OSWEGO — Drummer Dafnis Prieto, a native of Cuba, brings his percussive virtuosity and Latin jazz So o Si Quartet to SUNY Oswego’s Hewitt Union ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23.
Since his arrival in New York 15 years ago, the two-time Grammy nominee and MacArthur Fellow has gained an international following as an innovative jazz instrumentalist and composer. Prieto has released five albums and created music for dance, film and his own bands. He is best known for the high energy of his live performances.
“Those who catch him on a regular basis know that the bandstand is where the real action is,” said Jim Macnie in a four-star review for DownBeat Magazine.
The Si o Si Quartet features longtime Prieto collaborators Roman Filiu on alto saxophone, Manuel Valera on piano and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass — each an in-demand player in New York City’s vibrant Latin jazz scene.
Together, the ensemble has developed an orchestral richness to match its rhythmic complexity.
The program launches the college’s 2014-15 Artswego Performing Arts Series. In addition to the concert, Prieto will speak to participants in the annual ALANA Student Leadership Conference at SUNY Oswego and work with jazz composition students of Dr. Eric Schmitz.
Schmitz, who has traveled to Cuba with his students to study Latin percussion, welcomes the campus visit by one of the younger luminaries in the genre.
“Dafnis Prieto is one of the most exciting musicians to come out of Cuba in a generation,” Schmitz said. “His virtuosic drumming, impressive composing and work with today’s top players put him at the forefront of contemporary Latin jazz.”
Schmitz adds, “In addition to SUNY Oswego’s connection with Cuba through study abroad, faculty research and teaching, we also have a growing Latin jazz program. The opportunity for students to experience and work with Dafnis is invaluable.”
Tickets to Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet are $15 ($5 for SUNY Oswego students), available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu and by calling 315-312-2141. Parking is included in the price of a ticket, and is available in the lot in front of Culkin Hall and the employee and commuter lots behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls.
For more information about this and other SUNY Oswego fine arts performances, visit oswego.edu/arts