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“Virelles looks set to make big differences in contemporary music for years to come.”
The Guardian

“A different side to the great legacy of pianists that come from Cuba… He is the new school.”

Gilles Peterson

“…there is a young Cuban pianist named David Virelles, whom I consider a genius.”

Chucho Valdés

“It’s got nerve and soul and memory.”

The New York Times

Cuban-born pianist David Virelles grew up in a musical home, his father a singer-songwriter and his mother a flutist and music teacher. Even though classically trained at the conservatory, he also heard many types of music in the culturally rich Santiago while growing up. Eventually, Virelles also discovered Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill, and started studying the connections between this music and Cuban rhythms.

In 2003, Virelles – a Shifting Foundation Fellow, Canada Council for the Arts, Louis Applebaum Award and Jazz Gallery Commission recipient – became the first recipient of the Oscar Peterson Prize, presented by Peterson himself. Since his arrival to NYC, he has appeared on live concerts and recordings with musicians as diverse as Steve Coleman, Mark Turner, Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyrille, Chris Potter, Wadada Leo Smith, Tom Harrell, Milford Graves and Ravi Coltrane.

David’s 2012 release Continuum (Pi Recordings) united Andrew Cyrille, Ben Street and Román Díaz. This album ended on many “Best Of The Year” lists, including The New York Times. Since then, he has released three more albums on the Munich label ECM to critical acclaim, documenting a wide sonic range – Mbóko (a book of compositions commissioned by The Jazz Gallery) , Antenna, and his latest Gnosis (these last two albums were made possible by the generous support of The Shifting Foundation).