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Born in the Pinar del Río province of Western Cuba, Steinway Artist 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.
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 ThingsI Wanted To Do by Chembo Corniel.
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.
As a bandleader, he has released three albums, 2 CDs and one Vinyl. His most recent recording and first LP with title “Dynamic Resolution, was released February 26th, 2011. 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.
This year, Villafranca is releasing a new recording called Dos y Mas. This album is a duo collaboration with master percussionist from Cuba Arturo Stable. AND In October, Villafranca will return to the studio to record his new quintet The Jass Syncopators, after it premier presentation at Dizzy’s Jazz Club Coca Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center.
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