Manuel Valera / The New Cuban Express
Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger Manuel Valera is at the forefront of contemporary modern jazz. He represents the next generation of great performers and composers. His sound is fresh, inviting, and evocative, and his goal is to forge innovative sounds that bring a vitality and newness to the idioms of jazz and Latin jazz. He is constantly workshopping musical ideas to develop new composition and arranging techniques that bring together Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, and various jazz styles and forms.
“It may be rare to hear a 23-year-old with the exploratory interests and tender touch of Valera, but it's an unalloyed pleasure to discover a young man so accomplished that his potential seems boundless. Pianist-composer Manuel Valera is, indeed, prime mover of this Forma Nueva.” —Howard Mandel, President, Jazz Journalists Association