David Virelles, piano concert, Gallery 345: March 14

The owners of Gallery 345 found 2 excellent pianos available when York University disposed of them.  They brought them to the gallery and started using the place as a music venue as well as a gallery… based on these excellent instruments and the acoustics of the gallery.

Top pianists do pass the word about this kind of place … now, an invitation to play here is welcomed like few other places.  Already the list of past concerts here is impressive.

And David Virelles qualifies as one of the great musicians, by nature as well as training, you should try to hear at this place.

Like many of his generation in Cuba who study at the numerous academies of music, he was required to meet high standards mastering the classical theory and repertory.  And also absorbed the poly-rhythmic Afro-cuban heartbeat of music that suffuses Cuba.   When it became clear this young student was special even amongst the best Cuban musicians, Jane Bunnett sponsored him to come to Canada and complete his musical education with some solid Canadian credentials, at Humber College.

The Art of the Piano: David Virelles
Sunday March 14 at 3 PM

“The idea of creating art that expands consciousness is what interests me. Music has the potential to achieve exactly that. The Masters had deep knowledge of its architecture; they developed a kind of art of the highest order that was not only creative and original but also has that quality that opens the mind and exhorts to learn more about ourselves.

“Through composing, I try to come up with a representation in sound of different ideas that were used as a point of departure for generating the musical material, i.e. cycles found in Nature (orbits, night and day, etc), Afro Cuban mystic-religious concepts, dualism, geometry, visual arts, writing systems, language, and many other elements that are a central part of our experiences as human beings. My ultimate goal is to describe through music those experiences that are particular to the way each of us live and think, hopefully encouraging people that listen to it to keep looking for answers.”

This highly skilled pianist has received several accolades recognizing his outstanding talent. In October of 2003, he was chosen as the recipient of the first Oscar Peterson Prize, presented by Peterson himself at the ceremony held at Humber College. Also, when he was only 15, Virelles won the first prize at the Concurso Jojazz in Havana, adjudicated by several of the most prestigious jazz musicians in Cuba. In 2006, David Virelles and his quintet won the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors, the highest distinction awarded at the Montréal Jazz Festival. The same year, Virelles was nominated for the Canadian National Jazz Awards as Best Latin Jazz Artist, and he won the CBC Galaxy Award for Rising Star.

In 2007, the David Virelles Quintet released their debut album, Motion, on Justin Time. The CD features saxophonist Mark Turner, Brazilian musician Celso Machado as well as David’s father, José Aquiles. Motion displays his virtuosity and his endeavor to create original music that is both an invitation to reflect as well as a sonic depiction of life’s experiences.

His rapidly growing reputation was confirmed with his winning the Louis Applebaum Composer’s Award in 2008. That award recognizes excellence in a body of work by an emerging artist in the field of jazz composition.

He will be playing with another great innovator, Steve Coleman, in 2010, as well as continuing to develop his own musical concepts and abilities.


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