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Introducing Alejandro Meroño, Cubadisco 2022 Winner

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Alejandro Meroño on the piano

Born in Holguín in 1988, Alejandro Meroño Valle began playing the piano at the age of 4. Alejandro comes from a family with a musical tradition (the Valle family). He studied piano and percussion at the Raúl Gómez García Art Vocational School, and continued his studies in Havana at the Guillermo Tomas Conservatory. Later he entered the Higher Institute of Art (Instituto Superior de Arte – ISA) studying Composition under the tutelage of teacher Juan Piñera. In 2010 he was twice the winner of the International Contest for Young Jazz Players, Jojazz in the categories of Interpretation and Composition. Under the Colibrí record label, he participated in the album Lecuona Jojazz together with young pianists from the Cuban music scene.

(L to R) Marcus Miller, Ramón Valle, Alejandro Meroño Valle, Orlando Valle "Maraca"
(L to R) Marcus Miller, Ramón Valle, Alejandro Meroño Valle, Orlando Valle “Maraca”

He has collaborated with artists such as Michel Herrera, Yasek Manzano, Orlando Valle “Maraca”, Joaquín Betancourt, Guido López Gavilán, among others. He has been part of the Orlando Valle groups “Maraca,” Joaquín Betancourt and his Jazz band, Yasek Manzano and his band. He was recently a music producer and arranger for the album Ay Mama Inés, llegó La Valdés (Egrem) by Cuban singer La Valdés (Janet Valdés), nominated for Cubadisco 2021 in the Anthology category.

Meroño tells us that this album, Gallo de Oro – Alejandro Meroño and Júpiter Project (2022 Producciones Colibrí) began to be recorded during the pandemic, “a period in which we faced thousands of difficulties and because of that great speed there were songs we couldn’t include in the album.” The musicians who participated in the recording were Ruy Adrián López Nussa on drums, Edgar Martínez on Cuban percussion (congas, batá), Roberto Álvarez on bass and as a guest artist La Valdés on vocals. All the songs are his own except “Yambambó” by Emilio Grenet.

Premio Jazz: Alejandro Meroño - Gallo de Oro - Cubadisco 2022
Premio Jazz: Alejandro Meroño – Gallo de Oro – Cubadisco 2022

It is with this first album, Gallo de Oro (co-produced with Gloria Ochoa), that Alejandro Meroño gets a nomination in the 25th edition of Cubadisco (2022) in the Jazz category, and to his surprise and tremendous joy he takes the award.

Speaking to Cubarte (El Portal de la Cultura Cubana) Meroño explains that “the album is a process that began with the CD Ay! Mama Inés, llegó La Valdés, of which I was the producer and in which we had been working on the Cuban music of yesteryear and covering songs by Benny Moré, Bola de Nieve, Emilio Grenet, Eliseo Grenet and the music that was made with the Jazz Band. This musical production gave rise to Gallo de Oro within the lines of Jazz and, in turn, connected with the other album through which it continues to pay homage to Cuban songwriting.”

For Meroño this award is a very important step in the development of his artistic career, with which “I hope to have many more opportunities within the artistic scene. Being a recipient of this award I will be taken seriously and I hope that this will result in opportunities to show my music live and continue to defend what I do on social platforms.”

Web Publisher. Founder, Editor & Webmaster for 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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