“Bravura gigs don’t ordinarily warrant five stars in my book, but concerts by Michel Camilo – the Latin-jazz piano star from the Dominican Republic – are so astonishing that you abandon all aesthetic doubts and come out with your hands up. After his long single-set tour de force at the South Bank, and a breakneck encore that hurled together I Got Rhythm, Caravan, I Hear Music and a cascade of other swing hits, it was remarkable that the piano hadn’t collapsed in defeat…” -The Guardian, June 2015
Hailing from the Dominican Republic, pianist Michel Camilo’s career spans three decades, two hemispheres and a range of Jazz and Classical styles. He has emerged as one of the most innovative and exciting musicians of his generation, bringing fire and passion to his music.
Camilo has deservedly won a plethora of awards, including a Grammy, an Emmy, and several Latin Grammys; most recently, his solo album ‘What’s Up?’ won the 2013 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
He has developed a reputation as one who enjoys breaking barriers, as evidenced by his extensive critically acclaimed discography of Duo, Trio, Sextet, and Big Band albums, plus his features as a guest soloist with some of the world’s leading symphony orchestras. Each of them has captured the essence and spirit of this ever-evolving artist at various points along his creative journey.
His compositions have been performed by some of the top Jazz and Latin Jazz artists ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to The Manhattan Transfer, from Paquito D’Rivera and flamenco guitarist Tomatito to Classical pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque. Camilo has performed with many of these artists as well. He was featured in the award-winning Latin Jazz documentary film Calle 54 and has recorded for various film soundtracks.
In June 2015 Michel’s debut UK solo performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall received a wonderful reception, with a 5 star review from the Guardian and Jazzwise Magazine dubbing him ‘a virtuoso of the highest order’.