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Artist Profile: Dafnis Prieto

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Dafnis Prieto

Dafnis PrietoDafnis Prieto hails from Santa Clara, Cuba. His revolutionary drumming techniques and compositions have had a powerful impact on the Latin and Jazz music scene, nationally and internationally.

Various awards include a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, Up & Coming Musician of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a GRAMMY nomination for Absolute Quintet as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted master classes, clinics, and workshops throughout the world. He was a faculty member of Jazz Studies at NYU from 2005 to 2014, and in 2015 became a faculty member at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Since his arrival to New York in 1999, Prieto has worked in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O’Farrill, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdés, Bebo Valdés, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and as a bandleader featuring several of his own projects and music.

As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to big band, and including the distinctively different groups featured on seven acclaimed recordings as a leader: About The MonksAbsolute QuintetTaking the Soul For a WalkSi o Si Quartet: Live at Jazz StandardDafnis Prieto Proverb Trio, Triangles and Circles, and Back to the Sunset. He has received commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer. In 2016 Prieto published the critically acclaimed drumming instructional book, A World of Rhythmic Possibilities: Drumming Lessons and Reflections on Rhythms. In 2018 Back to the Sunset – Dafnis Prieto Big Band was released to critical acclaim. A 61st Grammy Awards nominated album, it was chosen as the winner in the Best Latin Jazz Album Category.

Dafnis Prieto is the founder of the independent music company Dafnison Music. He endorses Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Latin Percussion, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks.

Honors, Grants & Commissions

  • National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) Fund for the Arts Grant, Dafnis Prieto Big Band, 2018
  • Commissioned by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, for a new work for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, ‘The Triumphant Journey’, 2014
    • Opening track of the Latin GRAMMY-winning album, Cuba: The Conversation Continues, 2015
  • MacArthur Fellowship, 2011
  • Commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, 2009
  • Commissioned by WNYC, for a New Work, 2009
  • Commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, for a new work for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, ‘Song for Chico’, 2005
    • Title track of the GRAMMY-winning album, Song for Chico, 2008
  • Commissioned by Meet the Composer, Commissioning Music, 2007
  • Latin GRAMMY Nomination, Best New Artist, 2007
  • GRAMMY Nomination, Best Latin Jazz Album, Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet, 2006
  • Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award, Up & Coming Musician of the Year, 2006
  • Commissioned by the Ethos Percussion Group, under auspices of the Jerome Foundation, ‘The Guiros Talk’, a piece for 4 guiros (1 mov) & ‘Claveteando’, a piece for 4 sets of percussion (2 mov), 2006
  • Commissioned by the New Trumpet Consortium, a piece for trumpet & percussion, ‘Trail of Memories’, 2005
  • Commissioned by East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) to write a piece, ‘Echo Dimensions’, for the Meridian Arts Ensemble (Brass Quintet & Percussion), 2005
  • Meet the Composer Van Lier Fellowship, 2005
  • Commissioned by The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, 2005
  • Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Award, 2005
  • Commissioned by the CBC in Toronto, Canada to write a piece, ‘On and On’, for the True North Brass Quintet, 2004
  • Composed music for the GRAMMY-winning album, The Gathering, by The Caribbean Jazz Project, 2002

Music & Dance Collaborations

  • Music for ‘Taking the Soul for a Walk’, Ballet Contemporaneo de Camaguey, Pedro Ruiz, Artistic Director, performed at Teatro Avellaneda, Camaguey, Cuba, June 2017 & Teatro Martí, Havana, Cuba, August 2017
  • Music for the dance work, ‘Citizens and Individuals?’, Commissioned by Danspace Project, 2005
  • ‘Time in Circles’, The Joyce Theater, NYC, Spring 2002
  • ‘Forms and Sounds’, The Jazz Gallery, NYC, 2002
  • ‘Puzzle/Rompecabezas’, The Kitchen, NYC, Fall 2002
  • ‘Sang’, Danspace Project, Spring 2002
  • ‘A Mouth in a Sleeping Shell’, PS 122, NYC, Winter 2000
  • ‘Un Lugar’, Havana, 1996

Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

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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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