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Artist Profile: Dayramir González



Dayramir González - Cuban Pianist
Dayramir Gonzalez - Cuban Pianist

Dayramir Gonzalez – Photo courtesy of the artist

“Promising newcomer Dayramir González can be added to the pantheon of distinctive Cuban jazz voices. This Afro-Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger is setting the Latin jazz world on fire in America.” — Carnegie Hall

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, pianist Dayramir (DY-ruh-meer) González has come into his own as a New York City based artist/composer and bold musical force with his bountiful U.S. debut “THE GRAND CONCOURSE”  (July 21st, 2017, Machat’s Records / Sony- The Orchard).  The 5-track EP dazzles as an expressive showcase of the energetic Dayramir’s immense talent and sweeping musical vision.  An internationally praised pianist and composer, he’s been hailed for his ‘monster technique’ and prolific creative range which melds rock, pop, jazz and Afro-Cuban stylings.

Dayramir Gonzalez - The Grand ConcourseDayramir’s knack for weaving a mosaic of both traditional and cutting-edge inspirations is not solely tethered to his daring blend of genres. The vibrant THE GRAND CONCOURSE embraces the pulse and mystique of New York City, as well as the allure of early 20th Century Cuban sonic leanings and the cultural roots and myths of sensually fused Yoruba religious elements (Cuban-centric Yoruba beliefs identify both natural and spiritual characteristics as part of its foundation) elevated by Dayramir’s 21st Century precision.

Dayramir’s journey may have begun in Cuba, but there’s been no shortage of mileposts lighting his diverse path.  Born in the humble Havana neighborhood of Cerro, during what is referred to in Cuba as “the special period” known as one of the toughest economic times in the country’s history, Dayramir’s life centered on music.

His father was Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter, Fabian González, a driving force and inspiration as Dayramir discovered the piano at the age of 8. He would eventually be accepted into Cuba’s famed National High School for the Arts (ENA). Nurtured by noted singer and percussionist Oscar Valdés (from the legendary band Irakere), the young prodigy was selected at 16 to become an original member and pianist for Diakara, another seminal band founded by Valdés.

Later, while in his third year of high school, Dayramir González would be recruited by Cuban legend Giraldo Piloto to join Klimax, helping to shape the sound of that renowned group.  Accruing such an impressive list of credits, he began to excel in festival competitions as well.  In 2005 he won first place in Havana’s JoJazz festival in the composition category, winning a record deal with Cuba’s national label Colibri.  He recorded his first album, released in Cuba in 2007, and titled “Habana enTRANCE,” displaying his skills as artist, bandleader, and composer.  The album would go on to win three Cubadisco Awards, considered the Grammys of Cuba.

Dayramir González was accepted into Havana’s prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) where he strengthened his burgeoning composition skills under the tutelage of master Juan Pinera.  Next, he was awarded a musical scholarship to Boston’s revered Berklee College of Music in the U.S., becoming the first Cuban national to receive Berklee’s coveted full Presidential Scholarship.  In 2012, he was called “a rising star in the Latin jazz world,” by Carnegie Hall and personally selected by Chucho Valdés to represent the young generation of Cuban Jazz at Carnegie Hall’s “Voices of Latin America” series which featured music icons Gonzálo Rubalcaba, Danilo Pérez, Egberto Gismonti and Valdés himself. Dayramir graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2013, showered with an array of accolades while enrolled: He was signed to Berklee’s Jazz Revelation Records and included on their acclaimed compilation album, as well as being selected as one of their top 5 pianists in their annual Piano Gala.  He also performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall as part of their Voices From Latin America series, which was chronicled in the Wall Street Journal.  He received the Wayne Shorter Award for Most Outstanding Composer of the Year upon graduation.

Dayramir González moved to New York City soon after, where he strived to not only further his musical career, but to become part of the “incredible flow and vibe” of a city he always dreamed about as a boy.

“Even with all my accomplishments it was an adjustment,” he admits.  “I had to shake the tree that bears the fruit of success. No one hands you anything in New York.  It’s either roll up your sleeves and show me or get the hell in line,” he says. The determined artist endured the scuffs and staggered start-ups that every aspiring musician encounters in the world’s musical epicenter, but he was also determined to “give back” for what he’s gained in the process.

Dayramir is the co-founder of The Art School of Contemporary Performance and Creativity, based in the Bronx, providing musical education to city elementary and high school kids with higher musical aspirations, themselves.  The enterprising artist modeled the curriculum after the extensive and enlightening musical programs he benefited from in his native Cuba.   “We focus on piano, composition and music theory – emphasizing discipline and the acquisition of an earned knowledge base.  I find it very rewarding if we can launch even a handful of kids on the road to finding their own musical destiny.”

Fully aware that “THE GRAND CONCOURSE” is his first introduction to most U.S. fans, the animated musical powerhouse welcomes the challenge of inviting new listeners into his world.  “I told my wife when I decided to make this album that I have so much inside to offer as a pianist and composer, I want everyone to hear it,” he says.  “It was a real group effort, paring 23 songs down to the ones I decided to record, and then gathering friends and fellow musicians and a choir and the orchestral talent and all the other elements to become part of my vision.  I’m humbled and thankful that I’ve reached a place in my life where it all can be heard.”

Career Highlights

  • Cuba’s JoJazz Contest Winner 2004 and 2005
  • 3-TIME Cubadisco Winner
  • First Cuban National to Receive Berklee’s Presidential Scholarship
  • Headliner at Carnegie Hall 2012
  • 2013 Wayne Shorter Award as Best Jazz Composer
  • Debut Performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba 2016

Official Website:

Be Inspired

“Performing is all about giving the audience the ultimate live experience, interacting with them at all times. Making them feel like there isn’t a better place to be in this moment. No worries, stress or regrets. Just a heavenly place full of joy, spirituality, and love where we share the musical journey we discover together.” — Dayramir González

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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