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Though many of the best Cuban musicians have immigrated to the United States over the past couple decades, virtuoso pianist and bandleader Jesus Chucho Valdes has remained in Cuba. Whether that’s a political or musical stance, or just personal preference, Valdes has found plenty to do at home. Quite simply, he has become one of the most important pianists and leaders of his generation.

On his many major label releases over the last 15 years (and on hard-to-find labels for another 15 before then), his keyboard technique dances comfortably between classical, clave and jazz. On last year’s “New Conceptions,” one heard the influence of Claude Debussy alongside that of Miles Davis, both set to intense Afro-Cuban rhythms. On 2002’s “Fantasia Cubana,” he paid tribute to Frederic Chopin and Cuban maestro Ernesto Lacuona — all the while sounding like Oscar Peterson. These invigorating mixtures spring across preset musical patterns, but stay rooted in Latin tradition.

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