Hilario Duran
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Hilario Duran

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Anyone who heard the explosive band put together by multi-instrumentalist Arturo Sandoval shortly after he broke away from the seemingly indivisible Irakere would probably remember the ubiquitous young gentleman at the piano. He was the one with the propulsive attack that featured a left hand like God in a Cuban descarga, abetted by the lightening fast right hand with darting flourishes that finished his intricate phrases. The "escuela de vida," where he cut his musical teeth, was the Orchesta Cubana de Musica, with whom, in 1976, he replaced departing pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdes.

The gentleman in question is Hilario Duran. It was at Orchesta Cubana de Musica, Duran has said, that he "learned the art and tricks of big band orchestras (taught by) the director of this great orchestra, German Pifferrer." When he said that, Duran was being his typically modest Cuban self. Six years earlier, in 1970, he was responsible for the arrangements of another well-known big band, Orchesta de Aficionados. So by the time 1976 came around, Duran had already, over six years, come to leave his personal voice in the echoes of the charts for two famous orchestras—and that almost four decades ago.

So the art of the big band would be nothing new to Duran. This is what makes his first US release, From the Heart, not just an exciting experience, but the closing of a circle and the culmination of a musical expedition that has come to fruition after long and hard journeying. It's a journey that first began in Cuba and hit milestone after milestone in Canada, the country in which Duran chose to live. And what a journey it has been. Full of ritmo, soul and jazz and such obvious love for an art that Duran has mastered with style and finesse. Hats off also to Alma Records producer, Peter Cardinali, for seeing this gigantic project through.

From the Heart also reiterates Duran's position in the recent history of Cuban music. His art surfaced during conscription, when he began writing charts in the army bands that he gravitated naturally towards. Then he paid his dues in two major big bands—the Orchestra de Aficionados and the Cubana Musica. Meanwhile two of Cuba's best-known musicians—Sandoval and reed player Paquito D'Rivera—had been shaping the sound of Cuba's best contribution to jazz (since the exploits of Machito), the induplicable Irakere. When in 1980 D'Rivera decided to stay in the US, Sandoval took over what was left of the band, and in 1981 Duran joined him, dazzling from his piano again. He became the band's arranger and musical director, retaining that position until 1990, when Sandoval left Cuba to live in Miami permanently.


Paquito D'Rivera
Shortly thereafter, Duran, already a veteran of four records as leader released in Cuba between 1976 and 1990, formed Perspectiva, a band comprising members of Irakere and some musicians from Sandoval's last band. Perspectiva fused Afro-Cuban music with jazz and proceeded to scale the heights just as Weather Report were doing elsewhere in the brave new world of music. In 1991, after a highly successful world tour, Duran joined a group that soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett led, to produce the first of a series of seminal Afro-Cuban-Brazilian jazz albums, beginning with Spirits of Havana (EMI Canada/Blue Note, 2003). That album garnered popular and critical acclaim not just for Bunnett, but opened the world's ears once again to the embarrassment of riches that Cuba had in the world of music.

Four years later Duran ventured out on his own, finally making his first album as a solo artist. That album was Francisco's Song (Justin Time, 1996). His next two albums, Killer Tumbao (Justin Time, 1997) and Habana Nocturna (Justin Time, 1999) brought greater recognition for Duran as a solo recording artist. Now at the top of the Alma Records roster, Duran's career has made a great leap forward, with his musical tribute to the art that first made him a force in his native Cuba—the big band.

On From the Heart, Duran works his hands like a painter wielding not one but, magically, as many brushes as he has fingers. First he creates the bold outlines as he composes each work, then he arranges the colors in tonal landscapes with clusters of brassy, woody and primeval, percussive sound. Finally his piano becomes an enormous palette from which he dispenses this tonal color to the artists who bring the sounds to life, in great canvases of audio that daub the mind's eye and heart of the listener. And happily, this project is now available across North America, including, for the first time, in the USA, separately as CD and DVD packages.
The scene is set with the explosive start to the record, a blistering reading of Valdes' "Mambo Influenciado." What better way to repay a debt to the musician who cleared the way for Duran to take a spotlight on the big band stage than by interpreting the music of the man himself. D'Rivera takes a bow as he did so many times before with Irakere a - By Raul d'Gama Rose - www.allaboutjazz.com - Monday, Aug. 18, 2008.


