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Acclaimed Twin Cities piano virtuoso in hospital with coronavirus

The Dakota jazz club says Nachito Herrera is "very ill."

A beloved Minnesota jazz musician has been hospitalized after falling ill with coronavirus. 

Ignacio "Nachito" Herrera, a pianist who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and now lives in the Twin Cities, is said to be "very ill," according to a Saturday Facebook post from the Dakota jazz club:

The announcement comes the day Herrera was due to perform at the popular venue, which like other establishments has been temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic.

According to the Dakota, Herrera "is acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest Cuban pianists," blending classical and jazz elements with the musical traditions of his home country. 

He has played with a number of prestigious orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Youth Symphony, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Cuban National Symphony and others, Herrera's website says. 

The Star Tribune notes that he's "a hero in his native Cuba," and won the American Heritage Award in 2014, making him the first Latin musician to do so since Carlos Santana. 

Herrera is in his mid-50s, the paper says. 

The video below, from a 2018 TEDx talk, shows his unique blend of influences as well as his expansive and energetic style on the keys:

As of Saturday, Minnesota has 441 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with five people having died of the virus in the state so far.

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