Elio Villafranca

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

Elio Villafranca is now an official Steinway Artist. Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value. Elio is delighted to be an official representative of Steinway

Latest News - Flower by the Dry River

This recording features Victor Lewis on drums, JD Allen on tenor sax, Vincent Herring on alto sax, Gregg August on bass, Juango Gutierrez, and Camilo Molina on Barriles. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to support the DirectGrace Fund for children of the world subject to abuse, starvation, and poverty. Villafranca believes that music is a special way to contribute to this honorable cause. Limited edition pre-sale of Vinyl copies will be made available at the performances.

Flower by the Dry River

DirectGrace Records Project

DirectGrace Records is a unique music recording company that weds a passion for high-end vinyl recording to charitable giving. Dedicated to the world's most at-risk children, part of the proceeds from the sale of each unique, high-definition record goes to organizations helping children in extreme poverty.

The concept of syncopation is intrinsic to Cuban pianist and composer Elio Villafranca – who is deeply inspired by Duke Ellington’s approach to music of the 1940’s. Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators is the artistic and cultural synthesis of his vision of Ellington’s Colored Syncopators musical approach, applied to contemporary Jazz idioms and Villafranca’s Latin heritage.

Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators strive to create a multi-layered musical dialogue where intellectual understanding of the music is secondary to its full experience. The music serves as a platform where the dancer and each of the musicians can express their artistry through their respective musical backgrounds, yet assert themselves within a body of movement and syncopations.

In this project Villafranca challenges the boundaries of Jazz by fusing it with the syncopated nature of Afro-Caribbean music from Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Congolese rhythms of Makuta and tambor Yuka, as it is called in his home town of Pinar del Rio, Cuba.