Dayramir (DY-ruh-meer) Gonzalez’s journey may have begun in Cuba, but there’s been no shortage of mileposts lighting his diverse path. An internationally praised pianist and composer, he’s been hailed for his ‘monster technique’ and prolific creative range which melds rock, pop, jazz and Afro-Cuban stylings.
Born in the humble Havana neighborhood of Cerro, during what is referred to in Cuba as “the special period” known as one of the toughest economic times in the country’s history, Dayramir’s life centered on music.
His father was Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter, Fabian Gonzalez, a driving force and inspiration as Dayramir discovered the piano at the age of 8. He would eventually be accepted into Cuba’s famed National High School for the Arts (ENA). Nurtured by noted singer and percussionist Oscar Valdes (from the legendary band Irakere), the young prodigy was selected at 16 to become an original member and pianist for Diakara, another seminal band founded by Valdes.
Later, while in his third year of high school, Dayramir would be recruited by Cuban legend Giraldo Piloto to join Klimax, helping to shape the sound of that renowned group. Accruing such an impressive list of credits, he began to excel in festival competitions as well. In 2005 he won first place in Havana’s JoJazz festival in the composition category, winning a record deal with Cuba’s national label Colibri. He recorded his first album, released in Cuba in 2007, and titled “Habana enTRANCE,” displaying his skills as artist, bandleader, and composer. The album would go on to win three Cubadisco awards, considered the Grammys of Cuba.