Dafnis Prieto Quartet Brings Afro-Cuban Jazz to PS21

Dafnis Prieto

Dafnis Prieto

(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Cuban-American drummer, composer, and bandleader Dafnis Prieto and his globally inspired Si o Si Quartet will perform their singular mix of Afro-Cuban jazz at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 8pm.

In addition to the Saturday evening performance, Dafnis Prieto will give an one-hour talk/Ddemonstration on Saturday, July 12, from 1 to 2pm at the Tracy Memorial Village Hall located at 77 Main Street in Chatham as part of the village’s Summerfest event.

Classically trained in Cuba, Prieto’s arrival in the U.S. in 1999 has been compared to that of “an asteroid hitting New York.” His revolutionary drumming techniques has had a powerful impact on the Latin and jazz music scene, locally and internationally. He is a recipient of various awards, including the 2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award and Up and Coming Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006. Prieto was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards, and his album Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album that year.

When asked to describe his music, Prieto said, “My music is part of who I am. I’m not a musician that likes to be closed to a specific genre, my music has many influences that transcend any preconceived style, and that’s the way I am, too. I don’t think of my music in terms of genre. The closest I can try to describe it is by saying that you could hear traces of Cuban, Jazz, and Contemporary Music, hopefully in a personalized way.”

Although a classically trained musician, as a percussionist Prieto is self-taught. His approach to jazz is through Afro-Cuban rhythms. “I learned to enjoy and play Cuban music first, before anything else. I first listened to Jazz when I was about 11 years old. After that, I started getting to know very slowly the many ramifications inside what we call “jazz,” and I started enjoying some specific musicians that brought a great sense of freedom and self-expression to the music,” said Prieto. “I have never made any conscious decision to be a jazz musician. I guess it happened naturally, even thought I don’t consider myself a jazz musician, or a musician of any specific genre.”

Dafrnis Prieto will be joined by his band Si o Si, which in Spanish translates to roughly yes and yes, as in you really don’t have a choice, whether you like it or not.  Musicians for this performance include Roman Filiu, alto saxophone, Manuel Valera, piano, Luques Curtis, bass. “Three exceptional musicians who I have known for many years and played in many different occasions,” Prieto said.

Tickets for Dafnis Prieto Si o Si are $30 general admission, $25 members and $18 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out. For more information about this event or any other, visit PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century or call (518) 392-6121.

This event is part of The New York State Presenters Network Presenter-Artist Partnership Project made possible through a regrant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



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