Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cuban-born jazz composer wins $10,000 award

Cuban-born pianist and composer David Virelles has won the $10,000 Louis Applebaum Composers Award for excellence in jazz composition.

Virelles, 25, is a classically trained pianist who started composing at age 13. He became interested in jazz through listening to his grandfather's record collection.

Since coming to Canada in 2001, Virelles has played with Jane Bunnett and Spirits of Havana, the Neil Swainson Quartet, Francisco Mela and his own David Virelles Quintet.

While studying at University of Toronto and Humber College, he won the Oscar Peterson Award, named for Canada's greatest jazz pianist.

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