Tribute to Juan Formell & Los Van Van, Dayramir González

Hailing from Havana, Cuba, pianist and composer Dayramir Gonzalez is known as an advocate for traditional Cuban music, including the danzón. He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Havana Jazz Festival, among others. His album Grand Concourse was released in 2016 and he is the cofounder of the Art School of Contemporary Performance and Creativity. The school provides comprehensive music education to New York City elementary school students.

Thanks to his father, the Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter Fabian Gonzalez, music has always been a driving force in Gonzalez’s life. He attended musical arts schools while growing up and began playing jazz piano professionally at age 16. Oscar Valdes, a singer and percussionist with Irakere, asked him to be a part of the group Diakara while Gonzalez was still in high school, and Gonzalez then played with the group as pianist and composer for three years. Next he played with drummer Giraldo Piloto in the group Klimax. He attended the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana for four years and then moved to Boston and Berklee on a full scholarship.

While at Berklee, he was signed by Jazz Revelation Records, release an album on the Berklee label, and he received the Wayne Shorter Award. He has also won first place at Cuba’s JoJazz Festival and three Cubadisco Awards for his debut album with his group, Habana enTRANCé.

Tribute to Juan Formell & Los Van Van, Dayramir González

Cuban piano phenom Dayramir González releases a rare concert recorded in Havana as part of the opening night of the Havana Jazz Festival at Teatro Nacional de Cuba in January 2020.

This concert features Van Van’s iconic vocalist Mayito Rivera, Latin Grammy Award winner Alain Perez, Grammy Award winner rapper and songwriter Telmary Diaz and renowned chamber orchestra Camerata Romeu directed by maestra Zenaida Romeu.

Songs written by: Juan Formell
Arranger & Orchestrator: Dayramir González

Dayramir’s Vision
Immersing myself in the music of Juan Formell has been one of the great challenges of my career. Not only because of his musical legacy but also because of what he represents for many a generations of Cubans. An impressive social chronicle extending over 50 years. Choosing the repertoire was hard, what shall I write? What he created is already so balanced, danceable, I was in doubt what to do. But I knew that I wanted to approach his music from my various internal creative facets: as a composer, arranger and orchestrator as well as presenting my various musical pallets; ranging from my Big Band influences, my European classical music, the Cuban traditional sound of Cha Cha, Danzón, Guaracha and the Afro-Cuban jazz.

Studio album available to download.



Episode #312

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