Venezuelan piano virtuoso Leo Blanco flies in for his first major tour of the UK in June, a series of ten dates that will include his first-ever performance at Glasgow Jazz Festival as well as further solo concerts in London, Edinburgh and Gateshead.
Blanco’s previous visits to Scotland have been nothing short of sensational. In 2006 he won a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel, one of the most coveted arts prizes in Scotland, for his outstanding performances during the Edinburgh Fringe. He followed this by earning five star reviews from The Scotsman and The Herald for his concert at Aberdeen Jazz Festival in 2007.
Blanco, who is a graduate of Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory in Boston as well as the Ars Nova institute in Caracas, was the first Latin American to win the Boston Jazz Society Award, he has also won the Billboard Grant Award for his talent, commitment and musical achievements.
His playing career includes gigs alongside Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, George Garzone, Bob Moses, and Dave Samuels and appearances at Newport, Monterey, Montreux, Kobe and North Sea jazz festivals, and his recordings have featured saxophonists Dave Liebman and Donny McCaslin, West African guitarist Lionel Loueke, Grammy award-winning singer Luciana Souza, and drummer Antonio Sanchez.
In 2008 Blanco was commissioned to write End of the Amazonia for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as part of SNJO’s celebration of South American music complementing arrangements of Astor Piazzolla compositions. In a wide ranging career as a musician and composer he also writes for string quartet, appears as guest soloist with symphony orchestras and has recently completed an arrangement of his Venezuelan Rhapsody for the Scottish horn quartet Brass Jaw.
To coincide with the tour, Blanco releases a new solo piano album, Pianoforte, which he recorded in concert in his home town, Mérida in Andean Venezuela.
Mon Jun 24: The Forge, London NW1
Wed Jun 26: City Halls, Glasgow
Thu Jun 27: Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Fri Jun 28: Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Sat Jun 29: Eden Court, Inverness
Sun Jun 30: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
Thu Jul 4: Dean Clough, Halifax
Fri Jul 5: The Sage Gateshead
Sat Jul 6: Broomfield Village Hall
Wed Jul 10: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
More information regarding Leo Blanco can be found at www.leoblanco.com