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Artist Profile: Alejandro Falcón

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Alejandro Falcón

EDUCATION

Alejandro Falcón began his piano studies at the Matanzas School of Music [Escuela de Superación de Música de Matanzas] between 1996-1999. In 2000 he continued his studies at the National School of Music. In 2004 he obtained admission to the Higher Institute of Art [Instituto Superior de Arte – ISA] in Havana, where he graduated in Composition in 2008.

Falcón is one of the best Cuban pianists and composers of his generation. He is already considered a promise of Cuban music and a worthy replacement for his predecessors, such as Bebo and Chucho Valdés, Emiliano Salvador and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, among many other great Cuban musicians.

In his music he inserts multiple elements of Cuban and Latin American music, mainly danzón, son and Afro-Cuban touches, fused with jazz, under an unmistakable style. He possesses high-end interpretive versatility, and skillfully tackles different genres of Cuban popular music, jazz, and concert music.

He has integrated various popular music groups in Cuba with which he has toured many countries around the world and has participated in more than 100 recordingss indistinctly as a pianist, arranger and music producer. In his work is frequent the presence of the danzón, a popular genre that emerged in Matanzas in the 19th century, which is the national dance of Cuba, and which is revitalized in its jazz language.

In 2008 Falcón created his own group: Alejandro Falcón and Cubadentro, with the format of a jazz quartet made up of piano, bass, drums and sometimes tumbadoras. From this moment he began his career as a professional, in which he has done work both as a soloist and with his quartet.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

As a pianist member of different bands:

  • 2003 – Winter Festival London and Oslo World Music Festival
  • 2004 – Latinoamericando Milan
  • 2005 – Jazz in Marciac, France
  • 2005 – Barranquijazz, Colombia and the Cervantino Festival, Mexico [33 cities in Mexico]
  • 2005 – Performed at the New Morning Club in Paris, France
  • 2007 – Jazz a Vienne, France
  • 2008 – Pori Jazz Festival, Finlandia
  • 2008 – Jazz in Marciac, France
  • 2009 – Performed at the Lionel Hampton Club in Paris, France
  • 2009 – Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa Festivals, Canadá
  • 2009 – Jazz in Malta and Istanbul Jazz Festival, Turkey
  • 2015 – Tour of Canadian Festivals with Adonis Puentes
  • 2017 – Ultramar Tour with María del Mar Bonet, in Spain

As a soloist and with Cubadentro:

  • 2008 to 2020 – Jazz Plaza Festival, Havana, Cuba
  • 2010 – Jazzmania Festival and presentation at Sala Al Ghoury. Cairo, Egypt
  • 2010 – Tour of India
  • 2011 and 2012 – Tour of Japan
  • 2014 – Concert at the Alicante Conference Center
  • 2015 – Concert at the José Peón Mérida Theater, as part of the Mayan Music Festival “FICMAYA 2015”
  • 2016 – Showcase Selection of the 1st International Music Forum in Havana “Primera Línea 2016”
  • 2017 – Closing of the Festival Muchas Músicas, Argentina
  • 2017 – Enjoy Jazz Festival, Germany
  • 2018 – Closing of the Matanzas Jazz Festival
  • 2018 – Jazz Plaza Festival 2018
  • 2018 – Josoone Jazz and Rumba Festival, Varadero
  • 2019 – Jazz Plaza Festival with Muñequitos de Matanzas, Dave Weckl and Janio Abreu with Victor Goines
  • 2019 – Concert on the 20th anniversary of the Barrière Enghien Jazz Festival in France
  • 2019 – XIII International Festival “Giant Steppes of Jazz” in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • 2020 – Jazz Plaza, Havana and PAPJazz, Haiti, performing with an all-star of Cuban jazz, the Haitian pianist Reginald Policard and the percussionist Sammy Figueroa

AWARDS

  • 2019 – Cuerda Viva Award in the Jazz Category
  • 2015 – Cubadisco Award for Instrumental Music and Recording Categories for his CD-DVD “Cuba Now Danzón”
  • 2013 – Cubadisco Award “Ópera Prima” Category for his CD “Claroscuro”
  • 2005 and 2006 – First Prize in the Contemporary Composition Category in the International Contest “Musicalia” – Higher Institute of Art
  • 2005 – Jojazz International Festival. Composition category
  • 2002 – Jojazz International Festival. Performance Category (Piano)

DISCOGRAPHY

In his discography he has had the presence of great figures of Cuban music such as: Omara Portuondo, Mayito Rivera, Germán Velazco, César López, Waldo Mendoza, Alexander Abreu, Orlando Sánchez “Cubajazz”, Pablo Milanés, Julito Padrón and exponents of the young generation of talented Cuban musicians: Luna Manzanares, Héctor Quintana, Michel Herrera, Edgar Martínez, Keisel Jiménez, among others.

