I was born in Santiago de Compostela (Galiza) on September 8, 1977. I began my musical studies at age 4 in the Historic Conservatory of Santiago, where the method employed for beginners was Kódaly -a way of learning that emphasizes creativity and intuition above all-. I continued my career at the jazz school “Estudio escola de música”, also in Compostela. Solfege was tought with standard jazz songs and I discovered there that improvisation could be the highest expression of this art form called music. In 1995 I went to Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA), where I earned a Cum Laude Degree in Jazz Composition and Piano Performance in 1999. In 2000 I came back to the city I always want to be coming back: Santiago de Compostela.
I’m a musician because I think music is one of the most powerful means for emotional comunication and it also opens the path for intuition. I try not to forget these two factors in all the projects I start out.
My first instrument is the piano, and my second the drums. I also compose music and teach. Since 1996 I direct an acoustic jazz trio. It features, at present time, Pablo Martín Caminero (double bass) and Bruno Pedroso (drums). I usually perform and record in other formats as well; quintet and septet mostly.
These are the albums I have released as a leader:
Babel de Sons (2001) / xingra
Trio format with Paco Charlín (double bass) and Ramón Ángel (drums). It is a live recording of the performance awarded with the 2nd prize of the International Contest of Jazz Groups of Getxo (Euskadi).
Simetrías (2002) / xingra
Recording with the same rhythm section of “Babel de Sons”. It was presented at the International Jazz Festival “Plaza” in La Habana (Cuba).
GHU! Project vol.1 (2004) / nuba records – karonte
My first album for Nuba Records / Karonte, company I release with at present. The album features Chris Kase (trumpet), Jesús Santandreu ( tenor sax), Michel González (guitar), Paco Charlín (double bass) and Ramón Ángel (drums).
Playing on Light -7 sounding photos- (2006) / nuba records – karonte
(with Paco Charlín on contrabaixo and Bruno Pedroso on drums). It is a programatic work where seven black and white pictures get musicated (photos by masters such as Ralph Gibson, Dona Ferrato or Mitsuaki Iwago). This album was acclaimed by critics voting it as Best Jazz Album in Spain in 2006 (Cuadernos de Jazz magazine).
Open Doors (2008) / nuba records – karonte
Second volume of the GHU! Project in a septet format featuring Chris Kase (trumpet), Perico Sambeat (alto sax), Jesús Santandreu (tenor sax), Alan Ferber (trombone), Nelson Cascais (double bass) and Bruno Pedroso (drums). The record was illustrated by the artist Deli Sánchez. It obtained the 2nd place at the Awards Jaç ’09 in the category of Best International Record -Jaç Magazine (Catalunya).
Piano Solo (2009) / nuba records – karonte
This album contains the original music written for the show “Jazzia” (with magician Kiko Pastur) as well as part of a comissioned work for de University of Santiago (celebrating the “Year Rodríguez Cadarso”). “Piano Solo” was selected as one of the 5 finalist albums at the UFI Awards (Phonographic Independent Union) in the category of Best Jazz Album in Spain 2009.
Open Doors Live (2009) / nuba records – karonte
Live DVD with the performance of the Abe Rábade Septet at the Teatro Principal in Santiago de Compostela. It features Chris Kase (trumpet), Perico Sambeat (alto sax), Jesús Santandreu (tenor sax), Toni Belenguer (trombone), Pablo Martín (double bass) and Bruno Pedroso (drums).
Zigurat (2010) / nuba records – karonte
(with Pablo Martín on double bass and Bruno Pedroso on drums). “Zigurat” was selected Best Jazz Album in the III Edition of the Spanish Independent Music Awards (UFI).
A Modo (2012) / nuba records – karonte
(with Pablo Martín on double bass and Bruno Pedroso on drums). “A Modo” was presented internationally in 2013 in a tour that included the following countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and México.
VerSons (2013) / nuba records – karonte
(with Pablo Martín on double bass and Bruno Pedroso on drums). “VerSons” was a work awarded with the Martín Códax Prize (Galician Music Awards) in the Category of Jazz and Improvised Music in December of 2013.
Other projects I´ve developed are:
Cantigas Jazz Suite (2004)
During the Xacobeo 2004 (Holly Year in Santiago de Compostela), I presented in Mondoñedo (Galiza) the work “Cantigas Jazz Suite”, a series of medieval songs from Galiza (XIII century) adapted to a contemporary context -project in a sextet format featuring Portuguese singer Mísia.
