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David Virelles

Recently named one of four young pianists on the rise by the New York Times, Cuban born pianist and composer David Virelles grew up in a musical home. 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, Hermeto Pascoal, José Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Stanley Cowell, Rudresh Mahantappa, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Mark Turner, Paul Motian, Ben Street, Chris Potter, Ravi Coltrane, Jeff Ballard, Miguel Zenón, 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.

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”The young Cuban-American pianist, already an MVP sideman to iconoclastic leaders like Henry Threadgill and Steve Coleman, offered an ambitious, assured debut album, saturated with poise, proficiency and duende.” #3 - —Time Out New York albums of the year

“This is my jazz artist of the year. He’s another amazing Cuban pianist and mixes old rumba mystique with free jazz.” —Gilles Peterson Jazz artist of the year

“This young Cuban pianist’s new album, “Continuum” (Pi Recordings), moves backward, forward and sideways through history. Intuitive and original, it’s equally of the American experimental jazz tradition, Afro-Cuban religious culture and modern nonjazz composition

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Discography

Igbó Alákọrin

Igbó Alákọrin

Pi Recordings
2018

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Gnosis

Gnosis

ECM Records
2017

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Antenna

Antenna

ECM Records
2016

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Mbókò

Mbókò

ECM Records
2015

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Mboko

Mboko

ECM Records
2014

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Musae

Makor Cafe
2013

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