Artist

Yoël Díaz

Born in Holguin, Cuba, in 1974, Yoël Díaz was given his first piano at age 2. He grew up to the rhythm of the timba, the son, the rumba and Cuban jazz. At age 16 he enters the prestigious José White National School of music in Camaguey, where he specializes in percussion for the next 10 years, then studies the piano and composition on his own. His style is greatly influenced by his studies as a percussionist and he rapidly attract the attention of the top orchestras in the province of Holguin, where he is also invited not only as a pianist but also as musical director. Thus, at 18 he joins the Gustavo Marquez y su Gran Salsa for which makes numerous musical arrangements. He later joins the Aguas del Caribe Band and tours the resorts in the Guardalavaca region. In 1995, he creates the Lunes del Jazz (Jazz Mondays) at the calligary Cabaret in Holguin, where he invites the best jazz musicians from Holguin to Havana. Finally, in 1996, he becomes musical director for the Alfredo Morales (Chiquitín) Orchestra, a traditional Cuban legend for more than 30 years. In 1997, he arrives in Montreal, and within only weeks he is noticed by various latin music and jazz musicians. He plays for the inauguration of Les soirées Oyé at the Metropolis with the Joe Armando Band. In 1998 he founds the Trabuco Havanero with the Cuban bass player, Lazaro Leyva. The band is invited to do the first part of the latin Crossing show at the Montréal International jazz festival, starring Steve Winwood, Arturo Sandoval and Tito Puente. Since 1998, Yoel has participated in numerous festivals: Festival Nuits d’Afrique, Juste pour Rire, the Otawa Jazz festival performing the first part of the Ray Barreto show, etc. In 1999 he appears on. In 1999 he appears on the J’aime tv show on télé-Québec along with the guitarist and composer, Carlos Placeres. With the Trabuco Havanero Ensemble, he plays for the Abitibi-Temiscamingue International Film Festival in November 2000, for the launching of Richard Roy’s film entitled Café Olé. Since 2001 he accompanies the guitarist Harold Faustin’s band as well as the singers Beethova Obas and Emeline Michel in numerous shows. It is also since 2001 that he has been invited at different intervals to play for the famous Luc de Larocheliere jams, including those at the Francofolies de Montréal in 2002 and 2003. Last year he recorded an album with the Haitian singer Lody Auguste, entitled Dekwoke L. He also accompanies the singer Marie Vallée with whom he is presently recording an album, and had the pleasure of composing the score for Marie Josée Levesque’s documentary. D’un fleuve a l’autre, presented at the Vues d’Afrique 2003 Festival. After having performed with numerous jazz and Cuban music groups and having signed more than sixty original composition, the year 2003 opens up many new horizons for him, with a first show at the Montréal International Jazz Festival with his own band of 9 musicians and the launching of his first album entitled, Te llegó.

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