Yosvany Terry | Biography
Saxophonist Yosvany Terry burst onto the jazz and contemporary music scene in New York in 1999, where he "helped to redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom." (New York Times).
Born in Cuba, the musician-composer-educator incorporates American jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce performances and compositions that flow from the rhythmic and hard-driving avant-garde to sweet-sounding lyricism. He brings his inimitable style to stages all over the world, performing regularly with the Yosvany Terry Quartet and Yosvany Terry and the Afro-Caribbean Quintet, as well as with the Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quintet and Eddie Palmieri and the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Yosvany has also worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Chucho Valdes, Silvio Rodriguez, Branford Marsalis, Paquito de Rivera, Dave Douglas, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Avishai Cohen, Meshell Ndegeocello, Cassandra Wilson, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Wycliffe Gordon, Dafnis Prieto, Taj Mahal, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Murray, Joe Lovano, and Paul Simon.
His current project, "Today's Opinion" (Criss Cross, April 2012), is his second solo album. The project continues the exciting trajectory he established in Latin jazz as a "young composer and bandleader with a distinctive personal vision" with his inaugural release Metamorphosis (Ewe Records 2005). Earlier, with his group Columna B he recorded Twisted Noon and Enclave. Yosvany has also been featured on the CDs of Avishai Cohen (At Home, Lyla and Unity), Steve Coleman (Genesis and The Sign and the Seal), Brian Lynch (the Grammy-Award winning Con Clave 2) and Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Avatar).
Yosvany, who is also a talented chekeré player, received his earliest training from his father, Eladio "Don Pancho" Terry, violinist and Cuba's leading player of the chekeré. After mastering this Afro-Cuban percussion instrument, he went on to receive his classical music training from the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana.
Among the many commissions he has received as a composer are the Chamber Music America "Connecting Communities Residency Program" commission funded through Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Jazzmobile and Harlem Stage; Harlem Stage's "Meet the Composer for New Music" commission to write the music of the Opera Makandal; and the Jerome Foundation/Jazz Gallery Composers' Series commission for a work for a large ensemble. He received the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors/New York State Music Fund's grant through Stanford Jazz Workshop for Yedégbé, a suite of Arará music, music brought by African slaves to Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean.
Terry has taught at prestigious institutions across the United States and Canada. He is a lecturer at Princeton University, a faculty member at New York City's New School University and the Harlem School of the Arts, and has served as a resident instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University since 1995. Additionally, he has taught master classes at the University of Texas at Austin and delivered workshops at the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, California), the Banff Music Center (Alberta, Canada) and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Winnipeg, Canada).
When not on tour, Yosvany makes Harlem his home. For more information, visit www.yosvanyterry.com.