Pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger, Yoel Diaz offers a delightful fusion of Cuban music and modern jazz. He is an inspired and prolific artist and currently explores, with his new show EL NUEVO PIANO DE CUBA, the exquisite combination of the great Cuban music together with world music rhythms.
Born in Holguín, Cuba, he lived his childhood listening to the rhythms of the timba, the son, the rumba and the jazz. He studied at the National School of Music José White de Camagüey where he elected the field of percussions. After 10 years as a percussionist, he undertook on his own the study of the piano as well as composition. His style is mostly influenced by his percussion studies and his work draws the attention of important orchestras from the province of Holguín. They invite him as a pianist but also as musical director. In 1996, he is chosen as the musical director of the legendary Alfredo Morales (Chiquitin) Orchestra.
Upon his arrival in Montreal, he is noticed by different jazz and Latin music artists. Through the years, he has been invited to perform the opening act of renowned artists such as: Tito Puente, Eddy Palmieri, Ray Barreto and Arturo Sandoval.
In 2003, he produced his first album of original material. His work was well received by the critics and by the public. In 2005, he began his collaboration with bass player Alex Bellegarde. This encounter led them to the General Motors Prize at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Amongst his numerous collaborations with groups from the jazz and the world music areas, Yoel Diaz participated to the album Pulsión Latina of signer Verónica Larc and to the album Puro café of singer Carlos Placeres. His album Encuentros, released in 2010, shows once again the vast talent of the composer and the diverse musical styles that he masters.
His piano solo album entitled Origen in synch with the show entitled El nuevo piano de Cuba has received a warm welcome from the press. The prolific composer reveals a more percussive and lyrical piano. His imaginative musical approach perfectly blends the rhythms of traditional Cuban music and the contemporary jazz harmony.