Drummer / Composer / Educator
From Cuba, his arrival in the U.S. has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York. Indeed, within a short period of time Dafnis Prieto's revolutionary drumming techniques had a powerful impact on the Latin and Jazz music scene, locally and internationally.
Various awards include “2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award”, “Up & Coming Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a Grammy Award Nomination for ”Absolute Quintet” as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best New Artist” in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops. Since 2005, he has been a member of the NYU Music Faculty.
A resident of New York since 1999, he has already worked in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and as bandleader including various of his own projects and music.
Dafnis Prieto is the founder of the independent record company Dafnison Music.
As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to his “Small Big Band” and including the distinctively different groups featured by five acclaimed recordings as a leader: About The Monks, Absolute Quintet, Taking The Soul For a Walk, Si o Si Quartet-Live at Jazz Standard, and Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio. He has received new works commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer.
Dafnis Prieto endorses: Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Latin Percussion, Evans drumheads and Vic Firth sticks
-The essence of Mr. Prieto’s style is his collation of various Afro-Cuban percussion sounds − from old religious music to modern music − within one set of trap drums. His playing is infernally complicated, and infernally precise; the blizzard of accents he throws into any pattern have their place as surely as pixels in a computer image.” − The New York Times
-Dafnis Prieto is easily the most impressive young drummer to come on the jazz scene during the past decade. Possessing awesome virtuosity and astonishing versatility, Prieto has made important contributions to the music of
a broad range of leaders… His compositions are elaborate composites melding Afro-Cuban rhythms and modern jazz harmonies into music that is ecstatic and intelligent.” − All About Jazz
-He is extraordinary, a rhythmic stimulus. He comprehends the two most incredibly difficult rhythmic genres −being Cuban and being an extremely talented jazz drummer.” − Eddie Palmieri
Dafnis Prieto endorses Yamaha Drum, Latin Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Vick Firth sticks & Evans drumheads.
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