Press Release

September 23, 2015

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts also rolls out the red carpet for its milestone 40th anniversary!

Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40

Friday, October 23, 2015, 8 p.m.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40 on Friday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m.

Tickets start at $39 and are available through or 480-499-TKTS (8587).

The Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40 tour is a celebration of the Cuban band Irakere, which revolutionized Latin dance music and jazz more than 40 years ago with its bold fusion of Afro-Cuban ritual and popular music, jazz and rock. It features the five-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy-winning pianist, composer and bandleader Jesus “Chucho” Valdes, who was Irakere’s founder, main composer and arranger. Joining Chucho onstage is an expanded 10-piece version of his current band, The Afro-Cuban Messengers, representing a new generation of the best Cuban musicians.

Leading The Afro-Cuban Messengers in this extraordinary tribute to the music of Irakere, Chucho offers a vivid retrospective of his work during the past four decades. It is also a wide-angle view of the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz, with updated classics from Irakere´s repertoire as well as some of Chucho’s newer compositions.

This special performance, which includes a red-carpet welcome for the audience, also commemorates the 40th anniversary of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, which opened to the public on Oct. 23, 1975.

“When we had the opportunity to present this concert celebrating four decades of groundbreaking music from Chucho Valdes and Irakere, we knew it would also be the perfect way to recognize the Center’s 40-year history showcasing the world’s most innovative performing artists,” remarked Ally Haynes-Hamblen, interim director of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. “We invite everyone to join us for this incredible concert and cultural milestone for Scottsdale.”

First performing together in Cuba in 1973, Chucho and Irakere burst onto the global stage in 1978 at a Newport Jazz Festival engagement at Carnegie Hall. A few months later, an album simply titled Irakereand including tracks drawn from the Carnegie Hall debut and a later show at the Montreux Jazz Festival, won the Grammy for “Best Latin Recording.”

One of Irakere’s remarkable characteristics was that the group followed and maintained two parallel musical tracks: jazz experimentation and dance music hits. Their shows, especially in Cuba, often featured a first part focused on jazz and a second half dedicated to dancers.

Irakere remained active until 2005. Several of the group’s charter members, most notably saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, have gone on to become leading music figures in their own right. In fact, emulating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Irakere served as a rolling graduate school of Afro-Cuban jazz.

In conjunction with the U.S. tour, Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40 will be releasing Live at Marciac (Jazz Village/harmonia mundi) on Nov. 13.

Celebrating 40 years of inspiration, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ 2015–16 season is sponsored by InEight.

Since opening in 1975, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has provided a stage for a wide range of voices and perspectives, creating shared, inspiring experiences for the community that celebrate artistic excellence and cultural awareness. Today one of the premier performing-arts halls in the western United States, the Center presents a diverse season of dance, music, theater, comedy and film from around the world. More than 1,000 indoor and outdoor performances, educational programs, festivals and other events are presented and hosted by the Center annually, serving approximately 250,000 participants. The Center’s education and outreach programs reach 25,000 students and adults each year. Events take place in the state-of-the-art, 853-seat Virginia G. Piper Theater, recognized for its intimacy, acoustics and comfort, as well as the 137-seat Stage 2 and neighboring 1,800-capacity Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located on Scottsdale Civic Center Park, a 21-acre urban oasis next to the city’s Old Town and gallery districts.

The nonprofit Scottsdale Cultural Council is contracted by the City of Scottsdale, Ariz., to manage Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located at 7380 E. Second St. in downtown Scottsdale. Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wells Fargo Avenue. Additional free parking is available at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue and at the Civic Center Library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers performance accommodations to enhance audience members’ experience, including: American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or live audio description with two weeks advance notice. Assistive-listening devices and wheelchair seating are also available. Visit or contact the Patron Services Box Office at 480-499-TKTS (8587) [TDD: 480-874-4694] for further details. Please inquire about services when ordering tickets.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers a variety of ticket discounts for members at the Duet level and above, groups of 10 or more and those purchasing packages to four or more events in one order. Through the generous support of Tiffany & Bosco, P.A. and Great American Title Agency, Inc., the Center provides free tickets to selected events for eligible students, teachers and active-duty military and veterans, and 50-percent off tickets to selected events for patrons 29 and under. Visit or call 480-499-TKTS (8587) for more information.

The award-winning Store at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts supports the mission and diverse programs of the nonprofit Scottsdale Cultural Council. The Store’s unique selection of merchandise includes artist-made jewelry, stylish furnishings for home and office, unique creations by Arizona artists, fair-trade and upcycled/recycled global crafts, music, books, greeting cards and imaginative toys. Purchases are tax-free, and members receive a 10-percent discount. Gift-wrapping and shipping are also available. The Store is open seven days a week: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; and throughout most evening events. Phone: 480-874-4644.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts7380 E. Second St.Scottsdale, AZ 85251Member and Patron Services Box Office: 480-499-TKTS (8587)TDD: 480-874-4694Web:
Email: [email protected]Fax: 480-874-4682