Jazz con Guaguancó – Homenaje a Los Muñequitos de Matanzas [Tribute to Los Muñequitos de Matanzas] – DVD 2019 – Los Muñequitos de Matanzas & Alejandro Falcón. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Vidas cruzadas [Lifes crossed] – CD 2019 – Soundtrack of the homonymous Telenovela – Alejandro Falcón, licensed under the label Producciones Colibrí.

Mi monte espiritual [My spiritual mount] – CD 2018 – Alejandro Falcón. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Rompiendo la rutina [Breaking the routine] – CD 2018 – Alejandro Falcón featuring La Charanga Rubalcaba. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Lecuona Jojazz – CD 2015 – Alejandro Falcón, Jorge Luis Pacheco, Alejandro Meroño, Rolando Luna. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Cuba Now Danzón – CD+DVD 2012 – Alejandro Falcón. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Claroscuro [Chiaroscuro] – CD 2010 – Alejandro Falcón. Record label: Producciones Colibrí.

Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, That Canadian Magazine. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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Artist Profiles

Artist Profile: Adrien Brandeis

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Pianist, composer, Adrien Brandeis
Jazz pianist and composer, Adrien Brandeis

Adrien Brandeis is a french jazz pianist and composer born in Annecy. After studying at the Nice conservatory, he moved to Paris in 2018 to study with Manuel Rocheman and graduated from the CRR conservatory in Paris.

In 2017, he produced and released his first album in quintet Euforia, which had great recognition and international success after performing in Asia (Jazzmandu Festival in Nepal, Kolkata International Jazz Festival in India).

Euforia put Adrien Brandeis, in the spotlight of the Jazz scene, and led him to be awarded the prestigious Letter One Rising Stars Jazz Award 2018. This award, which recognizes the best young European jazz artist of the year, opened the doors for him to share his music on the biggest European stages during the summer of 2019: Nice Jazz Festival (France), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Leopolis Jazz Festival (Ukraine), Love Supreme Jazz Festival (England), Heineken Jazzaldia Festival (Spain), Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Norway), JazzOpen Stuttgart (Germany).

Adrien Brandeis: Euforia
Adrien Brandeis: Euforia

Subsequently, he toured Mexico to present Euforia in trio, at the International Jazz and Blues Festival of Zacatecas 2019 and in several theaters in the center of the country.

On the French scene, he has won numerous awards: first prize at the Jazz à Juan 2017, public prize at the Jazz 2017 in Porquerolles, among others.

In Paris, he has collaborated with numerous musicians such as Orlando Poleo, Inor Sotolongo, Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Abraham Mansfaroll, Felipe Cabrera and Philippe Ciminato.

Very attached to Latin music, he went to study in Havana, Cuba, with Ernán López-Nussa to perfect his piano skills, in September 2019.

These trips and experiences enriched his piano playing and allowed him to write his second album Meetings, a quartet album with Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Inor Sotolongo and special guest Orlando Poleo.

Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings
Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings

Meetings, released in October 2020, allows him to move towards a more modern sound while maintaining a certain freshness. It was selected as one of the best jazz albums in France in 2020 by TSF Jazz radio.

In 2021, Meetings is presented more than 30 times; including festivals and clubs in France (Altitude Jazz Festival, Festival Jazz en Sol Mineur, Festival Musique en Cour, Duc des Lombards) as well as in Mexico (Festival Internacional de Polanco, Festival Internacional de Irapuato, Ciclo de Jazz del Forum Cultural Guanajuato, Festival EuroJazz, Festival Cultural de Mayo in Jalisco).

After two tours in Mexico in May and November 2021, where he was very well received by the Mexican public, he created a strong bond with this country and was fascinated by its culture and the places he visited.

It is then, that he decided to record his third album Siempre más allá, a testimony of his experiences and his personal tribute to Mexico.

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá
Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

This album was recorded as a quartet, with the musicians with whom he had shared the stage a few months before: Giliard Lopes (Brazil), José Loria Triay (Mexico) and Roberto Vizcaíno Jr. (Cuba).

Roberto Jr. Vizcaino, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaino Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay - Photo: Nayeli Mejia.
Roberto Jr. Vizcaíno, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay – Photo: Nayeli Mejia.

He also had the collaboration of two great Cuban musicians of the international jazz scene: Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot.

In the summer of 2022, he had outstanding participations in the A to jazz Festival (Bulgaria), Jazz à Toulon (France) as well as a special invitation to the San Jose Summer Jazz Festival (USA). He even had the opportunity to arrange and present his music in Piano Solo in Portugal and England.

YouTube Video – Adrien Brandeis – Siempre más allá (EPK)

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