Nordestin@s (2005 to 2011)
Along with vocalists Guadi Galego and Ugia Pedreira I started the banda Nordestin@s in 2005, based on a revision of popular music from Galiza. The album Nordestin@s -in the label Falcatruada- was in the TOP 100 Chart in Spain in January of 2007. Nordestin@s won the 1º Prize at the VI Edition of the Awards of Galician Music “La Opinión”.
Eivissa Jazz Experience (2006 to present time)
Since 2006 I´m the musical director of the group “Eivissa Jazz Experience”, an original production of the Eivissa Jazz Festival. The band I propose different for each edition. Musicians such as Perico Sambeat, Jesús Santandreu, Víctor de Diego, Guim García Balasch, Kike Perdomo, Toni Belenguer, Alexis Cuadrado, Pablo Martín, Marc Ayza, Marc Miralta, Ángela Cervantes, Albert Sanz, Joaquín Chacón, Ernesto Aurignac or David Mengual were part of this project in its last editions. The official soundtrack of the “Eivissa Jazz Festival” is a composition of mine.
Rosalía 21 (2008 to present time)
In 2008 I took part in a project directed by the poet Anxo Angueira. I produced the album “Rosalía 21” (Falcatruada), a contemporary revision of Galiza´s National Poet Rosalía de Castro. This work was presented at the “Feria Internacional del Libro de La Habana” (Cuba).
Aloumiños de Seda (2008)
The album Aloumiños de Seda was a comissioned work for the General Bureau of Linguistic Policy (Autonomous Government of Galiza). I put music to poems that Galician authors wrote for kids. The recording featured Ramón Bermejo, Terela Gradín, Joana Machado and Guadi Galego (voices), Perico Sambeat (alto and soprano saxes), Virxilio da Silva (guitar), Nelson Cascais (double bass), Bruno Pedroso (drums) and Marcos Vázquez (percussion).
Azos Jazz (2010 to present time)
In 2010 I founded the label AZOS jazz, along with Sergio Lago. The first titles of the collection are the albums “Introducing Álvaro Vieito” and “Live in Santiago” (Bill Goodwin Quartet) -both released in 2010.
Piano Soloist with Symphonic Bands (2014). I performed as a soloist George Gershwin´s Rhapsody in Blue with the Symphonic Band of Pontevedra (Galiza) in May of 2014 (Teatro Principal de Pontevedra) and with the Symphonic Band of Santiago de Compostela (Galiza) in November of the same year (Teatro Principal de Santiago).
I was comissioned for the following works:
Kind Steps (2009)
Portuguese drummer and producer Mário Barreiros wanted me to direct the band and write the arrangements for the project Kind Steps -The Legacy of 1959-, a work that pays a tribute to 6 masterpieces from 1959 including landmark recordings such as Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and Giant Steps by John Coltrane. The band features Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Ben Van Gelder and Perico Sambeat (alto sax), Jesús Santandreu (tenor sax), Abe Rábade (piano), Carlos Barretto (double bass) and Mário Barreiros (drums).
Travessia dos Poetas (2010)
Portuguese vocalist Joana Machado asked me to direct and write the compositions for the album “Travessia dos Poetas”. I used texts written by poets such as Rui Belo, Alberto Caeiro, Herberto Helder, Sophia de Mello Breyner and Nuno Júdice (Karonte, 2010). The resulting work features a jazz quartet, a woodwind chamber group and voice.
Original Soundtrack for the movie “A Cicatriz Branca” (2011)
Galician film maker Margarita Ledo hired me to write the music for the movie “A Cicatriz Branca”. It features the Abe Rábade Trio.
I took part in the folowing projects as well:
Along with magician Kiko Pastur I presented in 2008 the show “Jazzia”, a synthesis of Stage Magic and Piano Jazz. I wrote original music for the project, released under the title “Jazzia”. This recording was eventually released by Nuba Records + Karonte containing some new piano solo tracks. The resulting album was “Piano Solo” (2009).
