Harlem Quartet with Pianist Aldo López-Gavilán Perform Jazz at WSU's Schaver Recital Hall This October

The Grammy Award-winning Harlem Quartet teams up with Cuban piano virtuoso and composer Aldo López-Gavilán Friday, October 21, 8 PM for a program of jazz standards plus original jazz compositions by Aldo López-Gavilán. The concert takes place at Wayne State University's Schaver Music Recital Hall, located at 480 W. Hancock (between Cass & Second Avenues) on the campus of Wayne State University. Tickets, priced at $30 for adults and $15 for students, are available online or by phone at 248-855-6070.

Aldo López-Gavilán is the brother of Ilmar Gavilán, founding first violinist of the Harlem Quartet. The two brothers were separated for many years - one based in Cuba and the other in the U.S. - and have been reunited in recent seasons as they have come together to collaborate. This concert marks both the Harlem Quartet's and Aldo López-Gavilán's debuts on the Chamber Music Society of Detroit series, and their first Detroit area appearance together as a quintet. All of the music on the program was arranged by the quintet members especially for this collaboration. In addition to their concert, the musicians will participate in three-day residency in Detroit that will encompass visits to area high schools, participation in Wayne State University's Strings Day, master classes and other activities with Wayne State University music students.

Concert Details

Harlem Quartet with Aldo López-Gavilán, piano

Friday, Ocrober 21, 2016, 8 PM

Schaver Music Recital Hall, 480 W. Hancock, Detroit,


Abelardo Valdes: Almendra

Dizzy Gillespie: A Night in Tunisia

Antônio Carlos Jobim: The Girl from Ipanema

Billy Strayhorn: Take the A Train

Four Works by Aldo López-Gavilán arranged for Piano and String Quartet: Epílogo, Talking to the Universe, Eclipse Pan con Timba

Tickets: $30, students $15.

Call 248-855-6070 or visit

The Harlem Quartet was founded by the nationally renowned Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, dedicated to increasing black and Latino participation in concert music. Since its public debut in 2006 at Carnegie Hall, the New York-based Harlem Quartet has performed throughout the U.S. as well as in France, the U.K., Belgium, Panama, Canada, and in South Africa, performing diverse and often genre-bending repertoire that encompasses the classics, jazz and new music. The quartet has collaborated with such distinguished performers as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Anthony McGill, Paquito D'Rivera, and Misha Dichter. It has also collaborated with jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton, making the recording "Hot House" together followed by a 25-city concert tour that began at the Tanglewood Festival and was followed by a tour of Japan in 2014. Their recording of "Mozart Goes Dancing" from that CD won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition.

The Harlem Quartet has been featured on WNBC, CNN, WQXR-FM, and the PBS News Hour. In 2009 they performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. The Harlem Quartet is regularly featured at jazz festivals around the world, including the Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City, Montreal Jazz Festival, and Miami Nice Jazz Festival.

Praised for his "dazzling technique and rhythmic fire" in the Seattle Times, and dubbed a "formidable virtuoso" by The Times of London, Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán excels in both the classical and jazz worlds as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber music collaborator, and performer of his own jazz compositions. He has appeared in major concert halls throughout Latin America, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, and in the U.S. in such major cities as New York (Carnegie Hall), Washington D.C., (Kennedy Center) Miami and San Francisco.

Aldo López-Gavilán and Ilmar Gavilán were born in Cuba to a family of classical musicians, their father a conductor and composer, and their mother a concert pianist. At the age of two, Aldo had written his first musical composition. By four, his mother introduced him to the piano, and he began formal piano studies at the age of seven. His first international triumph was at the age of eleven when he won a Danny Kaye International Children's Award, organized by UNICEF. López-Gavilán made his professional debut at age twelve with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra. Parallel to his classical abilities, López-Gavilán developed remarkable skills in improvisation. He was invited to perform in the world-famous Havana Jazz Festival with the legendary Chucho Valdés, who called him "simply a genius, a star."

His recording career began in 1999 with a CD that won the 2000 Grand Prix at Cubadisco. He has gone on to make six albums, has composed for film, TV and theater, and was featured in the film "¡Manteca, Mondongo y Bacalao con Pan!" - a documentary about Latin jazz in Cuba.

During the past decade, López-Gavilán's collaborators have included the late Claudio Abbado, who invited him to perform with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in 2006, in a special concert dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. In 2010 he joined the São Paulo Jazz Symphonic Orchestra to perform his music in a concert that was recorded and broadcast on national television in Brazil. A milestone in López-Gavilán's professional and personal life came in early 2015, when he joined the Harlem Quartet for concerts in Calgary, Seattle, and Phoenix. That same year he performed Rhapsody in Blue with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Colombia, and gave a sold-out concert at the Teatro del Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana.

His partnership with Harlem Quartet continues in 2016 with a U.S. tour that includes concerts and residency activities at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Santa Fe College, Las Vegas's Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts in Beverly Hills, in addition to this week's residency and concert for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Since December 2014, when a new era in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba has ushered in extensive cultural exchange between the two countries, Aldo López-Gavilán has become an important participant. In April 2016, through Obama's President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, he was part of the group of Cuban musicians who collaborated in Cuba with such renowned U.S. artists as Joshua Bell, Usher, Dave Matthews, and Smokey Robinson.

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