. The Dranoff promotes awareness in a new generation of students of the transformational power of music and the arts through its multi-disciplinary, educational, and inspirational concert program, PIANO SLAM.
About the Artists
Chucho Valdés is a Cuban pianist, composer, and bandleader. Jesús “Chucho” Valdés turned 82. It’s a milestone after which many would choose to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. At the beginning of the year Dranoff 2 Piano commissioned Chucho Valdés to compose a 2 piano and Jazz ensemble commission. In a career spanning more than 60 years, both as a solo artist and bandleader, Mr. Valdés has distilled elements of the Afro-Cuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock, and more, into a deeply personal style. Winner of seven GRAMMY® and six Latin GRAMMY® Awards, Mr. Valdés, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science last year and was also inducted in the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Martin Bejerano is an acclaimed pianist and composer and has performed/recorded with numerous jazz luminaries including his 20 year association with GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award-winning drummer Roy Haynes, Christian McBride Band, Dave Holland, Pat Metheny, Ignacio Berroa, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Dafnis Prieto, Roxana Amed, Brian Lynch,, Adam Nussbaum, John Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Strickland He is featured on over 25 recordings, including the GRAMMY nominated Fountain of Youth with the Roy Haynes Quartet, and Roxana Amed’s Latin GRAMMY nominated album Ontology. “Editor’s Choice was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY award. Currently, Martin heads the Jazz Piano Studio at the acclaimed Frost School of Music, University of Miami, is serving as Artistic Director for the world-renown Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation.
Kemuel Roig born in Havana Cuba studied both percussion and classical piano as a student at the Cuban National Vocational Art School in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, until relocating to the United States in 2002. At the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy he won both outstanding composition and piano solo from DownBeat Magazine’s Annual Student Competition with the MDC Hard Bop Jazz Ensemble. Roig has toured and recorded globally with musicians such as Arturo Sandoval, Al Di Meola, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ed Calle, Amaury Gutierrez, Aymee Nuviola and Isaac Delgado.
Ignacio Berroa has been recognized as one of the greatest drummers of our time. A leading innovator in the blending of Afro-Cuban and American jazz styles, his artful drumming has supported a wide spectrum of the very top names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Ignacio has led his own Grammy- nominated group for over 20 years and has performed at nearly all the major jazz festivals, concert halls, and clubs internationally. He has consistently been on the cutting edge of the jazz and Latin jazz scene for nearly 40 years and has been an integral influence on its shape and development. His incredible artistry on the drums has garnered critical praise across the world, with the L. A. Times writing, “Ignacio Berroa may be the strongest and most versatile drummer Gillespie hired.” Modern Drummer wrote, “Like a Cuban Roy Haynes, Ignacio’s drumming sizzles, sparks, and pops, easily flowing from Rumba to Swing. “He was included on the 2011 Blue Note Records Compilation CD, “Jazz Drumming Legends,” which features some of the most renowned drummers in jazz history. Jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie defined Ignacio as, “… the only Latin drummer in the world, in the history of American music, that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro–Cuban music as well as Jazz.