“[Prieto’s music is] a marvel of acrobatic musicianship, with Souza’s voice hopping and gliding across tricky but joyful melodies, a glorious match of percussive angularity and tuneful allure” — The New York Times “breaking new ground” — NPR All Things Considered “With its emphasis on composition, supported by the inspiring Souza and a creative cast… Cantar shows Prieto as one of the most multidimensional artists working today” — JazzTimes In this special collaboration, GRAMMY-winning Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto unites with GRAMMY-winning Brazilian-born singer Luciana Souza for Cantar, an album featuring songs with music and lyrics by Prieto. Since arriving in the U.S. from Cuba in 1999, Prieto has honed his forward-looking musical vision across a range of styles and formats. In the process, he has become equally known for his composing and arranging brilliance and his electrifying drumming, comfortable exploring a wide spectrum of musical vocabularies. This album reveals a new side of Prieto — lyricist. He grew up with a great love of popular songs and melodies, influenced by Cuban boleros, Los Van Van, Elis Regina, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Queen, Stevie Wonder, and more. Prieto felt inspired to create a record that would engage listeners through both music and words. He invited Souza as his collaborator, an admirer of her talents as one of the world’s leading vocalists and interpreters (she ultimately contributed lyrics on several tracks as well). The album features songs in three languages — English, Spanish, and Portuguese — and aims to reach a global audience. Prieto and Souza are joined by a trio of masterful musicians and improvisers on the album, including Peter Apfelbaum (Woodwinds, Melodica, Percussion, and Keys), Martin Bejerano (Piano), and Matt Brewer (Acoustic and Electric Bass). Recorded in September 2021, the project is co-produced by legendary GRAMMY-winning producer and Souza’s husband, Larry Klein (Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Madeleine Peyroux, Walter Becker, Melody Gardot), and GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein (Dafnis Prieto, Arturo O’Farrill), Prieto’s collaborator for the past half decade. Cantar is Prieto’s ninth album as a leader, and his latest release on his Dafnison Music label, which he founded in 2008.
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