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  • Writer's pictureRosie G.

Dafnis Prieto Big Band

The sounds of the funky drummer. I admit I'm a drum and bass head. The rhythm section always gets me and this drummer is no different. Dafnis Prieto from Santa Clara, Cuba makes the kind of beats that you can't just listen to, you must get up and dance. As a child, he studied percussion and guitar but in his teens, he studied classical music and Afro-Cuban music.

He decided to concentrate more on jazz music and moved to New York City, the hub of jazz. There he played with Latin jazz legends like Eddie Palmieri, Arturo O'Farrill, and Michel Camilo. This drummer and percussionist is more than meets the eye. One of his favorite painters is Spanish surrealist artist, Salvador Dali and you may be asking what does Dali's paintings have to do with music? It's because of his use of optical illusion. Dafnis uses that concept in his music in creating an artistic contradiction. Dafnis Prieto pays proper respects to legendary jazz drummers like Art Blakey and Jack DeJohnette but he doesn't like to be pigeoned-holed into just Latin jazz. He loves to explore and create using Afro-Cuban rhythms and sounds and blending them with jazz. He also mixes elements of folk music, classical, and other progressive sounds to create music that has fluidity. Check out his song, The Triumphant Journey from his 2018 album, Back To The Sunset, it's flow and chord changes are smooth transitions. He also won the Best Latin Jazz album at the Grammys that same year. Since his debut in 2005, he has been going strong ever since and was part of the faculty at New York University till 2015. He now teaches and does workshops at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. His latest album, Transparency has been nominated for another Best Latin Jazz album for this year's Grammy Awards. Check out this multi-faceted drummer/composer/bandleader and support independent music and musicians worldwide. Happy listening!

Song For Chico



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