Fabian Almazan

Alcanza Suite: VII. Pater Familias

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JazzTimes

From the album Alcanza
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Recently nominated for a Grammy for his work on Terence Blanchard’s “Breathless”, pianist and composer Fabian Almazan found his musical roots as a child in his homeland of Havana where he first became involved in the classical piano tradition. When his parents could not afford to pay for private piano lessons, having migrated to Miami, FL, pianist Conchita Betancourt was gracious enough to impart free lessons for over three years. Thanks to Mrs. Betancourt’s exceeding generosity, Fabian was able to audition for the New World School of the Arts High School in Miami, FL where he studied from 1998 to 2002. In 2002 Fabian was selected for the piano chair in the National 2002 Grammy High School Jazz Combo. The following year, Almazan attended the newly up and running Brubeck Institute fellowship program based in northern California where he studied with Mark Levine and performed with Dave Brubeck and Christian McBride. In 2003, Fabian moved to New York City to study with Kenny Barron at the Manhattan School of Music. During the completion of his bachelor’s degree, Almazan immersed himself in the realm of orchestral composition studying instrumentation and orchestration with Mr. Giampaolo Bracali. Under Mr. Bracali’s tutelage, Almazan composed several pieces for orchestra and chamber ensembles. In the spring of 2009 Fabian Almazan received a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, selected as a recipient of the Michael W. Greene Scholarship, studying privately with Jason Moran. Fabian has written several film scores and can be heard on several Spike Lee films as well as George Luca’s Red Tails among other films. Most recently, Fabian was selected to participate in the SWR New Jazz Meetings which took place in Germany.

Mr. Almazan was voted #1 Rising Piano Star on the Downbeat Magazine Critics 2014 Poll and was granted the Chamber Music America 2014 NEW Jazz Works commission. Almazan received the Cintas Foundation 2010/11 Brandon Fradd Award in Music Composition, an award that has been granted to many Cuban artists who have gone on to play an influential role in the development of Cuban cultural heritage. Almazan was also selected as one of six composers to participate in the Sundance Composers’ Lab where he studied with such acclaimed film composers as Harry Gregson-Williams, Alan Silvestri, George S. Clinton, Christopher Young, Ed Shearmur and Peter Golub. His solo albums, Personalities, which Fabian Almazan released on his own record label, Biophilia Records, and Rhizome [AritstShare/BlueNote Records] have garnered nationwide critical acclaim, including a glowing review in The New York Times. Interest in Almazan’s work was also bolstered by his performances at the historic Village Vanguard in New York City, which have been broadcasted live to a nationwide audience on National Public Radio’s Live from the Village Vanguard. Since 2007 Fabian has been the pianist for the Terence Blanchard’s various bands, including the E-Collective which was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2016. Mr. Almazan has toured North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe extensively and has had the opportunity to perform with such artists as Linda May Han Oh, Gretchen Parlato, John Hollenbeck, Paquito D’Rivera, Mark Guiliana, Dave Douglass, Christian Scott, Chris Dingman, David Sanchez, Stefon Harris and Ambrose Akinmusire among others.