Born in Havana, Cuba in 1980, pianist/composer and bandleader Manuel Valera is a forward-minded jazz musician with a knack for combining myriad Latin styles with contemporary jazz and post-bop.
Starting out as a saxophonist, Valera switched full-time to piano after moving to the U.S. where he performed with John Patitucci, Paquito D'Rivera, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Chris Potter, Mark Turner and many others.
In 2017, «The Seasons» is Valera’s twelfth recording as a leader and the second recording with this trio. The first trio recording was the critically acclaimed «Live at Firehouse 12» which was released in 2015 also on Mavo Records. After working together as a trio for almost four years the connection of the trio can be felt throughout the new release. The musical interplay that has developed between these musicians is extraordinary.
The main composition of the recording is Valera’s suite «The Seasons», which is inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s Baroque masterpiece. The four-part structure captures the cycle of life: from the birth in spring, development in summer, aging in fall and perishing in the winter. The project features the beautiful Bolero by Osvaldo Farres «Tres Palabras», The Beatles classic «In My Life», and an intricate arrangement of Cole Porter’s «What is this thing Called Love». The recording closes with a delicate and worldly version of Leonard Cohen’s «Hallelujah».
In 2018, Manuel has released his album "The Planets".
In 2020, Manuel has released a new album "New Cuban Express Big Band" on Greenleaf Music with a strong message. Born out of the crisis of Valera's loss of his wife to cancer last year, Jose Marti en Nueva York is a personal cry for freedom, justice and an expression of passion.
Manuel has performed in some of the biggest international venues and festivals. No doubt that his blending of Latin music with jazz harmony and improvisations is producing more than a mere hybrid and will appeal to a growing audience.
MANUEL VALERA TRIO
Manuel Valera - piano
Hans Glawischnig - bass
Mark Whitfield Jr - drums
Available from 24 to 5 June 2024
Available Summer & Fall 2024
"He leaves no doubt that he is destined to play a role in the future of jazz" - Billboard
"... a superb ensemble ..." - Downbeat