Cuba boasts a long history of birthing dynamite Latin jazz pianists, and now another has emerged. Introducing Harold López-Nussa, a young pianist and composer with an inventive, swinging Afro-Cuban style and jaw-dropping ability. 

“López-Nussa’s single-note grace is akin to Herbie Hancock’s, and his two-fisted attacks are as joyous as Chick Corea’s.” – DownBeat

Following in the footsteps of greats like Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, López-Nussa is unencumbered by genre boundaries, forging a unique sound that folds classical, jazz and pan-Latin rhythms together for a rich hybrid.

Born in Havana, López-Nussa began his musical career as a classical pianist, studying at Cuba’s finest conservatories and music schools. As a soloist, he quickly became a rising star in Cuba, performing with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, Holguín Symphony Orchestra, Matanzas Symphony Orchestra and Havana Lyceum Mozartiano until discovering his love for jazz, Cuban son and improvisational music. In 2005, López-Nussa exploded on to the jazz scene with a surprise First Prize and Audience Prize at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition.  From there, he set out on a career that is continuing to gain momentum and accolades.

Forming his own trio and concentrating heavily on his own unique compositions, López-Nussa has ascended into the upper stratosphere of Latin jazz artists.  He has played together with major figures of Cuban traditional music and popular music, as well as with beloved jazz musicians such as Chucho Valdés, David Sánchez, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Christian Scott and Stefon Harris among many others. He released 2013’s New Day, a record that included African and pop influences, to widespread critical acclaim further cementing López-Nussa’s place amongst the pantheon of Cuban pianists. A duo record called Havana- Paris- Dakar with frequent collaborator Alune Wade further highlighted the pianist’s globetrotting vision. López-Nussa joined the prestigious ranks of Mack Avenue Records for his follow-up, a dynamite, critically-adored record (4 stars, Downbeat) called El Viaje.

 

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