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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 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

October 21, 2009

Progressive Jazz Pianist Elio Villafrana Was a Featured Guest on the...

October 06, 2009

Progressive Cuban Jazz with the Elio Villafranca Quintet at the Jazz...

January 11, 2009

Pianist Elio Villafranca Interviewed at AAJ

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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Photos (27) Slideshow

Discography

Cinque

Cinque

ArtistShare
2019

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Cinque

Cinque

ArtistShare
2018

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Live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Live from Dizzy's...

Motéma Music
2014

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Dos Y Mas

Dos Y Mas

Motéma Music
2012

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The Source In Between

The Source In Between

Ceiba Tree Music
2008

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Cinque + Narration 2 (Part 1)

Cinque + Narration 2 (Part 1)

Elio Villafranca
Cinque

Videos

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