On 13 November, the Latin Recording Academy presented the special lifetime achievement awards in Las Vegas, USA, as part of the 19th Annual Latin Grammy week.
The Special Awards ceremony, recognizes performers who have had artistic careers of immeasurable influence and impact in Latin music.
This year, the lifetime achievement award was presented to 7 performers including Cuban jazz pianist, founder of Irakere, Chucho Valdes.
Valdes was the first artist to accept the honour presented by the president and ceo of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, and Cuban singer Omara Portuondo. During his speech, the 77-year-old Cuban pianist looked back to important moments in his life that led to his success. “I thought I was going to be feeding chickens at this age,” he said.
Chucho Valdés’ music career as a pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger spans more than five decades. In the ’70s he founded the group Irakere, which became one of the best-known Latin Jazz bands in the world.
Chucho, who is 76 years old, has received six Grammy and three Latin Grammy awards, among other distinctions, and is currently considered the most influential figure of Afro-Cuban Jazz.