Illinois State University faculty acted as a gateway for the local community to discover and experience Cuchito Valdes.  Valdes, the grandson of Bebo Valdes, a renowned jazz musician, will come to Bloomington-Normal as part of events marked for this year’s Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, Director of the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program Maura Toro-Morn will provide translation for Valdes at a 6:30 p.m. question-and-answer session at the Normal Theater.

Assistant Professor of Spanish Juliet Lynd will help translate activities for a performance by Valdes at Bloomington Center for Performing Arts on Friday, Sept. 20. The evening will begin at 6:15 p.m. with an educational session on jazz and the nature of Latin and Cuban jazz, by University of Illinois’ Thomas Wirtel, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at

Also during the week, Associate Professor of Spanish James Pancrazio provided translation for Valdes at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, for a radio interview on WGLT.