Bill Goodwin Quartet (2009 to present time)
In 2009 I performed with legendary drummer Bill Goodwin in a quartet format featuring Adam Niewood on tenor sax and Paco Charlín on double bass. After this tour we released 2 albums: “Live in Santiago” (Azos Jazz, 2010) and “Canjazz 4tet” (Free Code, 2010). In May and June of 2010 I made two tours in the East Coast of the US joining the quartet of drummer Bill Goodwin and the quartet of saxofonist Adam Niewood, playing among other places at the Dizzy´s Club -Jazz at the Lincoln Center- (New York) and at the Rochester International Jazz Festival (New York State).
Kurt Rosenwinkel + OJM (2009)
In 2009 I recorded piano in the album “Our Secret World” by Kurt Rosenwinkel with the Orquestra de Jazz de Matosinhos in Gaia (Portugal). The work was released by Wommusic in 2010.
Pablo Martín Caminero Quinteto (2009 to 2012)
I was part of double bassist Pablo Martín´s quintet. The band featured Perico Sambeat (alto sax), Toni Belenguer (trombone) and Borja Barrueta (drums). The first production of this group was the CD+DVD “El Caminero”, released in 2011 by the label Bost.
Chris Kase Sextet (2011)
In 2011 I recorded piano in the album “Six” by Chris Kase, released by Nuba Records in 2011.
I received the following prizes and scholarships:
Martín Códax Award in the Category of Jazz and Improvised Music (Galician Music Awards) in 2013.
“UFI” Award to the Best Jazz Album -“Zigurat” in 2011.
“Cunca das Artes” Award in the category of Music, given by the Asociación de Amizade das Artes Galego Portuguesas (Galician-Portuguese Friendship of the Arts Association) in 2009.
“Aula X” Award to the Best Solo at the “X Jornadas sobre Jazz de la UNED” (Melilla) in 2007.
1st Prize of Galician Music “La Opinión” on its 6th edition – “Nordestin@s” in 2007.
“Tete Montoliú” Award to the Revelation Pianist in Spain, given by SGAE in 2001.
2nd Prize at the International Contest of Jazz Groups of Getxo (Euskadi) -Abe Rábade Trío- in 2000.
Claire Fischer Award given by Berklee College of Music in 1999.
Piano Performance Award given by Berklee College of Music in 1999.
Liberace Foundation Award given by Berklee College of Music in 1997.
3 High Specialization AIE Scholarships for Berklee College of Music (from 1996 to 1999).
5 AIE Regular Scholarships for Estudio escola de música (from 1991 to 1995).
I produced artistically the following albums:
May´s Idea by Ten Jazz Men (Free Code, 2007).
Sound Colors by Jesús Santandreu (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2009).
Introducing Álvaro Vieito by Álvaro Vieito (Azos Jazz, 2010).
This is my teaching experience:
Since 2000 I´m the Artistic Director of the “Permanent Jazz Seminar of Pontevedra” (SPJ) along with Paco Charlín.
I tought piano, arranging / composition and ensemble at “Estudio escola de música” in Santiago de Compostela (Galiza) from 2000 to 2003.
I participated actively in International Jazz Seminars such as the Annual Meetings of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) celebrated in Boston (US, 2001) and Helsinki (Finland, 2002), the Tavira Jazz Workshop (Algarve, Portugal), Palau de la Música International Jazz Seminar (Valencia, Spain), at the IKFEM (International Keyboard Festival and Master Class) in the Eurocity Tui-Valença, Conservatorio da Jobra (A Branca, Portugal) or the Jazz it up Workshops celebrated in Macao (China).
Since 2009 I teach Piano and Composition at the ESMAE (Superior School of Music and Performing Arts) in Porto (Portugal).
As a composer for Large Ensembles the folowing works were premiered:
Prana (for BigBand). Premiered at the Casa da Música in Porto (Portugal) in June of 2013. Was also played in Macao (China) in October of 2013. Conducted by Abe Rábade in both ocassions.
Setes (for Flute, Piano and String Orchestra). Premiered at the Auditorium of the Escola de Altos Estudos Musicais of Santiago de Compostela (Galiza) in March of 2014. Conducted by Maximino Zumalave.
Cinco Fiestras (for Mixed Choir and String Orchestra). Premiered at the Auditorium of the Escola de Altos Estudos Musicais of Santiago de Compostela (Galiza) in March of 2014. Conducted by Maximino Zumalave.
Paseo dos Gafos (for Symphonic Band). Premiered at the Teatro Principal de Pontevedra (Galiza) in May of 2014. Conducted by Juan Lois Diéguez.
