Jorge Chicoy

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J. Chicoy was born in La Habana, Cuba, on July 28th, 1955. He began playing guitar at the age of 10, studying with various teachers in Cuba. At the age of 16 he began to play with local rock and blues groups, soon joining a professional group called “Los Barbas,” which was very popular in the 1970s in Cuba. At the same time he was also accepted into la Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte, where he studied for 4 years. Later he joined another band called “Los 3 + 1,” which specialized in Brazilian and Cuban music. Two years later he joined the famous quintet of Felipe Dulzaides, with whom he worked for four years, playing the standard Jazz repertoire.
In 1985 he joined the band of the famous Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, with whom he worked for 6 years. As a part of this band, he played in the most important Jazz festivals in the world, and shared the stage with music legends such as Michel Legrand, Dizzy Gillespie, John Fadis, Joe Pass, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Pucho López, among others. He recorded 6 albums with companies from England, Holland, Germany and the United States. He was constantly playing in prestigious Jazz Clubs such as Ronnie Scott (London), New Morning (Paris), Show Case (Chicago), Quasimodo (Berlin) and others. During this period he also worked with the Saxophone Quintet directed by Manuel Valera and Guillermo Barreto.
In 1990 he played with the United Nations Orchestra, directed at that time by the famous trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, in a concert in La Habana.
In 1992 the pianist Hilario Durán formed the band Perspectiva, and Chicoy joined the group as a guitarist and composer. In one of his last tours with the band Perspectiva he led conferences in the Cathedral of Jazz Guitar at the Rotterdam International Conservatory, and also at the Festival Jazz Plaza in La Habana.
In 1997 he began working with renowned Cuban piano player Chucho Valdes and his group Irakere, playing in international Jazz festivals throughout Europe and the United States. In 1998 he played on the CD “Cantante a Babalu Aye” with Chucho Valdes, Lazaro Ros and Irakere, and the album was nominated for a Grammy.
In 2004 he won an award for “Best Jazz Recording of the Year 2004” in the East Coast Music Awards in Canada for his work with saxophonist Jeff Goodspeed and their band Havanafax.
In 2005 and 2006 he continued working with Omara Portuondo touring the world. Chicoy was invited to participate in the International Festival of Guitar in Costa Rica. He was a member of the CD Rhythms of the World, which included artists such as Ibrahim Ferrer, Sting, Cold Play, U2, Arctic Monkeys, Keiser Chiefs and Jack Johnson.
In 2007 he recorded a CD with Omara Portuondo “Gracias,” which won a Latin Grammy for best tropical music album in 2009.
He recorded the second Rhythms of the World CD in 2008.
Chicoy has taught classes at the Acadia Jazz University in Nova Scotia, Canada, has led classes at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, has played at the Gourmet Jazz Fest in Saint Martin with Orlando Sanchez and Ernan Lopez-Nussa, and was a member of the Cuban artistic delegation in the international festival in Qatar.

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