Aldo López-Gavilán

Aldo López-Gavilán

Aldo López-Gavilán was born in Cuba to a family of internationally acclaimed classical musicians. By the age of two, the young Aldo had written his first musical composition. By four, his mother introduced the budding child prodigy to the piano. He began his formal piano studies at the age of seven. He made his professional debut at the age of 12 with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra. Parallel to his classical abilities, López-Gavilán developed remarkable improvisational skills. He was invited to perform in the world-famous Havana Jazz Festival with legend Chucho Valdés, who called López-Gavilán “simply a genius, a star.”

In 1999, he recorded his first CD, En el ocaso de la hormiga y el elefante, which won the 2000 Grand Prix at Cubadisco; it also received awards in the jazz and first-works categories. His second album, Talking to the Universe, was a success with audiences and critics alike. In 2006, he gave a concert of his newest works that was later turned into his third album, Soundbites. He was also invited by Claudio Abbado to perform as soloist in a special concert dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, in which he was accompanied by the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. The following year, Abbado invited him to perform Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 1 in Caracas and Havana.

In 2008, López-Gavilán was included in a documentary on the history of Latin jazz in Cuba titled ¡Manteca, Mondongo y Bacalao con Pan!, directed by Pavel Giroud. It was that same year that he recorded his fourth CD, Dimensional, which afforded him the flexibility for more musical experimentation. He has also composed music for such documentaries as El Proceso: la historia no contada. His fifth album, Aldo López-Gavilán en vivo, was released in 2009. He finished his first live DVD, Más allá del ocaso, which included orchestral selections and jazz compositions. He also composed original music for Cuban director Lester Hamlet’s film Casa vieja


Thursday, April 04 | 6:00 PM
Aldo López-Gavilán and Ilmar Gavilán in Concert at Jarvis Conservatory

Cuban pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, who made his festival debut in 2016 and was awarded the festival’s Khaledi Prize in 2017, is joined by his brother, Ilmar Gavilán, on violin for an electrifying concert of Aldo’s original compositions. Drawing from a range of colors that includes Middle Eastern, Irish and Brazilian sonorities, Aldo's compositions weave a layered tapestry described as magical, optimistic and at its core, deeply soulful. This very special evening commemorates the release of two collaborations between Aldo and Ilmar: a new album of original compositions and an upcoming public television documentary about their musical journeys.

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Friday, April 05 | 11:00 AM
Concert for Kids: Aldo López-Gavilán and Ilmar Gavilán at Jarvis Conservatory

Aldo and Ilmar bring their unforgettable sounds to Festival Napa Valley’s first Concert for Kids of the season. The brothers will perform for the students of Camille Creek Community School, whose mission is to empower Napa’s most disenfranchised youth toward a productive future through restorative relationships, individualized instruction and inspiring opportunities for growth.

Concert for Kids is an exclusive private concert and bilingual interactive session featuring Festival Napa Valley artists.

A Festival Napa Valley Arts for All program 

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