Classically schooled at Havana's National School of Music Havana in his native Cuba, Dafnis Prieto arrived in New York in 1999. Since then, he has left an indelible mark on both the Jazz and Latin music scenes. As sideman, composer, and leader of his own various projects, Dafnis continues to define his own style of drumming, and continues to stack up Grammy nominations!
KORG: Dafnis, your track record is remarkable. How did your musical journey begin?
DP: I began my journey as a musician when I was in my home town in Cuba. I started playing music when I was six or seven years old; when I was ten I started in the classical conservatory for eight years.
KORG: When did you begin playing in bands?
DP: By the end of my school years, I was already playing with different bands. I was eighteen then, so I started to be a so-called professional musician. Since my beginning until now, music has been a continuous journey.
KORG: What's new with you? What projects are you working on?
DP: I have various projects of my own – Quartet, Quintet, Sextet and some others – as well as working with other musicians, bands, and writing music for others projects as well.
KORG: Wow, that's quite a bit, Dafnis. Can you share some of your most recent releases with us?
DP: My last two Records are Dafnis Prieto Sextet Taking the soul for a Walk, and Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet Live at Jazz Standard. They were both released by Dafnison Music; my own label.
KORG: How does one project of yours compare to the others?
DP: They are all different; we play different music – with different instrumentations as well.
KORG: Let's talk Wavedrum- what drew you to it?
DP: At first it was the variety of sounds in just one drum.
KORG: Now that you've had the Wavedrum a while, what are your thoughts?
DP: Wavedrum is the most sophisticated and powerful electronic percussion instrument I've ever played. It has a great sense of dynamics and a great variety of sounds. The amount of features makes it very enjoyable for interplaying with endless combinations. This is a great multi-sound instrument also to have in a recording studio and it is very easy to carry.
KORG: How do you incorporate the Wavedrum into your performances?
DP: I use it as a complement to my drum set; but also I like doing solos with it.
KORG: Any favorite Wavedrum sounds or features?
DP: So far, no. Or maybe all of them, for now!