Some of the musicians I´ve recorded or/and performed with are:
Saxofonists Jesús Santandreu, Miguel Zenón, Bob Mintzer, Eric Alxander, Jeff Harrington, Perico Sambeat, John O’Gallagher, Jorge Pardo, Guim García Balasch, Ben Van Gelder, Adam Niewood, Vicente Macián and Víctor de Diego.
Trumpeters Chris Kase, Mike Philip Mossman, Avishai Cohen, Brian Lynch and Raynald Colom.
Trombonists Alan Ferber, Toni Belenguer and Carlos Martín.
Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh.
Guitarists Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nuno Ferreira, Michel González, Josemi Carmona, Mark White, Miquel Casany and Virxilio da Silva.
Harmonicist Antonio Serrano.
Vibraphonist Arturo Serra.
Pianist Albert Sanz.
Vocalists Sinne E, Claudia Acuña, Deborah Carter, Joana Machado, Mísia, Chonchi Heredia, Guadi Galego and Ugía Pedreira.
Double bassits/bassists Pablo Martín, Nelson Cascais, Carlos Barretto, Alexis Cuadrado, Carles Benavent, Paco Charlín, Javier Colina, Tom Warburton, Zé Eduardo, Matt Baker, David Mengual and Horacio Fumero.
Drummers Bruno Pedroso, Terri Lyne Carrington, Bill Goodwin, Jeff Williams, Skip Hadden, Jeff Ballard, Mário Barreiros, Martin Andersen, Flin VanHemmen, Marc Miralta, Marc Ayza and Ramón Ángel.
I played in the most important Jazz Festivals in Spain. Internationally I performed in Paris and Toulouse (France), Berlin, Munich and Kiel (Germany), Lausanne (Swiizerland), Porto, Lisbon and Madeira (Portugal), Tanger (Moroco), Boston, New York, Rochester and Cleveland (USA), Birmingham (UK), La Habana (Cuba), Helsinki (Finland), Belo Horizonte and Salvador de Bahía (Brazil), Santiago de Chile (Chile), San José de Costa Rica (Costa Rica), México D.F. and Oaxaca (México), Ciudad de Guatemala, Antigua and Quetzaltenango (Guatemala) and San Salvador (El Salvador).
SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY
LEADER AND CO-LEADER:
Babel de Sons, 2001 (Xingra)
Simetrías, 2002 (Xingra)
GHU! Project vol.1, 2004 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Playing on Light –7 sounding photos, 2006 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Nordestin@s, 2006 (Falcatruada)
Rosalía 21, 2008 (Falcatruada)
Open Doors (GHU! Project vol.2, 2008 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Jazzia, 2008 (Producción Propia)
Aloumiños de Seda, 2008 (Xeración e Logo)
Abe Rábade Piano Solo, 2009 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Open Doors Live [DVD], 2009 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Zigurat, 2010 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
A Modo, 2012 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
VerSons, 2013 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
COMPOSER AND ARRANGER:
A Canary Man in Boston -René González Big band-, 2003 (+ Ná)
May’s Idea –Ten Jazz Men-, 2007 (Free Code)
Travessia dos Poetas -Joana Machado-, 2010 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Wes Montgomery Revisited -Miquel Casany-, 2005 (Sedajazz)
Out of the Cage –Jesús Santandreu Quartet-, 2007 (Fresh Sound)
Jazz in Galiza Series vol.1 –J. O’Gallagher, P. Charlín, J. Williams-, 2007 (Free Code)
Scketches of Groove -Raynald Colom-, 2007 (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Manual del Tiempo Perdido -Animales Domésticos, 2007 (Free Code)
Benzón -Guadi Galego-, 2009 (Músicas de Salitre)
Live in Santiago -Bill Goodwin Quartet-, 2010 (Azos Jazz)
Our Secret World -Kurt Rosenwinkel + OJM-, 2010 (Wommusic)
El Caminero [DVD + CD]– Pablo Martín Caminero Quintet, 2011 (Bost)
Six -Chris Kase-, 2011 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
Café Latino 25 Aniversario (Pardo/ Rábade/ Colina/ Ballard/ Carmona/ Heredia), 2012 (Nuba + Karonte Records)
SET -Nuno Ferreira Septeto-, 2014 (Sintoma Records)
Sound Colors -Jesús Santandreu-, 2008 (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Introducing Álvaro Vieito -Álvaro Vieito-, 2009 (Azos Jazz)