Black Atlantic: Dafnis Prieto Big Band
When Dafnis Prieto immigrated to New York City from Cuba in 1999, the young jazz drummer earned an almost instantaneous reputation as one of the city's best new instrumentalists. He played with Eddie Palmieri, Steve Coleman, and Andrew Hill, credentials that led The New York Times to crown him "a major force" in 2002. Subsequent albums under his own name cemented that reputation by pairing his energy and an intricate sense of rhythm with exploratory harmonies and sophisticated structures; in 2011, his artistry was rewarded with a MacArthur Fellowship. No project has made Prieto's boundless ambition or vision as clear as 2018's 'Back to the Sunset,' his debut with his seventeen-member, star-studded Dafnis Prieto Big Band. Produced by Duke Performances' Eric Oberstein, it includes ebullient Afro-Cuban compositions and mesmerizing ballads, reimagining what a big band can be.