Duran & Sandoval, Together Again

TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival

Concert Review by: Paul J. Youngman

Venue: Toronto Star Stage (Toronto, On. Can.)


June 28, 2008 - They came to see a Cuban Latin Jazz Master, the headliner of the concert and the magnetic draw for a packed house, the great trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, Arturo Sandoval. What they got as added bonus was one of the most dynamic Latin Jazz trios on the planet. Opening for Maestro Sandoval was Toronto’s own, by way of Cuba, the Hilario Duran Trio, made up of Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Mark Kelso playing drums. The trio played at a very high level of excitement with a glorious sound. They played a fantastic array of songs that highlighted the virtuosity of Duran as pianist, composer and arranger. The performance set the crowds expectations for what was to follow at a very high level.
What followed was a very loud, electric bass heavy sounding group that took the first half of the concert to feel comfortable with the sound and with each other. The Sandoval band made up of a keyboard player, tenor saxophonist, drummer, percussionist and the aforementioned electric bassist. They opened with a trumpet song, “Embraceable You” Sandoval played electric keyboard, possibly a Moog and sounded very funky on a fast tempo. He had the synthesizer sounding very trumpet like.On trumpet, Sandoval blows in the mid range with flowing phrases and catchy triplets that run up into the high register where he’ll continue to run a scale, ending on a high note, screaming for attention and holding the note for a lengthy period of time - before descending in a fluid manner back to a comfortable mid range tone.

The saxophone player keeps close to Sandoval in energy and sounds; he fires off rapid runs and travels the entire spectrum of his saxophones range. At times, he is so engaged in keeping up with Sandoval that his playing becomes almost hyperactive. Most of the time, his lines were thoughtful, sounded clean and clear but never lacked excitement. He also doubles on electronic wind synthesizer playing sounds that are somewhere between a saxophone and an electric piano, a jazz - funk, fusion inspired sound.

The front-men all sounded good individually but the whole thing as a package didn’t sound so good. Something didn't come together. The bass was overpowering, the drums were very laid back, the percussionist couldn't be heard and the piano was in the mix but not blending, as I would've liked.

After some brief but heated looking discussions with the sound man controlling the monitors, things seemed to come together and sounded more cohesive. The Latin jazz, with solid funk overtones continued on into the evening with the audience being treated to Arturo Sandoval’s diversity, as he played some piano, some synthesizer, he sang a little and he played timbale. It would have been fine, if he just settled on trumpet. His playing is excellent, his comfort zone knows no boundaries. He played the trumpet in every form and put on a tremendous display of amazing technique.
- Concert Review by: Paul J. Youngman TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival - Saturday, June 28, 2008.


Cuban jazz great's 'dream come true'

The international balance of trade in musicians has brought some sizzling Cuban talents to the Canadian jazz landscape over the past decade.

BY THE EDMONTON JOURNAL JUNE 20, 2008 BE THE FIRST TO POST A COMMENT


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EDMONTON JAZZ ORCHESTRA WITH THE HILARIO DURAN TRIO

When: Saturday night at 7:30

Where: Maclab Theatre at The Citadel

Tickets: Citadel box office, 425-1820

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EDMONTON - The international balance of trade in musicians has brought some sizzling Cuban talents to the Canadian jazz landscape over the past decade.

Hilario Duran is one of the best.

When word came that the pianist was touring the festival circuit this summer, Jazz Fest producer and Edmonton Jazz Orchestra director Kent Sangster saw an opportunity for Duran and the local big band to collaborate. Charts were sent out and Duran will rehearse with the EJO before Saturday's concert. His trio will play a set before they guest with the EJO to re-create tunes from his latest CD, From the Heart, and additional material.

Edmonton is the only stop on Duran's tour that will involve a big band, and both sides of the partnership are fired up at the prospect.

"I'm very excited about it," Duran explained in a recent conversation.

"It was a dream come true to do this project in the first place and I'm very thankful for the opportunities I've had to make it happen. I was surprised to find that conducting the music came so naturally too, as if I've been doing it all my life. There's nothing better than a big band playing together and playing with the EJO is going to be great."

