Dionisio Jesús \”Chucho\” Valdés Rodríguez was born in a family of musicians in Havana, Cuba, and by the age of three already played at the piano, using both hands, in any key, melodies he heard on the radio. At 15 he formed his first jazz trio. In 1973, he formed Irakere, a small, Cuban-style big band that played an explosive mix of jazz, rock, classical music and traditional Cuban music, including Afro-Cuban religious music and instruments.The group went on to create an extraordinary body of work over the next 25 years, at which point Valdes started a parallel career as a solo player and quartet leader. In total, Chucho has won five Grammys and three Latin Grammys. His most recent production, Border-Free, is yet another expression of the continuing musical search and evolution of Chucho Valdés as a pianist, composer, arranger and director.