Born in Havana and seasoned in Miami, Manuel Valera, 42, has been one of New York’s busiest musicians for the last two decades. Valera is a fully bilingual musician, as evidenced on a 17-album discography showcases his compositions (numbering close to 200) and arrangements for for solo, duo, trio, quartet, sextet, and big band (including adaptations for woodwinds and strings), which mix elements from postbop and fusion jazz, funk and R&B, and an array of dialects from Cuba and other outposts of Afro-Iberian diaspora. A virtuosic hardcore pianist, Valera’s most recent trio release is Live at Diese Onze (AZis), with Hans Glawischnig on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. He’s most widely known as the leader of the big band and combo iterations of New Cuban Express, most recently documented on Distancia (Greenleaf).
DESERT ISLAND DISCS: In the fall of 2015, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem debuted its version of Desert Island Discs. It’s modeled on an iconic BBC radio show, extant since 1942, which invites eminences from various walks of life to choose—and discuss—the eight records they would bring for a stay on the apocryphal desert island. For the Jazz Museum’s expanded version curated and hosted by esteemed journalist Ted Panken, the presenters are jazz musicians, who will present a cohort of music, of any genre, that was essential in the formation and evolution of their musical personality.
National Jazz Museum in Harlem
We are your go-to venue for off-site meetings, receptions, film screenings, workshops, networking events, socials and more. Located in the heart of Central Harlem’s thriving culinary and entertainment district, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is the perfect place to hold your next gathering.