When Chucho Valdés comes to Marseille is to deliver an exceptional concert of over two hours. A few piano keys are enough to understand the great talent of the cuban musician. Surrounded by his percussionist, he plays the songs from his latest album Jazz Bata 2 , released in November 2018 and declines on the stage. It reintroduces a band that he had created in 1972, a jazz trio accompanied by batà, drum, cuban, two months after its move to the Philharmonie de Paris and at the heart of its tour of summer festivals.

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Very quickly, the musician is joined by a first guest, Cuban and Swiss Yilian Canizares, and his violin. Later, it is the saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who takes the stage at his side for duets out of time. The concert continues with a tribute lonely Chucho to his friend Michel Legrand, who disappeared last January. A medley poignant of the Mills of my heart and young girls of Rochefort , that leaves the assembly moved.

“Besame Chucho”

It was then that the dean of the cuban music scene with all the pink clothed. Omara Portuondo, 88-year-old singer of the collective Buena Vista Social Club, continues to Marseille his farewell world tour Ultimo Beso . Without embellishment, she puts his voice on the notes of the cuban pianist to the standards of cuban music, such as Besame mucho that the musician, transformed for the occasion into “Besame Chucho”.

Master of the situation until the end, Chucho Valdés returns to the live stage after the callback, and as the president of the festival, Hughes Kieffer gives a speech in his honor for a few tunes on the piano. On the side of the stage the violinist Yilian Canizares dance to the tunes of his compatriot. A conclusion in class and finesse to the height of the master.

Legend among legends, Chucho Valdés was replaced Friday with John Zorn and his troupe of musicians for the Trifles Marathon . Saturday, for the last evening, the conclusion was feminine with the first part of Fiona Monbet and his Contraband and the diva Melody Gardot, who closed the festival in marseille.

” READ ALSO – John Zorn: “The music is a challenge”