Uptown Nights Latin Music Series: Dafnis Prieto featuring Luciana Souza ‘Cantar’
Harlem Stage returns with its beloved music series, Uptown Nights, to present a dynamic set of artists across a wide range of genres throughout the anniversary year. From September to December 2023, Harlem Stage launches the Uptown Nights Latin Music Series, an exciting lineup that celebrates music from the Latin diaspora.
Last seen at Harlem Stage’s Black Arts Movement Conference in May 2023 with Henry Threadgill and Craig Taborn, GRAMMY-winning Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto presents the New York debut of his heralded 2022 album, Cantar, featuring songs with music and lyrics by Prieto, performed by GRAMMY-winning Brazilian-born singer Luciana Souza. Since arriving in the U.S. from Cuba in 1999, Prieto, “one of the most multidimensional artists working today” (JazzTimes), has honed his forward-looking musical vision across a range of styles and formats. In the process, he has become equally known for his composing brilliance and his electrifying drumming, comfortably exploring a wide spectrum of musical vocabularies.
Cantar, called a “marvel of acrobatic musicianship” by The New York Times and “breaking new ground” by NPR, reveals a new side of Prieto — lyricist. He grew up with a great love of popular songs and melodies, influenced by Cuban boleros, Los Van Van, Elis Regina, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Queen, Stevie Wonder, and more. Prieto felt inspired to create a record that would engage listeners through both music and words. He invited GRAMMY-winning Brazilian-born singer Luciana Souza as his collaborator on the album, an admirer of her talents as one of the world’s leading vocalists and interpreters (she ultimately contributed lyrics on several tracks as well). The album features songs in three languages — English, Spanish, and Portuguese — and aims to reach a global audience.
Recorded in September 2021, the project is co-produced by legendary GRAMMY-winning producer and Souza’s husband, Larry Klein (who has collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman), and GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer, and Harlem Stage Managing Director, Eric Oberstein, Prieto’s collaborator since 2016.
This program is supported, in part, by, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support is provided by the Diana King Memorial Fund presented by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.