Manuel Valera

Piano – Jazz Institute, Advanced Package


oining the SJW faculty for the first time, pianist Manuel Valera is a giant in both the Afro Cuban and the jazz worlds.

He tours frequently with Afro Cuban artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Dafnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry, and Pedro Martinez. He’s equally active in contemporary jazz, working with artists such as Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Dave Binney, Adam Rogers, and Jeff “Tain” Watts.

Manuel has released 12 recordings as a bandleader to critical acclaim, one of which, his New Cuban Express project, was recently nominated for a Grammy. His latest trio recording The Seasons will be released on MAVO Records in spring of 2017. Valera is a prolific composer as well, being the recipient of grants and awards such as Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation, and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. He tours frequently, having performed in more than 30 countries, and at some of the biggest international venues and festivals.

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