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Nachito Herrera and the Universals
Stunning World Music Ensemble
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
Nachito Herrera and the Universals Media
About Nachito Herrera and the Universals
In his performances and in his life, Nachito Herrera strives to demonstrate that music is truly a universal language, transcending cultural, political, and even generational borders. This new ensemble, the Universals, is further testament to this mission. Featuring musicians from three different countries and several different musical worlds, The Universals present a stunning cross-genre musical journey.
Nachito Herrera is a piano giant. Born in Cuba, he gained notoriety with a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Havana Symphony Orchestra at age 12. Since moving to Minnesota in 2001, he has established himself as one of the great Cuban pianists working today. He has made multiple appearances at the preeminent piano festival in North America, the Gilmore Festival. He was featured as the pianist with the Afro-Cuban All Stars on a 40-city tour in 2011, and reprised his early accomplishments with the Havana Symphony, playing Rach 2 on a U.S. tour in 2012. Recently Herrera was named an Immigrant of Distinction and received an American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Council.
Karen Briggs’ near four decade span through genres as a violinist includes an eclectic range and fusion of world musical influences. Most well known for her 13-year stint with Yanni’s touring band, Karen has lent her prodigious talents to a dizzying array of artists. She has worked with Stanley Clarke, the Wu Tang Clan, Diana Ross, Dave Grusin, Soul II Soul, and many others.
Drummer Raul Pineda’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most innovative Latin drummers has taken him from growing up in the meager streets of Old Havana to the international stage. His drumming has garnered three Grammy nominations and one award, for his work with Chucho Valdés.
Saxophone star Mike Phillips is one of the most versatile artists on the current contemporary jazz scene. Following in the footsteps of Grover Washington, Jr., he decided to pursue a career in music at age 16, and has been working regularly in New York since 1993. He is a first call sideman and session musician for R&B, jazz, and hip-hop artists. He has worked extensively with Stevie Wonder and Prince, among others.
Celebrated Senegalese bassist Cheikh Ndoye is an artist of singular vision and character. Once an aspiring pianist, he heard Weather Report and fell in love with the bass through the great Jaco Pastorius’s playing. After early work with Baaba Maal, he has garnered acclaim throughout the jazz world. He has played and recorded with Russell Ferrante, Dave Weckl, Eric Marienthal, Karen Briggs, Tizer, Kazumi Watanabe, Dean Brown, Arshak Sirunyan and Randy Brecker
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Herrera dazzles in so many ways…never lets you forget that the piano is a percussive instrument.” – Star Tribune
“Like Herrera, Briggs showed a remarkable ability to seamlessly segue from one style to the next, sounding classical one moment and gypsy jazz the next.” – Star Tribune
“exhilarating and exhausting… minutes of instrumental excellence” – Star Tribune