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Afrocuban perfection and a lot more

Yilian Canizares masters most things. This is probably thanks not only to her zen-like presence, but also her classical training. As just a seven-year-old, she gained a place at the illustrious Manuel Saumell academy in her home town of Havana. Later, as a music student in Venezuela, she was taken under the wings of a Swiss tutor. Since then, Switzerland has been her home.


Yilian Canizares carries with her a quiet yet incredibly powerful stage presence. Together with her co-musicians, she merges jazz, classical and Afro-Cuban rhythms. She also channels her West African heritage through music in the Yoruba tradition. She can play Bach sonatas on the violin with mathematical precision and conjure up New Orleans swing and Latin jazz. Listeners will also recognise a little of Chopin, Chucho Valdés and New York jazz.


A concert with Yilian Canizares can almost bring forth nuances of a Radka Toneff or an Esbjørn Svensson Trio concert but most of all, one of the artist herself that must be experienced.


As Olav Opsvik wrote in Norwegian jazz journal Jazz Nytt following her concert at the Oslo World Music Festival, “Exquisite arrangements and melodies performed with great and infectious enthusiasm and not least, a hugely effective use of contrasts.”


Line-up: Yilian Canizares – violin, lead vocals; Daniel Stawinski – piano; David Brito – double bass; Cyril Regamey – drums, percussion; Inor Sotolongo – percussion