167 – Dafnis Prieto: Rhythmic Synchronicity, Musical Vocabulary, Composing and Recording a Big Band Album,
From Santa Clara, Cuba, Dafnis Prieto’s revolutionary drumming techniques and compositions have had a powerful impact on the Latin and Jazz music scene, nationally and internationally. He is the leader of several groups including the Dafnis Prieto Sextet, The Proverb Trio, Si O Si Quartet, and the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, which just released an album of Prieto’s compositions entitled Back to the Sunset. He is also the author of the book A World of Rhythmic Possibilities.
Various awards include a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, Up & Coming Musician of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a GRAMMY nomination for Absolute Quintet as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted master classes, clinics, and workshops throughout the world. He was a faculty member of Jazz Studies at NYU from 2005 to 2014, and in 2015 became a faculty member at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.
In this podcast, Dafnis talks about:
The courses he teaches at The University of Miami Frost School of Music
Letting rhyhmic content and interpretation dictate pulse, not the other way around like we usually do
Fully exploring and exploiting your existing skills and knowledge to develop musical vocabulary
His upbringing and early musical education in Cuba
His experience working his way into the New York scene as a 25-year-old in the 1999
The gradual switch from gigs he had to play to gigs he wanted to play
Figuring out your “why”
Dafnis Prieto endorses Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Latin Percussion, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks.
This episode is sponsored by Session Ace.