Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


January 11, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.





Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 at 8 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 19, 2011 – Hailed as “the dean of Latin jazz” by The New York Times, this multi-Grammy Award winner has defined his genre and is known worldwide as one of Cuba’s greatest jazz artists. Legendary Latin jazz pianist Chucho Valdés and his band, The Afro-Cuban Messengers, visit George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 at 8 p.m. bringing a sublime evening of Latin jazz music. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Born in Quivicán, Cuba in 1941, Dionisio Jesús “Chucho” Valdés Rodríguez began his music education at home under the influence of his mother, Pilar Rodríguez, a singer and piano teacher, and his father, celebrated pianist and bandleader Bebo Valdés. At age 3, Valdés could play piano by ear, and began piano studies at age 5, which lasted until his teens, when he formed his first jazz trio. Throughout the late 1950s and the 1960s, Valdés gained experience performing professionally with ensembles throughout Havana, including the Sabor de Cuba Orchestra (directed by his father), the Havana Orchestra and the Cuban Modern Music Orchestra, which he led in the late 1960s. In 1970s, he made his debut at the Jamboree International Jazz Festival in Poland with his combo, which was the first Cuban group to appear in a jazz festival abroad. In 1973, Valdés founded the group Irakere, which quickly became known for its unique blending jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music – a sound that had never been heard before that revolutionized Latin music. Since the group’s inception, Valdés has recorded more than 80 albums, which have earned him five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. He has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl, and shared the stage with such jazz masters as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Chick Corea, and Branford and Wynton Marsalis. In 2009, he formed his band, the Afro-Cuban Messengers, and released his most recent album, “Chucho’s Steps,” in 2011, which earned Valdés his most recent Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. “Whether Chucho Valdés is performing a gentle ballad or a rousing foot-stomper, his joy is in playing and his love of the music always shines through.” (All About Jazz)

Accompanying Valdés onstage as part of The Afro-Cuban Messengers are his sister, vocalist Mayra Caridad Valdés; bassist Lázaro Rivero Alarcón; drummer Juan Carlos Rojas Castro; percussionist Yaroldy Abreu Robles; batá drummer and vocalist Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé; tenor saxophonist Carlos Manuel Miyares Hernandez; and trumpeter Reinaldo Melián Álvarez


WPFW 89.3 FM - Pacifica Radio is the media sponsor for Chucho Valdés

at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts.


Tickets for CHUCHO VALDÉS are $23, $38, $46. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.