The Kennedy Center

Fabian Almazan



Biography

Pianist and composer Fabian Almazan, a native of Cuba now residing in New York City, found his musical roots as a child in his homeland of Havana where he first became involved in the classical piano tradition. When his parents could not afford to pay for private piano lessons, having fled Cuba in political exile to Miami, FL, pianist Conchita Betancourt was gracious enough to impart free lessons for more than three years. Thanks to Mrs. Betancourt's exceeding generosity, Fabian was able to audition for the New World School of the Arts High School in Miami, FL where he studied from 1998 to 2002.

In 2002, Fabian was selected for the piano chair in the National 2002 Grammy High School Jazz Combo. The following year, Almazan won the piano chair for the newly up-and-running Brubeck Institute fellowship program based in northern California where he studied with Mark Levine and performed with Dave Brubeck and Christian McBride. In 2003, Fabian moved to New York City to study with Kenny Barron at the Manhattan School of Music. During the completion of his bachelor's degree, Almazan immersed himself in the realm of orchestral composition studying instrumentation and orchestration with Mr. Giampaolo Bracali. Under Mr. Bracali's tutelage, Almazan composed several pieces for orchestra and chamber ensembles. In spring 2009, Fabian Almazan received a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music, selected as a recipient of the Michael W. Greene Scholarship, studying privately with Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor for Jazz Jason Moran.

Fabian Almazan received the Cintas Foundation 2010/11 Brandon Fradd Award in Music Composition. The award has been granted to many Cuban artists who have gone on to play an influential role in the development of Cuban cultural heritage. Almazan was also selected as one of six composers to participate in the Sundance Composers’ Lab 2011 where he studied with such acclaimed film composers as Harry Gregson-Williams, Alan Silvestri, George S. Clinton, Christopher Young, Ed Shearmur, and Peter Golub. Personalities, Fabian’s debut album, was released October 2011 and it featured Linda Oh, Henry Cole, Meg Okura, Megan Gould, Karen Waltuch, and Noah Hoffeld. For the past four years, Almazan has been the pianist for the Terence Blanchard Group and has toured North and South America, Asia, and Europe extensively. Almazan has had the opportunity to share the stage with such artists as Gretchen Parlato, Paquito D'Rivera, Christian Scott, Chris Dingman, David Sanchez, Stefon Harris, Kendrick Scott, and Ambrose Akinmusire, among others.

Watch Past Performances

Video 5/7/2014: Fabian Almazan, Rhizome

Cuban-born American pianist Fabian Almazan performs selections from his newest album Rhizome (released March 2014 on Blue Note/ArtistShare), complete with string quartet (Megan Gould, violin; Tomoko Omura, violin; Karen Waltuch, viola; Noah Hoffield, cello) and jazz trio (Camila Meza, guitar/vocals; Linda Oh, bass; Henry Cole, drums). "Fabian pushes the envelope in ways that excite people," says trumpeter Terence Blanchard. "He’s someone who takes all of his experiences around the world in different forms of music, and uses them to create something special." Part of Blue Note at 75.

Fabian Almazan