Dafnis Prieto

Drummer, Composer, Educator

Dafnis Prieto’s arrival in the U.S. from Cuba has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York. Within a short period of time his revolutionary drumming technique had a powerful impact on the local and international Latin and Jazz music scene.

Among the many accolades that Dafnis has earned include the “2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award”, “Up & Coming Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a Grammy Award Nomination for  ”Absolute Quintet” as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best New Artist” in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops and he has been a member of the NYU Music Faculty since 2005.

A resident of New York City since 1999, he has already worked in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, among many others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and as bandleader, including several of his own projects and music.

Dafnis Prieto is the founder of Dafnison Music, an independent record company. As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to his “Small Big Band”. His work also includes distinctively different groups featured by five acclaimed recordings as a leader: About The Monks, Absolute Quintet, Taking The Soul For a Walk, Si o Si Quartet-Live at Jazz Standard, and Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio. He has received new works commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer.

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In the Studio with Dafnis Prieto
Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio / EPK
Dafnis Prieto
Dafnis Prieto: MD Fest 2008
Dafnis Prieto at Modern Drummer Fest 2008 (New footage)