2013 Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Manuel Valera is a powerhouse who has taken New York by storm since relocating there from his native Cuba in 2000. Valera's maiden voyage for Criss Cross features his band, New Cuban Express, on a selection of originals that cover a range of styles, touching on both Latin and swing sensibilities.
Yosvany Terry on alto sax, Tom Guarna on guitar and Alex Sipiagin on trumpet make strong statements, while Valera tastefully uses the Fender Rhodes to add new colours to the ensemble mix. Bassist is Hans Glawischnig, on drums Ludwig Afonso, and Mauricio Herrera on percussion complete the group.
Having worked with many of today's finest Afro Cuban jazz artists, Valera made his Criss Cross debut on Brian Lynch's Conclave Vol. 2. His strongest set as leader, 'In Motion' marks the pianist and composer as a major talent on the rise.
Personnel: Manuel Valera (piano, Fender Rhodes, chekeré), Yosvany Terry (alto and soprano saxophone), Tom Guarna (guitar), Alex Sipiagin (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Hans Glawischnig (bass), Ludwig Afonso (drums), Mauricio Herrera (percussion)