Dos y Mas Reviews

"This is, quite simply, craftsmanship at its finest and it goes beyond mere technique... The other outstanding aspect of the music is how inspired the compositions are." - Latin Jazz Network

"An absolutely stunning 5 star showcase" - Critical Jazz

"the songs on the recording feel inspired, passionate, and innovative, yet familiar." - Whole Music Experience

"simply smashing." - Midwest Record

"These open-minded musical sculptors created this music for those with open ears to absorb and enjoy it." - All About Jazz

"Stable's flamenco-influenced "Vertiente" finds Villafranca stirring an improvised pot of Afro-Cuban subtleties with a dash of Chick Corea" - The Jazz Word

Elio Villafranca - Other Reviews

Jazz Times Magazineee
On The Source in Between pianist Elio Villafranca attempts to fuse venturesome postbop and classic Latin jazz. Its real ambition, however, is rhythmic......
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Irish Times - Performance review by Siobhan Long
Elio Villafranca mines an altogether more dispassionate and propulsive seam, where his Cuban roots ground his sizzling quartet. Relish their release into the more turbulent waters of American jazz as soon as the lights go down
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The Latin Jazz Corner - Review of "The Source in Between"
Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca explores the connections between culture and style on The Source In Between, a collection of several strongly constructed Villafranca originals.
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Audiophile Audition Review - Review of "The Source in Between"
Influenced by a long line of inspired Cuban jazz pianists from Frank Emilio to Emiliano Salvador to Chucho Valdés to Hilario Durán to Gonzalo Rubalcaba to Omar Sosa, Elio Villafranca displays a genuinely original voice on this, his second session as leader.
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Latin Jazz Network By Raul d'Gama Rose
There are few young pianists playing today as skilled in the poetics of the instrument and as versatile as Elio Villafranca, the young, Cuban-born wizard, who now lives and performs in the United States.
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Downbeat Magazine - Not Dreading the J-Word by Shaun Brady
On the first day of his first University composition class in Cuba, Elio Villafranca’s instructor came to him with an ultimatum. “I know you have a reputation as a jazz artist,” Villafranca recalls the teacher saying, “and I know that jazz musicians can write very quickly.
 >>> Read the article By Peter Watrous
If anyone doubted the genius being produced in New York by the meeting between exile Cuban jazz musicians and their North American brethren, they’d only have to check out Villafranca’s new album
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The Jazz Corner By Chip Boaz
Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca plays upon the interplay between styles on his release The Source In Between, creating songs that blur genres while making space for personal expression
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Latin Beat By Rudy Mangual
A native of the Pinar del Rio province of western Cuba, and a current resident of New York City, Elio Villafranca is a brilliant and pianist/composer/band leader who is regarded as one of the new Cuban masters of the ivory keys
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All About Jazz By Marcia Hillman
Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca has found the way to celebrate both his Latin jazz roots and straight-ahead jazz influences on The Source In Between
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Jazz Improv By Dan Bilawsky
The title track of Elio Villafranca’s The Source In Between is a fine synthesis of disparate musical influences forged into one cohesive statement
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Bopndick's 10 Picks By Dick Crockett “The Voice” 88.7fm
The title track of Elio Villafranca’s The Source In Between is a fine synthesis of disparate musical influences forged into one cohesive statement
>>> Read the article

Performance Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer (Kevin L. Carter)
“Villafranca is an amazing soloist… In a classical setting, [he] impresses with sweet precision rather than machismo.”

Jazz Times Magazine (Javier Quiñones)
“… Loaded, technically superior, sharp and romantic pianism…”

Philadelphia Tribune (Steve Bryn)
“…Villafranca emotes an expressive, emotional quality enhanced by his technically brilliant approach to the keyboard and his rhythmically complex original compositions…”

Latin Beat Magazine (Jesse Varela)
“…Villafranca proved to be the surprise of the night as he dug into the piano with a seasoned jazz flair. The influence of Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdés were obvious. But it was his ‘Garneresque’ use of block chords that gave a joyous harmonic lyricism…”

The 2nd Annual Mott Haven Latin Jazz Connection (Tomas Peña)
“…Pianist Elio Villafranca was superb.”

Latin American Rhythm Magazine
“To those who say that music is the universal language that does not stop for styles, this is your release. Elio Villafranca has put together a very special hour of Latin that is jazz and jazz that is Latin. This is a fire-blown instrumental CD. [Villafranca] really knows how to shake a keyboard sound. He will often glide over all 88 with an ease usually kept for God's grown prodigies of classical music”.

Paquito D'Rivera
“The musical history of Cuba is full of extraordinary pianists, and after listening (several times) to his new album Incantations/ Encantaciones, I am certain that Elio Villafranca is amongst the best representatives of the new generation of Cuban pianists and composers…”

Jane Bunnett
“In such a strong genre as Cuban piano, (and I’ve been lucky to perform and record with some of the greats … Frank Emilio, Hilario Durán, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Chucho Valdés) Elio is the next great voice to check out! His compositions and his playing are extensions of each other (a little like Monk) He’s a thinking man’s Cuban jazz pianist and continually inspires and surprises me. His surprises often come where the lines of composition and performance are blurred into one, that is, when spontaneous improvisations sound like full pre-meditated compositions.”

Terell Stafford
“[Villafranca] is a true innovator.”

John Santos
“Elio is a very complete player. He's thoroughly versed in classical, jazz, folkloric and popular music.”