Steeped in Cuban music and culture, Duran was playing by ear as a child long before he attended the National Conservatory in Havana. He spent a decade serving as musical director for Cuban-American trumpeter Arturo Sandoval before meeting up with Jane Bunnett in 1991. For much of the next decade, he would tour and record with the Canadian saxophonist, while leading his own band and recording sessions.

Since his move to Toronto in 1998, Duran has released six albums in Canada, first on Justin Time, and more recently on Alma Records, all to rave reviews. Several garnered Juno nominations and New Danzon won the Juno in 2005. Last year, his eclectic big band album, From the Heart, set a new standard for large ensemble Latin jazz projects in Canada, again picking up a Juno nomination and three National Jazz Awards. He also teaches at Toronto's Humber College.

Today, Duran has synthesized early influences like Erroll Garner, Stan Kenton and Vladimir Horowitz into a virtuoso approach to the keyboard.

His innovative skills in arranging and composing take it to another level. For saxophonist/EJO director Sangster, the concert promises to be "a real marriage of high art and accessible music," not without its challenges.

"This isn't our first collaboration with someone of Hilario's stature but it is one of the most challenging. It's the rhythms and the tempos, and there's complex writing involved. We have three rehearsals coming up so it's all going to come together, but some of the soloists -- myself included -- have their work cut out for them." - Edmonton Jazz Orchestra with the Hilario Duran Trio By Roger Levesque - www.canada.com - Friday, Jun


Hilario Durán's jazz incorporates disparate Cuban threads
By Tony Montague
To be a leading Cuban jazz pianist, you need to have taught yourself to play a range of contemporary postbop styles and you should have studied for many years at a rigorous classical-music conservatory. But what’s mandatory is that you feel the island nation’s traditional rhythms coursing through your veins.

The confluence of all these elements has given us the music of such greats as Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Omar Sosa, and Canada’s own Cuban-born piano master, composer, and bandleader Hilario Durán.

For Durán it also helped that his father, Hilario Sr., was a leading figure in the Filin movement, which melded traditional boleros with influences from U.S. jazz and blues during the 1950s.

"He was one of the group of artists who created this style in Havana with Omara Portuondo, Angel Díaz, Elena Burke, and others," says Durán, on the line from Toronto, where he now lives. "My father sang beautifully, and he played guitar. I absorbed so much from him and his friends, and from a very early age.

"I’ve also incorporated a lot of elements of classical Cuban music in my style, from people like Ernesto Lecuona and Frank Emilio Flynn," Durán continues. "They inspired me a lot. As Cuba has no jazz schools, musicians there have to pick it up by themselves. I think this is a great way to learn jazz, because the music comes from the ear and the heart. In my generation we learned by copying and borrowing old records from each other, and it’s still a bit like that."

Durán cut his teeth playing with legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval from 1981 to 1990. Soon afterwards, he became a member of Toronto reed player Jane Bunnett’s Spirits of Havana, moving to Canada with his family 11 years ago. Since then, Durán has released a series of brilliant recordings with different musical formations. Nuevo Danzón (2005), made with his trio, bagged a Juno for contemporary jazz album of the year. And with From the Heart (2006), recorded with his 19-member big band, Durán carried off another Juno and a clutch of National Jazz Awards.

"I’ve played in Vancouver before, but never with either of my own bands," the pianist says. "So I’m very excited to be bringing the trio at last. We’re working on my next album, which should be out later this year. We’ll have some major Cuban guests, including the great [percussionist] Changuito, but I can’t reveal more right now. I’m very close to the current jazz scene in Cuba, and every time I get invited back there I go-but it’s never as often as I want."
- By Tony Montague - www.straight.com - Thursday, June 19, 2008


Latin jazz great Hilario Duran, bassist Jodi Proznick win big at jazz awards
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 11:16 PM ET Comments0Recommend7
CBC News
Latin jazz musician Hilario Duran and bassist Jodi Proznick were the big winners as veteran jazz stars and up-and-coming youngsters shared the spotlight at the 2008 National Jazz Awards gala in Toronto Tuesday night.

Duran and bassist Proznick — who is considered among the top young jazz musicians in the country — each picked up a trio of trophies.

The Jodi Proznick Quartet scored the record of the year honour for its album Foundations and was named acoustic band of the year, while the B.C. musician took home the bassist of the year title.

