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Acclaimed Twin Cities jazz player Nachito Herrera taken off ventilator

The piano virtuoso is out of ICU.
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Beloved Minnesota jazz musician Nachito Herrera is making improvements in his recovery from the coronavirus.

It was announced that the piano virtuoso had been diagnosed with COVID-19 towards the end of March, with the Dakota Jazz Club describing him as "very ill."

It later emerged that he was in the intensive care unit at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, but over the weekend his daughter provided a positive update, noting that her father is off the ventilator.

"It's been a day full of emotions. My dad is stable, finally breathing for himself just a little oxygen," Mirdalys Herrera Tweeton wrote. 

"After two long weeks, we can hope his return home is just a matter of time. God in his mercy has given us a miracle of Easter. The University of Minnesota Medical Center team will always have my thanks and thanks from all my family. A thousand thanks to all of you for continuing to pray and fight alongside us."

Herrera, a pianist in his mid-50s who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and now lives in the Twin Cities, 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.

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.

There are currently 157 people in Minnesota hospitalized from COVID-19, of whom 74 are in the ICU.

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