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Manuel Valera's New Cuban Express In Concert

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Manuel Valera's New Cuban Express: Live At 92Y Tribeca

March 28, 2012He stands in a long line of virtuoso Cuban-born musicians based in New York, but has yet to address the music of his childhood with his own band. In a live performance, the pianist hears the island's percussive sweep as modern, electrified jazz.

Manuel Valera stands in a long line of virtuoso Cuban-born musicians based in New York. As a pianist, he's established himself as a versatile first-call musician; as a bandleader, he's often found new connections between pan-Latin rhythms and modern jazz styles. His New Cuban Express band, a sextet heavy on rhythm and percussion, is his first to specifically address Cuban music. The group's new album comes out on Valera's own label later this year.

In a bill which paired two different visions of Latin jazz in the 21st century, Valera opened for Alexis Cuadrado's A Lorca Soundscape project at 92Y Tribeca in downtown New York City Wednesday night. The shows were broadcast on air via WBGO and in an online video webcast at NPR Music. For more information about this series and a full concert archive, visit

Set List

All compositions by Manuel Valera unless otherwise indicated.

  • "New Cuban Express No. 89"
  • "Upwards"
  • "Me Faltabas Tú" (J.A. Mendez)
  • "Choices"
  • "Open Window"
  • "Poly"
  • Manuel Valera, piano/keyboards
  • Yosvany Terry, saxophone
  • Tom Guarna, guitar
  • John Benitez, bass
  • Eric Doob, drums
  • Mauricio Herrera, percussion

Producer and Host: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes. Recorded March 28, 2012 at 92Y Tribeca in New York, N.Y.

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