Leo Blanco
Artist
A business card from Leo Blanco will be incomplete if it only showed the word pianist. The performer lives on the stage, who breaths improvisation as the reason for his compositions. In the academy, he is an artist who understands the act of teaching as creative, and in the recording studio, or when an idea pops up, he is a music producer. Blanco’s work includes also 4 records: Fin del primer capítulo, Roots & Effect, Africa Latina, and the most recent, Pianoforte, where he gathers a selection of pieces that have a lot to say about his hybrid musical personality and his passion for improvisation. During its live recording in the César Rengifo theatre of Merida, the chimes of the church next door unexpectedly sneaked in and the pianist made use of the moment and improvised around the sounds which were recorded. Musician and wind instrument composer Pedro Eustache described Leo Blanco’s Pianoforte as “a direct blow to the senses. An artistic exercise in the essence, expressed in sounds… a musical journey full of freshness, ingenuity, humour, profundity, kindness, fury, and many other contrasting expressions, wrapped in a beautiful cohesive manner, in a way not pompous at all but directly narrative… similar to Beethoven’s quote about musical expression “the unexpected and the beautiful”. Leo Blanco’s Pianoforte is, without doubts, more than extraordinary.”

Albums

Africa Latina

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In África Latina, pianist and composer Leo Blanco explores the fertile sounds of his homeland, Venezuela, and other countries with surprising virtuosity. Blanco is backed by a large quantity of academic records and practice experience with traditional music stiles as much as classic. At the age of 17 he moved to Caracas to develop his abilities as musician, arranger and composer. Later, he continued his education un Boston’s Berklee College and the New England Conservatory, where his reputation flourished.

Many of the most acclaimed musicians and friends – among others, the saxophonist Donny McCaslin, the Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez and the guitarist Lionel Louke, from Benin, join Blanco in the journey through the music of Venezuela, Colombia and Peru.

Leo Blanco said: “I think it is time to open the door and show the rest of the world how Africa is one of the most important influences of traditional music in our times, in all America.”

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