The Cuban-born Duran, one of Canada's biggest jazz names, was named SOCAN composer of the year and Latin jazz artist of the year. His group, Hilario Duran's Latin Jazz Big Band, was named big band of the year.

Phil Dwyer was also a multiple award-winner Tuesday night, named both saxophonist and arranger of the year, as was music journalist Geoff Chapman.

Chapman, now retired from the Toronto Star, had previously been announced as the recipient of a lifetime achievement honour for his many years as a supporter of and music critic for the Toronto jazz scene.

On Tuesday night, he also added yet another National Jazz Awards journalist of the year trophy to his haul: Chapman has won the category for the past five years.

CBC Radio's Katie Malloch was named best broadcaster.

The evening's celebrations also included tributes to three prominent jazz artists who died recently.

Iconic pianist Oscar Peterson was honoured as musician of the year, multi-instrumentalist Jeff Healey was named an artist of distinction and Doug (Dr. Music) Riley was named a jazz pioneer.

Other winners include:

Instrumentalist of the Year: Don Thompson
International Musician: Wynton Marsalis
Drummer: Terry Clarke
Guitarist: Reg Schwager
Trumpeter: Brad Turner
Trombonist: Hugh Fraser
Clarinetist: Phil Nimmons
Violinist: Jesse Zubot
Keyboardist: Nancy Walker
Electric Band: Barry Romberg Random Access
Female Vocalist: Emilie-Claire Barlow
Male Vocalist: Joe Coughlin
CBC Galaxie Rising Star: Chris Andrew
Label: Cellar Live
Producer: Brad Turner
Festival: Vancouver Jazz Festival
Jazz Photographer: Don Vickery
Though the night's award-winners were most often established names from the Canadian jazz world, younger acts dominated the evening's performances. Among them were the gala's hosts, singer Kellylee Evans and pianist Michael Kaeshammer, multiple-winner Proznick and her pianist husband Tilden Webb, bassist Brandi Disterheft, teen singer Nikki Yanofsky and saxophonist Mike Ruby.
- www.allaboutjazz.com - Posted on May 14, 2008.


From The Heart
Hilario Duran and His Latin Jazz Big Band | Alma Records (2006)


By Edward Blanco






Discuss


One of the premier exponents of Latin jazz, the Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist extraordinaire Hilario Duran realizes a lifelong dream by making his first big band recording, which came, as the title implies, truly From The Heart. Joined by two other jazz greats from the island, celebrated saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera and drummer Horacio "El Negro Hernandez, Duran's twenty-piece Latin Jazz Big Band swings and bounces all around the leader's rhythmically rich compositions and arrangements.
It would be unfair to categorize this album as a Cuban project, considering the many non-Cuban musicians that grace it, however the band does include a good share of Cuban-born players, like percussionists Joaquin Hidalgo and Rosendo "Chendy Leon, propelling the rhythm section, and trumpeter Alexis Baro, leading the horns. The result is a large dose of some pretty good hip and shoulder-moving Latin grind music. The album features six original charts, including "Paq Man, a burner of a number dedicated to the Grammy Award winning saxophonist D'Rivera, who contributes several blazing clarinet solos, and the pianist is all over the keys.

Kicking off with a salsa/mambo beat, Duran's version of the Chucho Valdes piece "Mambo Influenciado is a head-bopping, raunchy score with a rousing big band orchestration featuring D'Rivera and Duran on power solos. The title cut is a bit more subdued, with less of an obvious Latin-shaded tone, but it does provide space for the leader to play. The band is prominently featured on daughter Yailen Duran's original "Habanera in Spain, with fine section work by the group and notable solos by Alexis Baro (trumpet), Jeff King (tenor), Rob Piltch (guitar) and Duran.

Adding a softer spin to the theme is one of my favorite numbers: the Dione Taylor vocals of the slow Matt Denis piece "Angel Eyes, recorded in Moscow with the Globalis Orchestra strings. Other notable tracks include "T'Dot Cha Cha Cha, the very percussive "Blen Blen Blen, and the breezy "Farewell finale, featuring another D'Rivera alto performance and some piano finesse by Duran.

