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Renowned pianist ‘Nachito’ Herrera to perform first concert since recovering from COVID

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MINNEAPOLIS (UKTN) – Music is good for the soul. It was also good for the body in the case of a world famous Latin jazz musician.

“Music has been my best therapy during this whole process,” said Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera, who lives in White Bear Lake.

During Herrera’s long battle with COVID-19 last year, he was intubated and in a coma. Doctors did not know if he would succeed.

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“I just went from health to slaughter,” he said. “I do not remember anything.”

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But he woke up and remembers the first time he tried to play the piano again.

“Not being able to play even a lullaby tune, not having synchronization between my left hand and my right hand,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Wow’.”

READ MORE: Jazz pianist Nachito Herrera uses music to heal after COVID-19 fight

A year later, the Cuban native plays again, and he has recovered well.

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“I’m absolutely sure Minnesota saved my life,” he said. “We have the most amazing hospital and medical teams here.”

The musician has traveled the world for his jazz piano music, but he was a regular at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis. A year after his hospitalization, he will play again for the Dakota in a show that airs online Wednesday night.

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It might not be long before Herrera plays it in person again. The club founder said he hoped to see the return of live performances in late spring, or “as soon as it’s safe” to bring back performers, their staff and an audience.

Herrera, who received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine this month, can’t wait.

“Dakota is part of my therapy,” he says. “It’s my house.”

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