Elio Villafranca writes and plays with passion and a deep understanding of musical nuance, with chops equal to some of the greatest pianists Cuba has ever produced.
Grammy Consideration In Multiple Categories!
2018 DownBeat Winner- Rising Star- Keyboard 4.5-star Review, Cinque
Elio Villafranca's Cinque World Tour continues from Japan, Australia and Tasmania this summer on to Mexico on November 6th with Special Guest Jon Faddis!
Nov. 6 Guadalajara, Mexico Cinque Release Concert at Centro de Promoción Cultural, ITESO Special Guest: Jon Faddis-trumpet
Featuring: Dick Oatts- alto sax/soprano sax/flute Wayne Escoffery- tenor sax Bruce Harris- trumpet Steve Turre- tombone Todd Marcus- bass clarinet Ricardo Rodriguez- bass Arturo Stable-percussion Jonathan Troncoso- percussion Julis Loiza Gutierrez- Rivera-dance Elio Villafranca- piano
Dec. 6 New York City Carnegie Hall presents Elio Villafranca and Afro-Caribbean Trio at Harlem Stage Gatehouse. Featuring: Russell Hall-bass Dion Parson-drums Elio Villafranca-piano
Dec. 15 & Jan. 25 Miami World Premier presentation of CINQUE and Danzonette by Eddy Martinez with MISO (Miami Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Eduardo Marturet)
Grammy Consideration: Album of the Year- Cinque Best Latin Jazz Album- Cinque Instrumental Composition- Troubled Waters (Part III) Improvised Jazz Solo- The Capture Engineered Album, Non-Classical- Cinque Album Notes- Cinque
66th ANNUAL DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL WINNERS v Rising Star Categories b Rising Star-Keyboard: Elio Villafranca
Cinque is a five movement suite inspired by the story of Joseph Cinque, who in 1839 led a successful revolt aboard the slave ship La Amistad, days after being sold and transported to a sugar plantation in Cuba. Elio Villafranca's most ambitious project today, showcases the cultural diversity of the five Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, and Jamaica; while simultaneously highlighting the Congolese musical heritage woven into the fabric of each of these diverse nations, and yet unified via the forced migration of Africans to the Americas.
Cinque (artistShare) is a body of work that encompasses narration, original composition and selections of Elio's own field recordings of different forms of rooted Congolese rhythms in the Caribbean, especially the traditions of Tambor Yuka, only practiced today in the region of Pinar Del Río, where Elio was born, and Gangá, a rare culture that came from Sierra Leon, Cinque' place of birth, to the region of Matanzas, Cuba. Both traditions are near to extinction today.
Elio's intention is to share music the same way he experienced it growing up in Cuba, by giving access to the context and sources that inspired his original compositions. This way of sharing, creates a better bridge with the listener to a more meaningful understanding and connection with music and culture.
Elio's music is passionate. A brand new application of ancient ways." —Chick Corea
Pianist and composer Elio Villafranca is an inspired and visionary musician. I am profoundly moved by Elio's vision and musicianship. He is a treasured member of the family here at Jazz at Lincoln Center." —Wynton Marsalis
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