This album is of particular interest to me, since I happen to share the same cultural background as the pianist. Though I was born in the US, my Cuban roots sprouted again when I heard From The Heart. Duran's blend of traditional big band sounds with hot salsa and creative Latin jazz melodies produces a sensational Latin-style big band experience. Duran does one heck of a job providing exciting charts, arrangements and a stellar performance confirming the praise from the great pianist Chucho Valdes, who called Duran "one of the greatest Stone and Spin Cuban pianists of all times.


Track listing: Mambo Influenciado; From The Heart; Habanera In Spain; Angel Eyes; PAQ Man; T'Dot Cha Cha Cha; Moon Face Again; Rumba for Chano; Blem Blem Blem; Farewell.

Personnel: Hiario Duran: leader, piano; Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez: drums; Roberto Occhipinti: bass; Rob Piltch: guitar; Rosendo "Chendy" Leon: timbales; Joaquin Hidalgo: congas, bongo, guiro; Alexis Baro, Alex Kundakcioglu, Brian Okane, Jason Logue: trumpets; Paquito D'Rivera: Alto and clarinet; John Johnson, Luis Denis, Vern Dorge: alto saxophone; Quinson Nachoff, Jeff King: tenor saxophone; Perry White, Pol Coussee: baritone saxophone; Alister Kay, Phil Gray, William Carn, Colin Murray: trombone; Dione Taylor: vocals.

Style: Big Band - All about jazz


Discography

Motion - 2009

"Motion" is the exciting new release by the Hilario Duran Trio, featuring Roberto Occhipinti on bass, and Mark Kelso on drums. This cd has been nominated for 2 Juno Awards.

From the Heart- Alma Records, 2006

This album is dedicated "to all the great Cuban conductors that I have had the opportunity to work with: Rafael Somavilla, Armando Romeu, Adolfo Guzman, Tony Taño, Rembert Egües, and Germán Pifferrer among others. Dedicated as well to Ernesto Lecuona, Lilí Martínez, Antonio María Romeu, Peruchín, Richard Egües, Chucho Valdés and all the other great composers, arrangers and musicians of the first order who inspired and pushed me to grow in my career. This recording is a tribute to you." Hilario Durán

Encuentro en La Habana - Alma Records, 2005

"This album was recorded in Cuba on the 25th and 26th of February 2005 at the EGREM Studios in Havana. To record again with the former members of one of Cuba’s most ambitious musical projects was long a dream. For years we all performed together as the band for Grammy Award-winning trumpet player Arturo Sandoval. When Arturo moved to the United States, we renamed the group Perspectiva, evolving a new musical perspective."

New Danzón - Alma Records, 2004

"The Hilario Durán Trio, comprised of Cuban-born Durán, renowned Canadian bassist, Roberto Occhipinti and Grammy award winner, Cuban-born percussionist Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez, have taken the wonderful classic Cuban music called Danzon to new heights. The result is New Danzon, a fresh and vibrant Latin jazz offering, which melds the traditional with sophisticated be-bop and technical musical mastery."

Havana Remembered - Somerset Entertainment, 2001

Savor the joyful spirit of Old Havana with this collection of songs from the golden era of Cuban Music.

Habana Nocturna - Justin Time, 1999

"Habana Nocturna's roots in Cuban music are Guillermo Rubalcaba's Charanga Típica de Concierto and the trailblazing danzones composed by Cachao ad Macho López for Arcaño y sus Maravillas. In jazz, the Gonzalo Rubalcaba paid tribute to his father's music in 'Mi Gran Pasión' (1987). But Durán's Habana Nocturna is a round-trip ticket from Cuban music to jazz, and back; a landmark album of Cuban Jazz in the nineties."
Nat Chediak (author of "Diccionario de Jazz Latino"), April 1999

Killer Tumbao - Justin Time, 1997

"After making a name for himself as a primarily jazz oriented pianist... Hilario Durán returns to Castro country for this energetic get-down with an all stars cast of Cuban greats. 'Killer Tumbao' is a pounding collision of Latin roots and jazz elegance, as much heady folklore as swing."
Matt Galloway, Now magazine (Toronto), May 1997

Francisco's Song - Justin Time, 1996

"Durán, the latest keyboard sensation from Cuba to draw attention... is a fiery performer whose debut disc is just out - and hot. On 15 tunes, with Jane Bunnett, bass Alain Caron and guitarrist Sonny Greenwich, there's powerful, chord-packed interpretations as Cuban and North American traditions are pulled together, the title track quite brilliant and jazz faves Giant Steps, Lush Life and Hot House amazingly fresh."
Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star, June 1996

