CESAR LOPEZ (Habana, 1968)
Alto & Soprano Saxphons, Flute, Vocal
César López, considered one of the most important sax players in the Latin Jazz, started studying music when he was 10. Only three years later, he won the 1st Prize in the Cuban National Sax Contest. In 1985 he got a scholarship at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (National Arts School) and, simultaneously, started his professional career with renowned Cuban musician Bobby Carcasés, who introduced César to Latin Jazz.
In 1988, due to his outstanding conditions as a musician, 19 years old he was chosen by Maestro Chucho Valdés to play the sax for the famous Cuban band Irakere. During 9 years César developed a fruitful international career with this Grammy awarded band, performing at the most prestigious festivals, theaters and clubs, which gave him the possibility of sharing the stage with Jazz stars like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Winston Marsalis, Michel Camilo, Paquito D’ Rivera, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval and others.
In 1997, César decided to form his own band, “Habana Ensemble”. Habana Ensemble displays new elements, in both, their musical and the aesthetic concepts, making them different to other Cuban bands. The Cesar’ s band has a repertoire full of classics of the Jazz and the Cuban Music, which they mix with a contemporary sound where improvisations have a remarkable place, making each of their interpretations unique. In 2006, CD “Andante” (BisMusic), obtained the Prize to the Best Jazz Album at the major Cuban Event for the Music Industry, Cubadisco. Cubadisco 2008 set a hallmark in César López career: the CD + DVD “Clásicos de Cuba” (BisMusic), displaying classic Cuban songs arranged for Habana Ensemble and The Chamber Orchestra of Havana, was awarded with the Prize to the Best Instrumental Album and Best Live Recording, which won the Cubadisco’s First Prize.
In 2009 he released “Cubop” (Kamita Records, Japan), an acoustic album with some of the most talented Cuban jazz players, a project they called “Los Cubanos” . He celebrated the 15 years anniversary of Habana Ensemble and recorded the DVD “LIVE” in March, 2012 and this obtained the Best Live Recording at Cubadisco 2014. In the same year, César recorded his classic music compositions with the Orchestra of Liseo Mozarteum as the album “Entre Cuerdas”(Colibri) and then with the band made the CD “Sonajero”(Egrem). Both albums won the Cubadisco’s prizes in 2015 and 2016.