Announcing the Dafnis Prieto Big Band & album!
Eric is proud to announce his collaboration with Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto on the launch of the Dafnis Prieto Big Band. Eric, who is serving as Producer, has long admired Dafnis’ work; Dafnis is one of the leading musical voices of his generation from Cuba.
Inspired to make his biggest statement yet, Dafnis is thrilled to embark on a new musical adventure with his new recording, Tribute — his first big band album featuring his own compositions and arrangements. The record will showcase his talents as a trailblazing composer while honoring his musical heroes. The 17-piece Dafnis Prieto Big Band will feature a full complement of some of New York’s best Latin jazz musicians. Dafnis and Eric head into the studio in NYC with the band this August to record, with a release planned for spring 2018.
To launch this band and make this ambitious album, Dafnis and Eric are raising funds to cover a variety of costs, including album personnel (musicians, guest artists, engineers), studio expenses, equipment rentals, photography, videography, and assorted album release expenses, including marketing, publicity, and distribution. Dafnis and Eric invite supporters to make a tax-deductible donation to help make this album a reality. There are tiered giving levels at which donors can lend their support, with attractive special rewards at each level.
DAFNIS PRIETO BIG BAND
Inspired to make his biggest statement yet, Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto is thrilled to launch the Dafnis Prieto Big Band (DPBB) and record his first big band album, Tribute.
One of the leading musical voices of his generation, Prieto will compose and rearrange works of his own, showcasing his talents as a trailblazing composer while honoring musical heroes and mentors such as Eddie Palmieri, Henry Threadgill, and Steve Coleman, and make an artistic statement that will transcend time and culture.
Since arriving in the U.S. from Cuba in 1999, Prieto has been fearless in his vision, playing and writing across styles, always with a forward-looking eye. He is known for his inventive, sensitive drumming and propulsive rhythm. His compositions mix lush melodies with polyrhythm, displaying a range of musical vocabularies from Latin jazz to classical chamber music. He has composed for numerous configurations, amassing a catalog of more than 50 original works.
Prieto is committed to maintaining a bold vision for his music. The 17-piece DPBB will include some of the world’s best Latin jazz musicians, many of whom have previously played his music in his other bands. The DPBB will include three horn sections (saxophones, trumpets, and trombones), as well as a rhythm section featuring piano, bass, percussion, and Prieto on drums. The band, joined by several of Prieto’s mentors as special guests, will record their debut album in New York City in August 2017, to be released worldwide in spring 2018. For this project Prieto is teaming up with GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein, long known for his work producing big band projects with Arturo O’Farrill.
Prieto sees his big band album as an opportunity to honor his heroes. The project will feature new versions of his pieces “Song for Chico” and “The Triumphant Journey,” previously recorded by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, paying tribute to Cuban composer and Arturo’s father Chico O’Farrill, as well as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and conguero Chano Pozo, respectively. Prieto will also write and record several new compositions, including “Una Vez Más,” dedicated to Eddie Palmieri and trumpeter Brian Lynch. Other tracks will include arrangements of Prieto’s “Two for One,” originally commissioned by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and premiered by his sextet at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, as well as “The Sooner the Better” and “Prelude Para Rosa” from his 2008 release, Taking the Soul for a Walk.
With this project Prieto continues the tradition of drummers leading big bands, including Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, and Mel Lewis, among others. He has had longstanding relationships with champions of the big band sound, including Arturo O’Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, and the late Bebo Valdés.