Inspired to make his biggest statement yet, Dafnis Prieto is thrilled to embark on a new musical adventure with his new recording, Tribute — his first big band album. Dafnis will compose and rearrange works of his own, showcasing his talents as a trailblazing composer while honoring his musical heroes, offering an artistic statement that will transcend time and culture. The 18-piece Dafnis Prieto Big Band will feature a full complement of some of the world’s best musicians.
To launch this band and make this ambitious album, a fundraising campaign has been launched to cover a variety of costs, including album personnel (musicians, guest artists, engineers), studio expenses, music preparation/copying, equipment rentals, photography, videography, and assorted album release expenses, including marketing, publicity, and distribution.
Dafnis Prieto, a 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, is committed to maintaining a bold vision for his work, this time expanding his melodic and rhythmically rich composition vocabulary into a larger format — the Dafnis Prieto Big Band. Prieto is dedicated to this mission, and in love with the idea of making this project — a personal dream come true. For Prieto, this is a beautiful, unique, and must-do recording, with expenses that reflect the magnitude of this recording project. That is why he is now seeking your help to make this wonderful project a reality. This album will only be possible with your support and the support of people who share the same love and dream, and who can help make this unprecedented album happen.
“I’m immensely grateful for your consideration to help support this very special recording,” writes Prieto. “This album includes all new arrangements from a selected list of my compositions. It comprises a personal approach to music, which includes where I come from and where I’m going. As an artist I can’t help but bring my own view of sounds, textures, melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. I share who I am, what I think, and what I feel in my music, with joy. This Big Band will be an exhilarating experience that invites the listener to a profound mix of cultures. The project will burst with imagination, will be fashionable but rhythmically intense — emotionally and spiritually — and will have roots in both my native Cuban culture and my second home for the last 17 years, the United States.”
Prieto sees his big band album as an opportunity to honor his heroes. The project will feature new versions of his pieces “Song for Chico” and “The Triumphant Journey,” previously recorded by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, paying tribute to Cuban composer Chico O’Farrill, as well as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and conguero Chano Pozo, respectively. Prieto will also record “Una Vez Más,” dedicated to Eddie Palmieri and trumpet player Brian Lynch.
Other compositions will include arrangements of Prieto’s “Two for One,” commissioned by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and premiered by his sextet at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, and “Tumba Francesa,” from his 2005 release, About the Monks. Other compositions will include arrangements of Prieto’s “The Sooner the Better,” “Prelude Para Rosa,” a series of medleys, and new compositions Prieto will write for the album.
Dafnis Prieto Big Band will record in Summer 2017 in New York City. The album will be released worldwide in Spring 2018.
Prieto’s big band will feature a full complement of top-shelf musicians, many of whom have previously played Prieto’s music in other bands and configurations, as well as additional special guests to be named. The 18-piece band will feature some of the world’s best Latin jazz musicians, featuring Prieto on drums.
For this project Prieto is teaming up with GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein, long known for his work producing big band projects with Arturo O’Farrill.