Elio Piedra began his career at the age of 10 at the Arts Conservatory Raul Sanchez in Cuba, specializing in percussion studies. From the age of 11 he got involved in the Jazz world and the fusion between Jazz, Rumba and Afro Cuban rhythms. He received musical influence from Hector Alonso, Benicio Lezcano, and Sergio M. Cardoso, whom created a strong classical base that prepared him for the future. At the age of 12 he began to participate in the most important music festivals in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba, as well as in the national music festivals. When he was 15 years old he began his music studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Cuba, where he toured with the symphonic orchestra around the country. At the same time, he began to perform with the popular salsa group “El Cumbre”, with which he became a well recognized drummer. When performing with “El Cumbre” he had the opportunity to perform with important musicians such as “Aguaje”, who was the director of the group “Buena Vista Social Club”, Magno Bisoli, who is a well recognized Brazilian musician, among other guests from Belgium and Argentina.
He participated in the longest Rumba festival in the world at the age of 17, in which he performed as a timbales player. He also performed at the “Rancho Club Show” in Consolacion del Sur, Cuba, and accompanied many recognized singers (as drummer), such as Maria Antonia Loriga “La Mora”, Marielena Lazo. Participated in the very important musical project “Internos La Musica” sponsored and directed by Luis Angel Sanches, who is the bass player for Pablo Milanes. Performed with the group “Sonora”, directed by Lazaro Reyes, as well as with the popular salsa group “Prisma” by Ricardo Perez, who is a recognized Jazz guitar player who lives in Germany. Furthermore, at the age of 17 performed as a guest in the “Fiesta del tambor” (known as Havana Drums Festival), a percussion festival. During his last year at the conservatory he performed in the “Jojazz”, which is the international Jazz festival sponsored by Chucho Valdez, from which he was selected to play with the famous musician Bobby Carcaces, as well as to record television programs and interviews. From the previous performance it was created a group called “Primera Mano”, with which he recorded an album called “Fantasia”. This group focused on the fusion between the Latin Jazz and popular salsa rhythms. With “Primera Mano” he had the opportunity to collaborate with the famous Adel Gonzales, congas player for “Buena Vista Social Club” and Irakere; he also had the opportunity to play with “El Macri”, the singer of AfroCuban All Stars, among other important musicians. He interacted with the “Bamboleo” orchestra, and the group “Klimax en la Capital” in Havana, Cuba. When he was 19 years old he recorded a music video with a pop group directed by Yoyo Ibarra. This music video was nominated for the “Premios Lucas” festival in Havana, Cuba.
He arrived in the United States with 20 years old and almost immediately performed with Marielena Lazo at a concert in Solares Garden, Miami. In this concert he performed with recognized musicians, including Pancho Cepedes’ band, Manolin”El Medico de la Salsa” ‘s musicians, and directed by the pianist Arronte. He decided to continue his career in the city of Gainesville, FL, where he is immediately asked to play with the Latin band, “Tropix”, in which he has performed latin styles such as salsa, meringue, bachata, son, and Latin jazz. In Gainesville, he has performed with with recognized musicians such as Gosia, Ali Che Ree, Karl Wainsmantel, Ekendra Das, Latin percussion artist Marty Liquori (famous Jazz musician), sax player Bem Champion, Vic Donnel, Geoffrey Perry, and Scott Wilson. The above mentioned musicians all belong to the recognized “Friends of Jazz” institution. Moreover, Elio Piedra has performed in several restaurants with his own musical project called “Ondulando”, in which he performs with the recognized singer Laura Porras (performed in the television channels Univision, Telemundo, and across the city of Miami). With “Ondulando” he has performed and developed as a singer, congas and bongos player, pianist, and drummer. “Ondulando” has performed at Sabore Restaurant, Emiliano’s Cafe, Jazz Club Leonardo’s 706, and has been invited to present Master classes at Guitar Center (where he began working in 2014), where he has developed as a drums’ instructor. He has also participated as a drummer in important events at the University of Florida, such as a performance at the UF President’s house. Furthermore, he performed for the major of the city of Jacksonville with Tropix, and played at the blues’ club “Dirty’s Bar”, played at “the Jam” club with Calvin Bond, Antonio Lincon and Scott Wilson. He recorded several drums’ performance DVDs, one of which he recorded with the Former Backstreet Boys drummer, current Trace Lawrence drummer, and Pearl Artist, Tom Hurst. In the DVDs he presented his knowledge of different percussion styles.
He currently remains a drums instructor at Guitar Center, as well as a private piano, percussion, and drums instructor. He continues to play with Tropix, Geoffrey Perry, among others. He remains playing in the world of Jazz, and performed with the famous Jazz piano player “Chuchito” Valdes at the Historic Thomas Center. Chuchito Valdes is the third generation prodigy of Cuban piano dynasty headed by his grandfather, the legendary Bebo Valdes ad his famed father Chucho Valdes. Since 2007, Chuchito Valdes has received a total of 7 Grammy;s and Latin Grammy’s nominations. He performed at the “Friends of Jazz” music festival and continues to present Master classes at Guitar Center and at Ancient Rhythms Drums Shop. Furthermore, he performed at the opening of “Ancient Rhythms”, a drums endorsement, at Atlantic Nightspot (show of drummers). Elio Piedra has been touring in the North Florida area, including playing with his Jazz Trio at Santa Fe College, and Guitar Center. He will be collaborating with the famous congas player Gumbi Ortiz, Pete “El Conde” Rodrigues (jazz trumpet player), and Mayito Rivera from the famous Cuban orchestra “Los Van Van” and Chuchito Valdes Latin Jazz Grammy Awards. Elio Piedra is currently teaching drums and playing for the dance classes at Santa Fe College, which has been ranked as the best College in the U.S. he continues with an ample curriculum and prestige, surrounded by good music, producers, musicians, and music figures from every branch fo the arts, whom do not cease to contact him. Elio has been invited to participate in the Namm Drummers Show 2014 in Los Angeles, California. He has also been invited to record at the official Soultone Cymbals studio.
16" Gospel Crash
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