Born: February 26, 1971 Primary Instrument: Piano
Yan Carlos Artime hails from the classic school of Cuban pianists, and is the hottest piano player in Puerto Rico today. He is a dazzling technician with a strong percussive attack, yet can tone it down to soft nuances when appropriate. His fingering is something to behold, executing rapid fire soloing rising to a boiling point, then back to its melody line for a constant simmer.
Born in La Habana, Cuba on Feb. 26, 1971, Yan Carlos began his formal musical studies on the violin at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory in 1979. Taking up piano, he continues studies at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory where he would graduate with violin and piano majors in 1990. He taught violin briefly in Holguin, Cuba, then joined the Matanzas Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist.
By 1992 Yan Carlos realized that piano was his calling and became pianist for a local jazz band called Fusion 4.In 1994 he joined the band led by Cuban maestro Joaquin Betancourt playing Cuban dance music and Latin jazz. He went into the band Algo Nuevo in ’95 and right into Otra Vision, which was a combination of contemporary Cuban music and Latin jazz. They performed at the Havana International Jazz Festival, and recorded a cd “Havana Calling” (QBadisc).This band caught on and were offered to tour in Europe culminating in an appearance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. They toured Europe again in 1997, and in 1998 he relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico where he resides today.
In Puerto Rico he quickly became in demand and joined Pedro Guzman and Jibaro Jazz, which is popular local band that has fused folkloric music with the strains and improvisations of jazz. He became their pianist for tours, and several recordings. He did a brief stint with a band Los Chicos, then in 2000 teamed up with Batacumbele for a Puerto Rico performance, and US tour. Rejoining Jibaro Jazz again in 2002 he also recorded on the cd “Transformación”.
By 2003 he had teamed up with bassist Ramon Vazquez, and was the pianist on the recording “On the Move” (A-Z 2004). He was able to display his talent on the record and the version of “Lagrimas Negras” is elegantly played, showing his knowledge and mastery of the Latin moods.
When Puerto Rican percussion master Paoli Mejias formed his own band in 2005, he brought in Yan Carlos Artime as the pianist. He was on Paoli’s Grammy nominated record “Mi Tambor”(JMCD) providing brilliant piano work. He teamed up again with Ramon Vazquez to play with Paoli at the Heineken Jazz Fest summer of ’05 and received a strong response, blowing away the headliner that night.
He again contributed to Paoli’s second cd “Transcend” (PMCD 2006) appearing on several tracks. He stayed busy with studio work and live performances with other artists.
As of 2007 he was again with bassist Ramon Vazquez and formed the Latin Jazz Trio, based out of San Juan. They are very much in demand and have steady gigs in the city, and out on the island.
2009 brought about the release of his first effort as leader with the self produced Recuerdos Que Lleva El Viento.
Yan Carlos Artime is a musician who is coming into his own. The word is out in Puerto Rico, and spreading fast. He is one to listen out for.
Source: James Nadal