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Elio Villafranca Elio Villafranca

Born in the Pinar del Río province of Western Cuba, pianist and composer Elio Villafranca was classically trained in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. Since his arrival in the U.S. in late 1995, he has been involved in jazz and Latin jazz scenes on both the East and West Coasts. Based in New York City, he is resident professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Elio on Tour

Elio Villafranca is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable Cuban pianists, composers and bandleaders that for several years has been making major creative contributions to the international development of modern jazz. In the 2010 Grammy Awards he was nominated in Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year, for his performance, composition and coproduction in the album Things I Wanted To Do by Chembo Corniel.

He has released three albums as a bandleader that were each well received. His last album, The Source in Between, 2007, remained in the top 10 of the JazzWeek World Top 50 Chart for eleven weeks, and his first album, Incantations/Encantaciones, was ranked amongst the 50 best jazz albums of the year by JazzTimes magazine in 2003. In 2008 Elio Villafranca was also nominated by The Jazz Corner as pianist of the year and he received the Jazz Twirlie Nomination by Dick Crockett, of “The Voice” at 88.7FM, for his album The Source In Between.

That year, Mr. Villafranca was also honored by BMI with the BMI Jazz Guaranty Award and received the first NFA/Heineken Green Ribbon Master Artist Music Grant for the creation of his Concerto for Mariachi, for Afro-Cuban Percussion and Symphony Orchestra. Villafranca was also pianist in the CD La Guerra No by John Santos Y El Coro Folklorico Kindembo, which was nominated in the 2010 Grammy Awards as Best Traditional World Music Album. Over the years Elio Villafranca’s music has featured jazz master artists such as Pat Martino, Jane Bunnett, Terell Stafford, and Eric Alexander, among other notable instrumentalists.

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December 28, 2019

2019 Grammy Nominee Elio Villafranca & The Jass Synopators Featuring...

October 09, 2019

Elio Villafranca Quintet Makes Their Debut At Smoke On October 24-27!

May 10, 2019

Elio Villafranca Free Concert In Da Bronx On May 28th At 6pm - Debuts...

December 07, 2018

Elio Villafranca's Cinque Nominated For 2019 Grammy Award As Best...

November 04, 2018

Elio Villafranca Continues Cinque World Tour To Mexico! November 6th...

August 03, 2018

Elio Villafranca Launches Cinque World Tour! Australia To Mexico

June 27, 2018

Elio Villafranca - 2018 Downbeat 2018 Critics Poll Winner "Rising Star...

May 10, 2018

Elio Villafranca's "Cinque" Features Wynton Marsalis, Lewis Nash,...

March 14, 2017

Elio Villafranca With All-Star Band & String Quartet - March 31 At...

March 05, 2016

Elio Villafranca at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on April 16-17 & More!

July 08, 2015

Elio Villafranca Quartet All-Star Lineup! August 22 At Ginny's Supper...

January 27, 2015

Elio Villafranca's "Cinqué - Music Of The Caribbean" at Jazz At...

May 02, 2014

Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators - New Release - Motema

July 24, 2013

Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators at the Caramoor Jazz Festival...

May 16, 2013

Elio Villafranca & Minas Play Jazz Bridge Fundraising Concert @ Chris'...

January 11, 2012

Greek and Cuban Jazz Masters Perform at Scullers Jazz Club on...

December 07, 2011

Elio Villafranca And Arturo Stable To Release "Dos Y Mas"

October 13, 2011

Painted Bride Takes Passage Throughout The Rhythmic Landscapes Of The...

September 26, 2011

Elio Villafranca and The Jass Syncopators at The Painted Bride Arts...

December 10, 2009

Celebrate Installation of New Concert Piano at Saint Peter's Church

Jazz Times Magazine 2003 Critics Picks Top 50 Best Jazz Album

“Growing up next door to a local cultural center... surely help to develop his loaded, technically superior, sharp and romantic pianism.” —JazzTimes

“It is not difficult to sort out Villafranca’s musicality, brute force, effervescence, topicality, virtuosic independence, patience, candor, and brazen delicacy… This recording is a welcome relief among both recent jazz and Latin jazz releases and it makes one wonders where Villafranca will go next. Wherever he goes, one must follow.” —All About Jazz

“Villafranca is at the level of his countrymen, Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba..

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Albums by Elio Villafranca

Album Cinque by Elio Villafranca



Album Cinque by Elio Villafranca



Album Live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola by Elio Villafranca

Live from Dizzy's...

Motéma Music

Album Dos Y Mas by Elio Villafranca

Dos Y Mas

Motéma Music

Album The Source In Between by Elio Villafranca

The Source In Between

Ceiba Tree Music

Cinque + Narration 2 (Part 1)

Cinque + Narration 2 (Part 1)

Elio Villafranca


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