Manuel Valera

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Manuel Valera
Born (1980-10-17)October 17, 1980
Origin Havana, Cuba
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader, record producer
Instruments Piano, fender rhodes, keyboards
Labels Mavo Records
Associated acts Dafnis Prieto, Arturo Sandoval, Jeff Tain Watts, Paquito D'Rivera

Manuel Valera (born Havana, Cuba October 17, 1980) is a Cuban pianist and composer�.


Manuel Valera was born in Havana, Cuba. Since 2000 he has lived in New York City, where he attended New School University. His playing is influenced by Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, and he has worked extensively in the groups of Dafnis Prieto, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Brian Lynch, Yosvany Terry, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Lenny White among others.


Valera's compositional approach can be heard on his own recordings. Valera's first CD as a leader Forma Nueva was released in 2004. It features the all-star line-up of bassist John Patitucci, drummers Bill Stewart and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez and Saxophonist Seamus Blake. Historia, Melancolia and Vientos were released between 2005–2007 showcasing more of Valera's penmanship featuring drummers Antonio Sanchez and Ernesto Simpson, saxophonist Seamus Blake and Joel Frahm, bassists Ben Street and James Genus and percussionist Luis Quintero. 2009 marked the release of Currents, a trio recording with Genus and Simpson and it was also Valera's debut on the MaxJazz Label.

After a hiatus as a leader, to focus on sideman work, in 2012 Valera released New Cuban Express with Yosvany Terry on saxophone, John Benitez on bass, Tom Guarna on guitar, Eric Doob on drums and percussionist Mauricio Herrera.
This recording earned him a nomination for a 2013 Grammy Award in the category "Best Latin Jazz Album".Template:Http://

As a leader[edit]

Selected discography as a sideman[edit]


Valera was a finalist in the 2004 and 2006 Great American Jazz Competition.[citation needed] Valera is a recipient of the 2005 and 2006 ASCAP Young Composers Award[citation needed] and a final nominee in the Up & Coming Musician of the Year category of the Jazz Journalists Association Awards.[citation needed] He received a commission for the 2007 and 2013 Chamber Music America New Works Award.Template:Http://
Manuel Valera's New Cuban Express has been Nominated for the 2013 Grammy awards on the category of Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year


External links[edit]