Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Cuban jazzman, pianist and composer
Date of Birth: 27.05.1963
Country: Cuba

Biography of Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Gonzalo Julio Gonzalez Fonseca, better known as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, is a Cuban jazz musician, pianist, and composer. He is recognized as one of the finest pianists in Cuban jazz and is considered one of the best jazz acquisitions of America in the 1990s. Rubalcaba was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1963. Coming from a musical family, he was surrounded by music from a young age. His father, Guillermo Rubalcaba, was a renowned pianist, and his grandfather also played the trombone. It was his father who became his first teacher, and at the age of eight, Rubalcaba began learning to play the piano. He quickly gained recognition as a child prodigy.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Throughout the following years, Rubalcaba continued to improve his playing technique and started performing in the nightclubs of Havana. He later studied at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and the Havana's Institute of Fine Arts, graduating in 1983 with a degree in musical composition. It is believed that his classical education greatly influenced his deep understanding of harmony.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

In the mid-1980s, Rubalcaba embarked on numerous tours, performing concerts in Africa and France. During this period, he also made his first recordings, although specific information about them is scarce. In the late 1980s, Rubalcaba left Cuba and arrived in the United States, largely due to his fortunate encounter with bassist Charlie Haden in Havana in 1986. Under Haden's recommendation, Rubalcaba drew the attention of the renowned record label Blue Note Records, and soon he was recording for Toshiba/EMI in Japan and later for Blue Note in the United States. This collaboration resulted in 14 recorded albums.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

In 1990, Rubalcaba performed with Charlie Haden and legendary jazz musician Paul Motian at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland. This performance was released on CD as 'Discovery.' Throughout his career, Rubalcaba has had the opportunity to play with esteemed jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ignacio Berroa, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, Herbie Hancock, Richard Galliano, Tony Martinez, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Dennis Chambers, Brian Bromberg, Ron Carter, and many others.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Today, Rubalcaba continues to tour worldwide as a solo jazz pianist. He performs a repertoire that encompasses various jazz forms, including bebop, Afro-Cuban, and traditional Cuban and Mexican ballads. Rubalcaba has been nominated for the Grammy Award 14 times and has won twice. He is a prolific artist, working as a producer in his own company, 5Passion LLC, established in 2010. Rubalcaba has released at least 25 albums of his own and has also been involved in numerous side projects.

In his personal life, Rubalcaba married in 1986, and the couple has three children. All members of Rubalcaba's family are U.S. citizens.

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