Cuba's Harold López-Nussa is a gifted pianist whose immense skills have found him playing sophisticated post-bop jazz and Cuban and Afro-Latin rhythms. Born Harold López-Nussa Torres in Havana in 1983, López-Nussa was raised in a musical family with parents who were both musicians. His uncle, Ernán Lopez-Nussa, is also a pianist of note. From age eight, he studied classical piano, first at the Manuel Saumell Elementary School of Music and the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, and he later graduated from the Instituto Superior de Artes. Around age 18 he discovered jazz, a passion that would remain his main creative focus. After leaving school, López-Nussa gained early notice touring with vocalist Omara Portuondo and recording Heitor Villa-Lobos' Fourth Piano Concerto with Cuba's National Symphony Orchestra in 2003. In 2005, his profile was raised even higher after he won the First Prize and Audience Prize of the Jazz Solo Piano Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He also appeared on albums by such diverse artists as guitarist Leo Brouwer, Gilles Peterson, and the jazz supergroup Ninety Miles, alongside vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeter Christian Scott, and tenor saxophonist David Sánchez. In 2007, he made his solo debut with Canciones. Two years later, he returned with Herencia, followed by 2011's El Pais de las Maravillas and 2013's New Day. In 2015, López-Nussa collaborated with Senegalese bassist/vocalist Alune Wade on the Afro-Latin album Havana - Paris - Dakar. The following year, he paired again with Wade for Viaje, a similarly Afro-Latin-leaning album that also featured his brother, drummer Ruy Adrián López-Nussa, as well as guest appearances from his father Ruy Francisco López-Nussa, trumpeter Mayquel González, and percussionists Dreiser Durruthy and Adel González. ~ Matt Collar
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Latin America - Released June 15, 2018 | Mack Avenue Records
In just a decade, Cuban artist Harold Lopez Nussa has established himself as one of the most talented Latin jazz pianists of his generation. This new album, made in trio with his brother and drummer Ruy Adrian and bassist Gaston Joya, creates a perspective between the origins of Cuban music and his own creations. Indeed, he covers Ernesto Lecuona’s (1895-1963) Danza de los Ñáñigos, which is based on elements from Afro-Cuban rituals, and his Y la Negra Bailaba, which creates a bridge between son and danzón. The pianist’s smooth and dynamic style elegantly reshapes Cesar Portillo de la Luz’s famous bolero Contigo En La Distancia, which features in the repertoire of Caetano Veloso, Christina Aguilera, and even Omara Portuando, a version that Harold Lopez Nussa knows very well, having played it alongside Portuando on tour around the world. He also officially pays tribute to the great Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes with Una Tarde Cualquiera en Paris. Whether he strides along the spicy roadways of Cuban rhythms or expresses his taste for a form of French impressionism inherited from Ravel in Ma Petite dans la boulangerie, Harold Lopez Nussa reaffirms with strong support from his swinging crew his freedom and inexhaustible verve as an improviser. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/ Qobuz
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