"I always tried to take elements from North American jazz to give a richer quality to Afro-Cuban music. I felt that if I had just played pure jazz, I would have never been able to sound like Art Tatum, Bud Powell, or Hank Jones. So instead I took elements from these artists and tried to harmonically use jazz phrasing with Cuban rhythms as a way to enrich Cuban music. That's what I still do today. I have a tremendous respect for the genre of jazz."
The Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés combines formidable technique with power, spinning out lightning fast melodic lines simultaneously with each hand. In this interview recorded in October 2010, Valdés talks about growing up in Cuba the son of famed bandleader Bebo Valdés, and about the historic visit of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to Havana.