Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center Features Grammy-Nominated Jazz Piano Virtuoso Jesus “Chuchito” Valdés


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., is pleased to announce the next Jewel Box Concert at the Thomas Center Sunday, Nov. 23. The concert features the world-renowned pianist, composer and arranger Jesus “Chuchito” Valdés. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door.

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, pianist, composer and arranger Chuchito Valdés is the third-generation manifestation of a Cuban jazz piano dynasty that includes his father, Chucho Valdés, and grandfather, Bebo Valdés.

Chuchito Valdés has also performed at festivals, clubs and concerts around the globe, from Cuba and the Caribbean to North America, South America and Europe. Valdés is recognized as a master of Cuban music genres, including son, danzón, Cuban Timba and guaguancó.

His 2007 album “Keys of Latin Jazz” was nominated for a Latin Grammy, followed by his 2009 release “Cuban Dreams,” which was also nominated for a Latin Grammy. In 2010, he received a Grammy nomination for “Viva El Sonido Cubano New York is Now” and, in 2012, additional nominations for “Chuchito Valdés Live in Chicago” and for “Chuchito Valdés Piano Charango.” In 2013, he garnered two more Latin Grammy nominations for “Grand Piano Live Piano” and “Carnaval en Piano Charango.”

Chuchito Valdés currently resides in Cancun, Mexico.

An image of Valdés can be viewed at, and his website can be found at

The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are a new series of multi-genre musical events staged in the historic Thomas Center’s Spanish Court. They will feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass, with special holiday shows and surprise guests.

The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

The Thomas Center Galleries are located at 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, interim cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532, or contact Joseph Saccocci, vice president Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., at or 352-373-5514.