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Reviews Mihaela Barac

Welcome to a night full of elegant rhythms from Havana. All the way from Cuba, Jorge Luis Pacheco is a fiery young pianist and one of the leading pianists in the new generation of jazz in Cuba. Having performed all over the world from New York to Budapest and beyond at some of the most respected venues in the world – he is now finally in Tallinn. Winner of multiple awards around the world, Pacheco is an entertainer with electric energy on stage, emotionally profound and heartfelt shows. He is a virtuoso pianist, composer, arranger, percussionist and a singer of Cuban jazz, traditional Cuban and music inspired from South America and Afro Cuban heritage.

What started as a calm show with a cozy bass solo for the cover of Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club became a real party by the end. It was hard to resist dancing. Pecheco says he could do this all day – well then we, the public, could listen to him all day and more. Second piece played was of the pianist’s own creation – Con El Pache Me Voy. The combination of alternative, classic jazz with Cuban comes out as a dangerously flirty music. The relationship between the three performers on stage was a playful jam full of moments of improvisation. With quick escalations of rhythm Pacheco looked like fighting the piano. Fighting with a lover between screams of passion. Romantic and crazy. Then we had a lovely unusual surprise element in the cover song Silencio by Puerto Rican Rafael Hernandez, the virtuoso pianist proving his multiple talents – rapping the lyrics, and in Spanish, but as always keeping it romantic. Some songs like La Conga were written during the pandemic in Germany while missing homeland Cuba. The audience was also lucky enough to be participating in the vocals of this song. It is always an honor when artists include the audience. As a grand finale we enjoyed a love song dedicated to his little daughter Luana, a cover of Paolo Milanes’ song Yolanda. Pachecho said he often cries while performing this song, and it is damn hard not to indeed. Of course a small encore song was expected, a cover for the good old classic Guantanamera.

The pianist has a big love for improvisation, which is done with the help of his lyrical and poetical soul and the discipline of his deep classical training. It really is the music to one’s ears that makes the soul dance. The classic piano storm sound coupled with the Cuban musicality is a perfect cocktail for a Friday evening. And not to mention the soothing voice of Pacheco that hits softly during the performance. He adds so much intimacy with it and with his stories told – as if meeting an old friend. It was a great spiritual trip to Cuba.


Jorge Luis Pacheco Trio
April 28th at 6 pm, Vaba Lava

Jorge Luis Pacheco – piano, vocal
Yasser Pino – bass
Rodney Barretto – drums


Check out the concert gallery here.