Club Mambo (Solitude) 2000
Buscando Cuerdas (Egrem) 1994
Tiembla Tierra (Egrem) 1990
Los de Siempre (Egrem) 1978
La Gran Timba del Caribe (Egrem) 1978
Habana 9 pm (Egrem) 1976


With Jane Bunnett:
Spirits of Havana (CBC-Egrem-Messidor) 1992
Rendez-vouz Brazil-Cuba (Justin Time) 1995
Havana Flute Summit (Naxos) 1996
Chamalongo (EMI-Blue Note) 1997
Ritmo+Soul (EMI-Blue Note) 2000


Photos

Bio

One of the premier exponents of Latin jazz, the Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist extraordinaire Hilario Duran is a Composer, Arranger, Orchestra Leader and Educator.

Hilario Duran was born in Havana Cuba in 1953 and like many Cuban musicians, Hilario was born into a musical family surrounded by a variety of diverse musical influences on a daily basis.

One of Hilario's major creative partners has been dynamic Cuban trumpet player, Arturo Sandoval. In 1981, Sandoval formed his own group. Hilario was an integral part of this dynamic ensemble, acting as composer, arranger and producer, as well as playing both piano and electric keyboard. This popular and innovative group performed at major international jazz festivals and venues for more than a decade - sharing stages with legendary musicians such as the late Dizzy Gillespie and composer/arranger Michel Legrand.

In 1990, Hilario felt that it was time to form his own group, aptly titled "Perspectiva". The musically innovative ensemble performed to packed and enthusiastic crowds throughout Latin America and Europe. In addition, "Perspectiva" released two critically-acclaimed CDs, Tiembla Tierra and Buscando Cuerdas.

A year later, Hilario made another creative connection that has brought him to international attention. As a member of Canadian multi-saxophonist Jane Bunnett's "Spirits of Havana", he performed in concert, and on the recording of the same name … which subsequently won the Juno Award for Best Latin Jazz Recording.

Always looking to stretch his creative boundaries, Hilario Duran released his first solo piano CD, Francisco's Song in 1996 on the Montreal-based "Justin Time" record label. A follow-up project for "Justin Time", Killer Tumbao, was released in 1997, and featured an array of Cuban musical giants, including legendary percussionists Changuito and Tata Guines. The CD was a huge hit, garnering raves for critics and the public alike, as well as a saturation of airplay in both Canada and the U.S. 1998 was a year of transition and creativity for Hilario Duran. After re-locating to Canada with his family, he released Habana Nocturna, which noted author Nat Chediak referred to as "A landmark album of Cuban jazz in the 90's".

Since his move to Canada, Hilario Duran has become an integral and important part of the Canadian music scene, and is a invaluable member of the jazz faculty at Humber College, acting as both an adjunct piano professor and ensemble director.
He has continued to work in collaboration with Jane Bunnett, appearing on a number of her recordings, and has also acted as a composer, arranger and pianist for both feature films and animated cartoons.

In 2000 and 2001, Hilario appeared internationally with a variety of performance groups, including an appearance at "The Modern Drummer Festival" with Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, John Patitucci and Michael Brecker, also, a memorable performance at The Barranquilla Jazz Festival in Colombia, as well as engagements with an "All Star" band that included heavy-weight musicians Dave Valentin, Juan Pablo Torres, John Benitez, and "Patato" Valdes. In 2001, he formed a cooperative Quartet with his long-time musical brother, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums, Carlos del Puerto, Jr. on bass and Roberto Vizcaino on percussion.

With the release of the cd From The Heart , Hilario has realized his long life dream. A showcase for the cuban born, Toronto-based musician's love for his native country's seminal Jazz Band Orchestras, this recording features Duran's rhythmically sophisticated compositions and sensual arrangements written for his exciting 20-piece Latin Jaz Big Band. It features Grammy Award winning jazz great Paquito D'Rivera and drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, along with a who's who of Canadian jazz greats.

Hilario is a multi Canadian multi Juno and National Jazz Award winner; American Grammy Award nominee and recipient of the 2007 Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award.