A world-famous Minnesota musician is making his return to the stage Wednesday night after nearly losing his life to COVID-19, reports Kate Raddatz (2:15). WCCO 4 News At 5 - March 31, 2021
- A world-famous Minnesotan musician is making his return to the stage tonight after nearly losing his life to COVID-19. We first did a story on Nachito Herrera in April of last year. He was in a Minnesota ICU for more than two weeks and was out of work for months while concert venues were shut down. Kate Raddatz shares how the Latin jazz pianist is making a special return to an iconic club.
KATE RADDATZ: Music is good for the soul, and it was good for the body for this musician.
NACHITO HERRERA: Music has been kind of like my best therapy during this whole entire process.
KATE RADDATZ: During Ignacio "Nachito" Herrera's weeks-long battle with COVID, he was intubated and in a coma. Doctors didn't know if he would make it.
NACHITO HERRERA: I just went from, like, to be completely healthy and then to shut down, boom. I said, no, I can't remember anything.
KATE RADDATZ: And he did wake up and does remember the first time he tried to play piano.
NACHITO HERRERA: Not to be able to play even a lullaby tune, not to be able to even have any kind of synchronization in between my left and right hand. I said, wow.
KATE RADDATZ: A year later, the Cuban native is playing again and fully recovered.
NACHITO HERRERA: I'm completely sure Minnesota saved my life. You know, we have the most wonderful hospital and medical teams here.
KATE RADDATZ: Herrera has traveled the world for his jazz music, but he was a regular at the Dakota jazz club. Now a year after being hospitalized, he'll play again for the Dakota in a show streamed online.
And it may not be long before Herrera plays there in person again. The club's founders saying they're hopeful for the return of live shows in late spring.
LOWELL PICKETT: As soon as it is safe to bring artists and our staff and you back together for shows at the Dakota, we'll do it.
KATE RADDATZ: Herrera, who got his first COVID-19 vaccine dose this month, can't wait.
NACHITO HERRERA: And the Dakota, it is definitely part of my therapy, definitely. You know, the Dakota stage, it is my home.
KATE RADDATZ: Kate Raddatz, WCCO 4 News.
- The concert will stream in a little bit at 7:00 tonight, and we have ticket information at wcco.com/links.