The term “legend” is usually reserved for a revered musician who is long gone.
However, there are times when you must apply this to someone living and active and doing absolutely wonderful things with his gift of and genius for music.
Hilario Durán is one such musician.
When Mr. Durán decided to settle domicile in Toronto, Canada from Cuba in 1998, he came with credentials that went before him. His compatriot and pianist Maestro Chucho Valdés had this to say about him:
“Hilario Durán is an unparalleled pianist, as well as being a composer and arranger of the first order… one of the greatest Cuban pianists of the 20th century”.
Dr. CHUCHO might have included this century as well. Praise such as this, does not come easily from a musician as great as Mr. Valdés.
BUT, if there’s anyone who deserves to be so celebrated it is Mr. Durán.
I have been friends with HILARIO since the 1980s, and have been documenting through my radio shows, part of his abundant discography as a leader and accomplished arranger and producer in :
Havana 9:00 p.m., El Son de Victoria, albums of La Nueva Trova singers and songwriters Miriam Ramos and Silvio Rodriguez, cabaret piano-singer sensation Soledad Delgado, La Musicalisima Beatriz Marquez, Arturo Sandoval Sextet, Perspectiva, Jane Bunnett and The Spirits of Habana, Havana Flute Summit, his New Trios, Piano Duets with Marilyn Lerner, Miguel Angel de Armas, Sr., Robi Botos, singer guitarist Luis Mario Ochoa, The Montreal String Quartet, The Toronto Symphony, Cubanismo, his Toronto Latin Jazz Big Band, Havana Remembered, The New Danzon, From the heart, Motion, and countless others.
Before and after 1990, HILARIO DURAN has taken Cuban Music, Jazz and all our ROOTS to an impressive new level.
During our fantastic and beyond category 6 days in HAVANA (October 30 – Nov 5), I could get closer to him and all his band mates watching and listening to their performances, and interviewing legends like OCMM* and IRAKERE drummer Enrique Pla, multi-reedman Javier Zalba, bandmate in the OCMM* and Los D’Siempre, Mezcla Group guitarist and band leader Pablo Menendez, pianist Alexis Bosch, and all the members of the new Music Album and Film CON TUMBAO !
CON TUMBAO is another vivid example of what makes Cuban Jazz and Cuban Music so creative and constantly evolving.
*OCMM = Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna is the cradle of LOS D’SIEMPRE, ALGO NUEVO, Los Caneyes and IRAKERE
DJ Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and on television
To know more and get acquainted with Hilario Durán’s Music and ALMA RECORDS Productions feel welcomed to visit and contact them through
We can also get in touch through FACEBOOK
Dance Dance Si Si and Parche : An Enciclopedia of Cuban Rock
Hilario Durán’s photos were taken w permission of the artist from his FB and website
Intro to my new posting quoted from Toronto music chronicler RAUL DA GAMA in his review about Hilario’s Sinfonia Afro-Cubana played w The Toronto Symphony