As scion of an illustrious musical family, 34-year-old Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa is one of the brightest lights on Havana’s thriving jazz scene. Son of drummer Ruy López-Nussa and nephew of pianist Ernan López-Nussa, Harold gained international attention when he won top honors at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in 2005 (a triumph that earned him a featured festival spot the following year). While touring widely with the Buena Vista Social Club vocalist Omara Portuondo, he launched his solo career as the leader of a superlative trio with his younger brother, the phenomenal drummer Ruy Adrián López-Nussa, and bassist Gaston Joya.
Harold López-Nussa made his US debut as a bandleader on the acclaimed 2009 World Village album Herencia and followed up with 2011’s El País de las Maravillas featuring the trio and SFJAZZ Collective saxophonist David Sánchez (whom he accompanied on the all-star Cuban/American project Ninety Miles with Stefon Harris and Christian Scott). López-Nussa’s latest release is El Viaje, his debut for Mack Avenue Records. Based around the pianist’s longstanding trio with various guests, the album reveals a composer who has fully integrated his classical training and love of the jazz continuum with his Cuban roots, and a player of astonishing gifts, combining dazzling technique and an abundance of soul.
«López-Nussa’s single-note grace is akin to Herbie Hancock’s, and his two-fisted attacks are as joyous as Chick Corea’s» -Downbeat