Michel Herrera Álvarez currently showcases his group, Joven Jazz at the best jazz clubs and theaters in Havana, Cuba while preparing for a US debut tour. He continues to develop his compositions, adding a unique style shining with Cuban flavor. Joven Jazz has just released it’s first CD called “En La Espera.” The CD was an award for winning first prize in composition at the JoJazz International Young Jazz competition. It has won fans over with it’s fresh and original
arrangements. Although he is still young enough to compete, Michel Herrera was chosen as a judge for this year’s JoJazz Festival. Joven Jazz is the only young group to play weekly at Cuba’s most prestigious Jazz clubs including Jazz Cafe and La Zorra y El Cuervo. Herrera has traveled to over 30 countries to play at major festivals. His band is honored to be collaborating with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Band in early October in Habana!
Individual Bio: Michel Herrera Álvarez
Michel Herrera Álvarez started his conservatory training at the age of 10 at Escuela Elemental de Música Manuel Samuell as a saxophone major where he completed his basic studies. Later he went on to study at the prestigious conservatory Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan for the saxophone where he developed a very special style of classical and popular music combined. These combinations lead to his interest in Jazz.
At the international JoJazz competition in 2005, he received an award in the youth category (age 16-20) and a great response from the audience. One year later, at Jojazz 2006 he received the award for composition and interpretation in the category of ages 20 and older. In 2006, he had developed a more solid concept, both musically and aesthetically. This year Herrera will have the great honor of being on the panel of judges at the JoJazz competition.
He has worked extensively with jazz master Bobby Carcacess. He is also a favorite of grammy winner Joaquín Betancourt, Jorge Reyes, Jorge Luis Chicoy, Orlando Sánchez, grammy winner Maraca and most notably Omara Portuondo. He has performed at the best venues in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Holland, Spain and Canada.
Herrera has also recorded with the most popular musicians and recording labels in Cuba, including with the prestigious singer Beatriz Márquez’s CD under the EGREM label. He has also recorded on the international label Tonkey Money, with esteemed international music producers, this same recording sold over a million copies.
With the world renowned jazz musician Bobby Carcases, Herrera recorded the CD Bembedoble and a very successful Canadian tour followed where Herrera was noted for his unique musical style and expertise.
Herrera recorded a CD with Big Band Alba Tropic under the label Bis Music for which, he was given accolades for his exceptional musical performance. He constantly records with some of the best producers in Cuba such as Jorge Luis Chicoy, Joaquín Betancourt, Emilio Vega, and Orlando Sánchez (Cuba Jazz).