Stanford Jazz Workshop
38th Season
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2009 Stanford Jazz Festival

> 2009 Festival At A Glance
June 26   James Moody Quartet featuring Benny Green
June 27   Early Bird featuring Crosspulse Duo/Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble
June 27   Gonzalo Rubalcaba
June 28   Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet
July 3   Bobbe Norris with the Larry Dunlap Trio
July 5   Songs of Sinatra: An American Celebration
July 10   Wycliffe Gordon Quartet
July 11   Early Bird Jazz: Woodwinds & Strings
July 11   Regina Carter Quintet
July 12   Everything You Wanted to Know About Jazz (But Were Afraid to Ask)
July 12   Wesla Whitfield & the Mike Greensill Trio
July 17   Brazilian Guitarist Paulo Bellinati with special guests Carlos Oliveira & Harvey Wainapel
July 18   The Donald Harrison 3D Experience
July 19   Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
July 20   Blastin’ Barriers with Frederick Harris & Friends
July 21   Julian Lage Group
July 22   Ruth Davies Blues Night with Elvin Bishop
July 23   Simply Standards with Melecio Magdaluyo
July 25   Matt Wilson’s Sonic Garden featuring Julian Lage
July 26   Taylor Eigsti & Free Agency
July 27   Horace-Scope with Jaz Sawyer
July 28   Jeb Patton Trio featuring Albert “Tootie” Heath
July 29   1959 Revisited
July 30   SJW Mentors with Matt Wilson
Aug 1   Madeline Eastman featuring Terell Stafford
Aug 2   The Heath Brothers
Aug 3   Generations Jazz Project
Aug 4   Stan@Stanford: Remembering Stan Getz
Aug 5   Mulgrew Miller Trio
Aug 7   SJW All-Star Jam Session
Aug 8   Dena DeRose Quartet featuring Steve Davis

Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet
Peter Apfelbaum, tenor saxophone; Manuel Valera, piano; Armando Gola, bass; Dafnis Prieto, drums

Sunday, June 28, 7:30 pm
Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $36 general | $18 students

Tickets on sale now!
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford Ticket Office
For more information, go to our Ticketing Information Page

Dafnis Prieto’s first appearance at the Stanford Jazz Festival in the late 1990s is already the stuff of legend. Performing with Yosvany Terry and Columna B, the young Cuban drummer blew listeners away with his amazing musicianship, versatility, and propulsive rhythmic energy. In 1999 Prieto relocated to New York, where he has had an equally enthusiastic reception, quickly establishing himself as one of the city’s most innovative and prolific drummers. He has performed and recorded with artists including Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, and Roy Hargrove. The rhythmic precision of his drumming is breathtaking, and his virtuosity is always in service to the music, never becoming overbearing. As a composer and bandleader, Prieto makes complexity sound simple and musically subversive ideas seem irresistible. His music features appealing melodies and deft ensemble writing along with rhythms that make you want to dance in ways you never imagined. Prieto’s Sí o Sí (Yes or Yes) Quartet includes Bay Area icon and saxophone maverick Peter Apfelbaum, along with bassist Armando Gola and pianist Manuel Valera.

“Dafnis Prieto is easily the most impressive young drummer to come on the jazz scene during the past decade. Possessing awesome virtuosity and astonishing versatility, Prieto has made important contributions to the music of a broad range of leaders… His compositions are elaborate composites melding Afro-Cuban rhythms and modern jazz harmonies into music that is ecstatic and intelligent.”

– All About Jazz

Dafnis Prieto website

Video Links:

Dafnis Prieto with Peter Apfelbaum, American Music Festival 2009 presented by WNYC

Si o Si Quartet with Dafnis Prieto & Peter Apfelbaum:

Dafnis Prieto

Supported in part by Srinija Srinivasan.

Q&A with Dafnis Prieto

What is the first recording you remember hearing as a child?
It was by the band from Cuba, Los Van Van.
What job would you have if you weren’t a jazz musician?
I would like to save lives, so maybe a doctor.

What’s the strangest experience you’ve ever had on the bandstand?
I have seen myself playing from above while I'm actually playing on the stage, as if I were levitating.

What’s your favorite food?

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled to as a musician?

What’s the last book you’ve read?
The Empty Space by Peter Brook

If you could play with any other musician, living or dead (with whom you have not played), who would it be and why?
Hermeto Pascoal. I admire his idea that making music is the most natural thing in the world, without restrictions or preconceived vocabularies.

What’s your favorite tune?
Maybe “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn

What’s your favorite jazz venue?
Jazz Gallery in New York City

Who is your greatest musical influence?
Hermento Pascoal, Keith Jarrett, Steve Coleman, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and many others

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three recordings with you, what would they be?
My last three albums--maybe I could find a good distributor there!

How much do you practice each week?
Almost everyday

What hobbies do you have?
I love to spend time playing with my son.

If you could be any other type of artist other than a jazz musician, what would you be and why?
I don't really consider myself a jazz musician. I play music that connects with that style as well as many other styles. But, to answer the question, maybe an actor. I think acting is something I'll still really like to try.

When did you become interested in music, and what circumstances or events led to your becoming a professional musician?
When I was around seven years old in Cuba, I lived in a very musical neighborhood. I started traveling with Carlos Maza to international festivals in Europe when I was 16 years old.

If you were to describe your music as a color, what color would it be and why?
Maybe red or orange because they are vivid and send a clear message.