All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Yilian Canizares

Yilian Canizares

”Yilian is one of the most incredible talents of the new generation of Cuban musicians. She is a virtuoso, she is expressive, spontaneous and with a grace that makes her the favorite of all of us.” —Chucho Valdés

Before she picks up her violin and walks onstage, Yilian Cañizares pays homage to her ancestors. Candles are lit. Prayers are said, and offerings made. Then as the houselights dim and her group of crack musicians file on before her, she’ll lean down and touch the floor as she enters.

“This always puts me fully in the moment,” says the vivacious Cuban singer and instrumentalist. “It allows the music and the ancestors to flow through me, to reach people even if they don’t speak my language. I go into a trance when I perform live,” she adds with a grin. “It is like a religious experience.”

All those who have marvelled at her fiery blend of jazz, classical and Afro-Cuban rhythms, who’ve got goosebumps from her otherworldly voice, will testify to feeling transformed. Whether onstage or on record there are few artists as impressively talented as Cañizares, a Havana-born, Swiss-based thirtysomething with a respect for the past and a feel for the future - oh, and a smile to die for.

Two acclaimed albums, 2013’s self-produced Ochumare and 2015’s Invocación, helmed by Alê Siqueira (Roberto Fonseca, Omara Portuondo) have strengthened Cañizares’ reputation as a trailblazer and boundary crosser por excelencia. Not for nothing was she declared ‘revelation of the year’ by French weekly Le Novel Observateur: with her charisma, tapestry of influences and the ease with which she sings and plays violin simultaneously, Cañizares is a bona fide discovery.

Read more


”...the Swiss-Cuban musician closed out TEDGlobal>Geneva with two songs featuring catchy, rhythmic beats, soaring violin and gorgeous vocal work.” TED GLOBAL GENEVA, December 2015

“First impressions of this concert, Yilian Cañizares know how to keep a room entertained with an intelligent show made of impulses and pauses. She caresses or tortures her violin, in accordance with her wishes. There is a furious bow that gets noticed. She can also sing, play percussion and dance...” L’archipel February 2014

“Latin jazz revelation of the year 2013, the graceful Yilian Cañizares sings, dances and plays the violin divinely…Her bow delivers notes like arrows and makes swing a colorful quartet that she had named Ochumare…”Nouvel Observateur, January 2014

« Richly endowed with vocal and violinistic virtuosity, blessed with an expressive power but also with her beauty, she shines like an angel …At improvisation the feelings are kneaded and heated until you begin to reach the temperatures of ecstasy

Read more










Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.