Cuban pianist Manuel Valera plays two Miami gigs
Cuban pianist Manuel Valera in Miami for two nights of high energy music.
8:30 p.m. Saturday, WDNA, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; $25, $15 WDNA members; 305-444-7889, wdna.org.
9 p.m. Sunday, Upstairs at the Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; $7 cover; 305-534-3600, thevandykecafe.com.
Cuban pianist Manuel Valera has dazzling technique, but what sets him apart is how smartly he blends his sources — from Afro-Cuban, Venezuelan and Brazilian to Ravel and Debussy, Bola de Nieve and NG La Banda but also Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Red Garland. The result is high-energy music that feels at once familiar and fresh. He has spoken about making complex music “that is simple to the ears.”
The son of saxophonist Manuel Valera, the pianist started out studying sax at Manuel Saumell Conservatory in Havana, switching to piano only after he came to the United States in 1994. He has recorded six albums including Melancolía (2004), in which he brought together his quintet and a string quartet; Vientos (2007), featuring his quartet and a wind ensemble, and his most recent, New Cuban Express.
Valera makes two appearances in Miami this weekend with the Cuban Express, an excellent group featuring Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums, Felipe Lamoglia on sax, Armando Gola on bass and Rene Toledo on guitar.
See and Do
- What to do with kids in Miami May 20-26
- Free and cheap things to do in Miami - May 17-19
- Ten Years of Cubalibre Block Party
- 'The Fox on the Fairway' at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables scores with laughs
- What to do with kids in Miami May 13-19
- Bill Cosby, at Hard Rock Sunday, talks about TV, racism and life
- ‘War Horse’ casts a simple yet powerful spell
- ‘Memphis’ cast shows vocal chops
- Create-A-Skate at the Museum of Discovery and Science
- 'War Horse' gallops into the South Florida this week