Elio Villafranca will be the 9th presentation in the Jazz Cultural Voices lineup. Born in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba, Steinway Artist, Grammy Nominated, and 2014 Jalc Millennium Swing Award recipient, pianist, and composer Elio Villafranca was classically trained in percussion and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba.
Since his arrival in the U.S. in mid-1995, Elio Villafranca is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable pianists, composers, and bandleaders. His concert "Letters to Mother Africa" was selected by NYC Jazz Record as Best Concerts in 2016. In 2015, Mr. Villafranca was among the five pianists hand picked by Chick Corea to perform at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival, curated by Chick himself at JALC. Elio Villafranca’s new album Caribbean Tinge (Motema), received a 2014 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Nomination by the German Records Critics Award.