Dafnis  Prieto

Dafnis Prieto


Contemporary Latin Jazz


Dafnis Prieto Sextet
Drummer / Composer

His arrival in the U.S. has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York. Indeed, within a short period of time Dafnis Prieto's revolutionary drumming techniques had a powerful impact on both the Latin and jazz music scene, locally and internationally. Having studied at the school of Fine Arts in Santa Clara as a youngster and later at the National School of Music in Havana, Prieto obtained a thorough classical education while broadening his knowledge of Afro-Cuban music, jazz and world music outside of the academy.

He first toured Europe with pianists Carlos Maza and Ramon Valle and the groundbreaking group “Columna B.” A resident of New York since only 1999, he has already played in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and as bandleader.

As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to his “Small Big Band” and including the distinctively different groups featured on his two acclaimed recordings as a leader, “About The Monks,” and “Absolute Quintet.” He has received new works commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer. Various awards include “Up & Coming Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a Grammy Award Nomination for ”Absolute Quintet” as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best New Artist” in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops. Since 2005, he has been a member of the NYU Music Faculty.

Dafnis Prieto endorses Yamaha drum, Latin Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Vick Firth sticks
& Evans drumheads.


Vida Sin Miel

Written By: Dafnis Prieto

Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel
Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel

Vida sin miel , no es vida
para reir , no es vida
porquien crecer , no es vida
para vivir , no es vida
Vida sin miel , no es vida
porquien nacer , no es vida
para sentir , no es vida
porquien vivir , no es vida

Yo quiero hacer muchas cosas
cosas bonitas que crecen
y contemplar mis amigos
como contemplo a lo peces
diera cualquier cosa por ver tu sonrisa
Una abejita se posa
entre las flores que crecen
y nos regala su vida
por el placer de quererte
Un beso de vida y otro en la mejlla

Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel
Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel

(Music Bridge)

Cuando te miro a los ojos
siento que puedo tenerte
vida sin miel no es vida
porque tu endulzas mi suerte
diera cualquier cosa por ver tu sonrisa
y ahora te beso en los ojos
y asi yo quiero quererte
un beso aqui , en la frente
para endulzarte la vida
mira que no puedo ya vivr sin ella

Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel
Vida sin miel
no hay vida sin miel


“Spirit of the Moment” Michel Camilo Trio, Telarc, 2007
“Beautiful Scars” Kip Hanrahan, American Clave, 2007
“The source in between” Elio Villafranca Quartet, C.T.M, 2007
“Refugee” Hector Martignon, Zoho Music, 2007
“Primavera en Nueva York” Martirio, Calle 54 Records, 2006
“Mosaic” Caribbean Jazz Project, Concord Picante, 2006
“Yemaya” Roberto Occhipinti, Alma Records, 2006
“Serenity Song” DD Jackson, Justin Time Records, 2006
“Sphere of Influence” Brian Lynch, EWE Records, 2006
“Metamorphosis” Yosvany Terry, EWE Records, 2005
“It Is Written” Peter Apfelbaum & the NY Hieroglyphics, Act Music, 2005
“Live in Brooklyn” Arturo O’Farrill Trio, Zoho Music, 2005
“Bad Mouth” Conjure, American Clave, 2005
“Bebo de Cuba” Bebo Valdez Big Band, BMG, 2004
“Lucidarium” Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Label Bleu, 2004
“Tribute” Tony Lujan, Bella Records, 2004
“Incantaciones Encantaciones” Elio Villafranca, Pimienta Records, 2003
“The Cusp” Roberto Occhipinti, Modica Music, 2003
“Carnival in San Juan” Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours, Cubop, 2003
“Birds of a Feather” Caribbean Jazz Project, Concord Picante Records, 2003
“Suite For New York” DD Jackson, Justin Time Records, 2003
“President Alien” Yerba Buena, Razor & Tie, 2003
“Cumana” Arturo O’Farrill Trio. M&I Records, 2002
“The Gathering” Caribbean Jazz Project, Concord Records, 2002
“Paraiso” Caribbean Jazz Project, Concord Picante Records, 2001
“La Perfecta II” Eddie Palmieri, Concord Records, 2002
“Up Popped the two lips” Henry Threadgill, Pi Recordings, 2001
“Everybody's mouth's a book” Henry Threadgill, Pi Recordings, 2001
“Sigame”, DD Jackson, Justin Time Records, 2001
“Descarga in New York” John Benitez Trio, Khaos, 2001
“S.F. Bay, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble” Machete Records, 2002
“Ritmo and Soul” Jane Bunnett, Blue Note, 2000
"Trinacria” Roberto Occhipinti, Modica Music, 2000
"Enclave" Columna B, Mas i Mas Records, 1998
"One 2 One" Brian Hughe, Mesa Blue, 1998
“Birds are Returning” Marilyn Lerner, Jazz Focus Records, 1997
“From Africa To Camaguey” Los Terry, Round World, 1997
“Killer Tumbao” Hilario Duran, Justin Time Records, 1997
"Cosas de Broma" Pavel and Gema, Nube Negra, 1996
“Keimoun (Beat on)" Andy Palacio, Stone Tree Records, 1995
“Zapato Kiko" Carlos Maza Grupo, EMI France, 1994
“Levitando” Ramon Valle, PM Records, 1993

Set List

We play all original tunes.