Havana, April 24, 2021.
“Brothers”, the first album of the duo integrated by talented Cuban musicians Aldo and Ilmar López-Gavilán, has been nominated in the Instrumental Music category for the 2020 – 2021 Cubadisco Awards. This XXIV edition of the International Fair of Cuban Discography will be held online from May 15 to 23 and will have Spain as a guest country.
Even though each of the López-Gavilán brothers has a solid and fruitful musical career, this is the first time that they have collaborated together on a recording project. Ilmar left Cuba at a very young age to study the violin in the former USSR and later won other scholarships to do higher studies in Spain and the United States, where he has lived for several years. His ascending career includes, in addition to getting a Doctorate in Music, numerous presentations in hundreds of the most prestigious auditoriums in the world, and in 2001 he was the winner of the Sphinx Competition, which earned him performing as a soloist in front of a score of US symphony orchestras. He is the founder and director of the renowned string quartet “Harlem Quartet”, with which he has recorded alongside prominent figures such as John Pattituci, Winton Marsalis and Chick Corea, with the latter the quartet obtained a GRAMMY in 2012.
Aldo, for his part, has been developing his career as a pianist and composer from a very young age, obtaining numerous awards inside and outside of Cuba. He had just finished his higher studies at the prestigious Trinity College in London and was already performing with important orchestras such as the Cuban National Symphony, the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony, the Bogota Philharmonic, the Sao Paulo Jazz + Orchestra and the Orchestra Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony of Venezuela, the latter under the direction of Maestro Claudio Abbado. To date, he has performed as a soloist with more than ten prestigious orchestras in the US, and his discography includes 13 albums, of which 5 have received nominations and awards in previous editions of Cubadisco, including “El Ocaso De La Hormiga y El Elefante.”, which was the winner of the Cubadisco Grand Prize in 2000.
During the opening to the cultural exchange that the administration of President Barack Obama led, the brothers were able for the first time to make an extensive musical tour throughout the United States, and Aldo also made other important collaborations with American musicians such as Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne, Byron Stripling , among others. One of these collaborations resulted in a live television concert (Live at Lincoln Center: Seasons of Cuba), led by the famous violinist Joshua Bell, and broadcast and produced by the PBS network, which was nominated for the EMMY Awards in 2017.
The album “Brothers”, a family project dreamed of for decades, finally found its moment of gestation in New York in July 2019, after several months of touring, and was recorded at Oktaven Studios. This phonogram includes 10 songs, all authored by Aldo, and with masterful arrangements for piano and violin by both brothers.
This album musically crystallizes the family, artistic and spiritual union of Ilmar and Aldo, and was in turn the culmination of a documentary entitled “Los Hermanos / The Brothers”, made by American producers and directors Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, which has been presented to date in twelve festivals in the US, recently broadcast by PBS with a global reach in the North American country and presented by the prestigious Carnegie Hall in April. The feature film emphasizes through music that, despite the separation and geopolitical differences of the countries where the two brothers reside, the art and feelings that unite them do not have and will never have borders.
After a long pause imposed by the global health crisis, Aldo and Ilmar met again this week in the US to continue promoting their CD “Brothers”, which will soon be available on digital platforms. The tour will include concerts (virtually or with a small audience) in cities such as Detroit, Michigan, Napa, Chicago, Minnesota, New York, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, among others.