Dafnis Prieto: Cantar featuring Luciana Souza
Currently touring in support of his 2022 release, Cantar, featuring Grammy award-winning Brazilian-born singer, Luciana Souza, Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, Grammy award-winner and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Dafnis Prieto, presents music from this, his ninth album as a leader (and his latest release on his Dafnison Music label). Showcasing a new side of him, Cantar marks Prieto’s first foray into writing both the music and lyrics of the songs on the album. Having grown up with a great love of popular songs and melodies, influenced by Cuban boleros as well as by Los Van Van, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Queen, Stevie Wonder, and others, Prieto was inspired to create a record that would engage listeners through both music and words. An admirer of Luciana Souza as one of the world’s leading vocalists and interpreters, Prieto invited her to collaborate on the album and she ultimately contributed lyrics for several tracks. Co-produced by Souza’s husband, the legendary Grammy winning producer Larry Klein and Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning producer Eric Oberstein, the album features songs in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Prieto describes the album as revealing “the precious entangled connection of words and sounds, like words that come from far away, like melodies that come from the horizon to your ears, from deep within, from my heart to yours!” And the New York Times writes, “[Prieto’s music is] a marvel of acrobatic musicianship, with Souza’s voice hopping and gliding across tricky but joyful melodies, a glorious match of percussive angularity and tuneful allure.” Since arriving in New York in 1999, Dafnis Prieto has worked with premier artists in both Jazz and Afro Latin music, including Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdés, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico O’Farrill, Arturo O’Farrill, Roy Hargrove and many others. He has enjoyed extraordinary artistic success as a bandleader, most notably for his “stunning” and Grammy winning 2018 big band recording, Back to the Sunset and he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles and for his own bands. In 2022, he premiered a major new work for Latin band and string orchestra, entitled Tentación, which was performed by People of Earth with the Louisville Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and the Britt Festival Orchestra. A gifted educator, Prieto is Associate Professor of Professional Practice at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Luciana Souza grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators – her father was a singer and songwriter and her mother, a poet and lyricist. She has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez and many others and her longstanding duo with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades worldwide. A performer that “transcends traditional boundaries with solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music,” she has released several acclaimed recordings, including six Grammy-nominated records. Her singing has been called “transcendental,” “perfect,” and of “unparalleled beauty.” Joining, Souza and Prieto is Peter Apfelbaum, woodwinds, melodica, percussion, keys; Martin Bejerano, piano; & Ricard Rodriguez, acoustic & electric bass.