creator in residence
« Zaldivar & CEM’s » takes a fresh look on afro-cuban rhythms, broadening the frontiers of contemporary jazz. A hybrid ensemble with unique propositions of musical meshing, delivered with mastery and contrast, for a promising jazz future.
Rafael Zaldivar - musical direction, piano and composition |
Sola Nkani - voice |
Caroline Tremblay -
David Simard -
Robert Pelletier -
Pascal Beaulieu - guitar | Guillaume Tremblay - saxophone
For any booking inquiries, please contact us at :
Guaguancó in Cuba
The band deliberately gathers different musical and cultural influences within a coherent. The Cuban-born pianist, composer and musical director Rafael Zaldivar is surrounded by vocalists Sola Nkani and Caroline Tremblay, former Cirque du Soleil drummer David Simard, renowned Saguenay percussionist Robert Pelletier, all-rounder saxophone nerd Guillaume Tremblay and multi-instrumentist Pascal Beaulieu.
"Know for his virtuosity and fluid phraseology, Zaldivar’s compositions are of a great structural and rhythmical complexity, balanced with solid harmonic feeling and unique emotional depth…"
JazzTime, New York
"Rafael Zaldivar made himself known within Montreal’s jazz community since his arrival a few years ago… His rare talent should be monitored for the years to come."
JazzTime, New York
"[...] we discover a storytelling pianist with each piece, evocative of a broad musical language with an all-tropical touch"
Radio Canada, ICI Musique
Born in Cuba, Rafael Zaldivar established himself in Quebec in 2005, and has been shining ever since through his talent and involment as a pianist, composer, artistic director and teacher. Continuing a professional career which started in his home country at age 15, he rapidly became known in the Quebec music scene, notably as a Révélation musicale Radio-Canada in 2010-2011, while completing doctoral studies at McGill University in Montreal in 2014. Fully committed to the outreach of his musical research, he now teaches at the Faculty of Music of Université Laval, passing on his original point of view, a vision of a rich musical and culturally diversified form of expression, to the next generations of pianists. His compositions are uniquely virtuosistic, exploring and integrating Afro-Cuban rhythms to classical piano technique, within a very personal musical language with an emphasis on narrative expression.