Yilian Cañizares

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Yilian Cañizares
Yilian Canizares.jpg
Yilian Cañizares at the Marseille Jazz festival des 5 continents 2015
Background information
OriginHavana, Cuba,
Genresjazz, World music, Music of Cuba
Years active2009—present
LabelsNaïve Records

Yilian Cañizares is a Cuban-Swiss musician who has lived in Switzerland since 2000.[1]


Yilian Cañizares was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied violin there, in the strictest Russian tradition.[2] In 1997, she moved to Venezuela, in order to pursue her studies. Three years later, she moved again, to Switzerland, in order to complete her studies at the Fribourg/Freiburg conservatory.[3] She originally wanted to become a classical musician.[1] As she was in Switzerland, she became interested in Jazz and decided to sing.[1] She has remained in Switzerland and has acquired the citizenship.[4][5] She found her own style after having discovered the French jazz violin player Stéphane Grappelli. She decided to use elements of his style with Cuban music.[6]

At the end of her studies, she started the band Ochumare, or "rainbow" in Yoruba,[2] with David Britto (Double Bass) and Cyril Regamey (drums and percussions). She continued her career under her own name.[5] She has been considered the discovery of the year 2013 by the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur [7] and the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles selected her album Invocación in the ten 2015 albums from South America not to be missed.[8] She teaches violin and jazz improvisation at the Ecole de jazz et des musiques actuelles in Lausanne.[4]

Together with pianist Omar Sosa she have created the album “Aguas”, featuring Inor Sotolongo as percussionist.[9][10]


Her style reflects her various influences with shades of jazz, classical music and cuban music, with a lot of space left for improvisation.[11][3][4] The French magazine Les Inrockuptibles speaks of a jazz instrumentation mixed with Yoruba ritual percussions.[8] She sings in Spanish, Yoruba and French. One of her hallmarks is that she plays violin and sings at the same time.[12][1][13]


Ochumare Quartet

  • 2009: Caminos
  • 2011: Somos Ochumare

Yilian Cañizares

  • 2013: Ochumare, Naïve Records
  • 2015: Invocación, Naïve Records
  • 2018: Aguas, with Omar Sosa, OTA Records


  1. ^ a b c d "Demandez le programme" (video). TV5, Program 64 Minutes. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, de Bach à la santería". Radio France Internationale. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, Havanaise du monde". Le Courrier. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "La Suisse, une autre île nourricière". Le Temps. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, par-delà les océans et les traditions". Le Nouvelliste. 7 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Die Sängerin und Geigerin Yilian Cañizares in Moods". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Violon magique – la chanterelle du latin jazz". Le Nouvel Observateur. 30 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Dix albums incontournables d'Amérique du Sud". Les Inrockuptibles. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares To Release New Album: "Aguas"".
  10. ^ "Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares -- De La Habana y Otras Nostalgias".
  11. ^ "Moncalieri Jazz festival: dallo swing italiano al jazz cubano". La Stampa. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Yilian Cañizares – Havanna liegt im Waatland". Radio SRF 2 Kultur. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Le 12:15". Télévision suisse romande. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2015.

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