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Yilian Canizares


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Before she picks up her violin and walks onstage, Yilian Cañizares pays homage to her ancestors. Candles are lit.
Prayers are said, and offerings made. Then as the houselights dim and her group of crack musicians file on before her, she’ll lean down and touch the floor as she enters.
All those who have marveled at her fiery blend of jazz, classical and Afro-Cuban rhythms, who’ve got goosebumps from her otherworldly voice, will testify to feeling transformed.
Two acclaimed albums, 2013’s self-produced Ochumare and 2015’s Invocación, helmed by Alê Siqueira (Roberto Fonseca, Omara Portuondo) have strengthened Cañizares’ reputation as a trailblazer and boundary crosser por excelencia.
Cañizares grew up in Vedado, the neighbourhood next to Havana’s Plaza de la Revolution. Early musical memories include her grandfather serenading her on guitar, and her mother singing as she accompanied herself on piano.
She won the 2008 Montreux Jazz Festival Competition. It’s been upwards ever since. In 2011 she graced Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura project, and has gone on to share stages with jazz gods including Ibrahim Maalouf and Omar Sosa. <br>


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