David Virelles

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David Virelles Born and raised in Cuba, pianist and composer David Virelles grew up in a musical family. His father is a professional singer-songwriter and his mother is a flautist in the Santiago de Cuba Symphony. He started studying classical music at the age of seven, as well as being exposed to the large array of Cuban music styles. Eventually, David discovered his grandfather’s jazz collection and also became interested in that tradition. In 2001, he left for Canada as a protégé of Canadian musician Jane Bunnett, with whom he recorded several albums (two of them Grammy nominated), toured and collaborated with on a number of projects. While in Canada, David graduated from the music program at Humber College. He studied privately with pianist Barry Harris and has also studied composition with the influential composer Henry Threadgill, which had a profound impact in Virelles’ artistry. Over the years he has performed and/or recorded with: Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Henry Threadgill, Dewey Redman, Sam Rivers, Andrew Cyrille, Hermeto Pascoal, José Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Stanley Cowell, Rudresh Mahantappa, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Mark Turner, Paul Motian, Ben Street, Chris Potter, David Binney, Ravi Coltrane, Adam Rogers, Jeff Ballard, Jane Bunnett and “Spirits of Havana”, Miguel Zenón, Cuban visual artist Alberto Lescay, Howard Johnson, Dan Weiss, Adam Cruz Milestone Group, Jon Hendricks, Wadada Leo Smith, among others. In 2003 he became the first recipient of the Oscar Peterson prize, presented by Peterson personally. His debut album, Motion, was released in 2007 on the label Justin Time, after winning the Grand Prix de Jazz Award at the Montréal Jazz Festival that year. Virelles’ current group is also named Continuum, featuring bassist Ben Street, legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille and percussionist Román Díaz, who continue to develop his artistic concepts. His anticipated album under the same name will be released on October 23rd, 2012 by New York based jazz label Pi Recordings. Increasingly in demand in the New York music scene as a solo-artist as well as a sideman, Virelles has performed and extensively toured with Steve Coleman’s Reflex Trio and Five Elements, Mark Turner, David Binney, Ravi Coltrane, Henry Threadgill, and Chris Potter, among others. The New York Times about David Virelles : "One of New York’s best pianists — a Cuban who came on the scene only four years ago but has been riveting in bands led by Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, Chris Potter and others — has put together his own quartet, playing mature, mysterious, suitelike music, informed by the best post-’60s New York vanguardists. “Continuum,” its first album, includes the bassist Ben Street, drummer Andrew Cyrille and Román Diáz on percussion and religious invocations; at times it sounds like one of Andrew Hill’s small groups playing for the Yoruba saints..."