Exclusive Interview with Musician Daniel Criado

We have been in the music industry for 8 years supporting music artists with interviews! Tell us about your music journey, how did it all begin?

My performance experience with Grammy Award-winner artists is definitely an important aspect since these artists only collaborate with musicians with the same caliber. One of them is the saxophonist David Dejesus, whose music always demands a high standard of musicianship. The compositions for this quintet, David Dejesus & Drive, require sharp technique, knowledge and command of different music styles, very high sight-reading skills and constant awareness of where the music is going to carry on at any given moment.

Through him I have also performed with pianist Manuel Valera (Grammy Award winner), who has done brilliant recordings and collaborations with the best drummers in the world like Bill Stewart, Horacio “El negro” Hernandez and Antonio Sanchez; Grammy Awards nominee and trumpeter Brandon Lee and NYC first call bassist Doug Weiss who has performed, toured and recorded with Brian Blade, Kendrick Scott, Kenny Washington and Al Foster, arguably the most important names in jazz drumming. Therefore, from a drummer's prospective, it is a true honor to have worked with these musicians.

Apart from being invited as panelist to the important “International Percussion Festival UIS” and done many master classes around New York and Connecticut, I have had received significant recognition from newspapers such as the Westchester Hispano (the Hispanic newspaper with the highest circulation in all Westchester county, Putnam, Rockland and the state of Connecticut), Westmore News, El Sol and Vanguardia. As well, I’ve had radio interviews and performed my music at WBGO 88.4, the global leader in jazz radio, NJ; the Mexican radio station..Universo 94.9 and in Colombia at “La Cultural” radio and the renowned TV Channel “TRO”.

How would you describe your music? Who has been the most influential people you have worked with?

The general and foremost aspect of what I seek with my music is for it to be “for the people”. Someone that has been influential in this aspect is a musician I got to work with for over a year in different projects, including a record for the Lisa Andrea’s Project at Acoustic Recording, in which he played percussion and also produced. I’m talking about the critically acclaimed and influential jazz drummer, composer and producer Leon Parker. Known for his previous recordings as a leader for Columbia and as a side man for the prestigious Blue Note Records; and currently with his collaborations with top artists from the Jazz scene such as Brad Melhdau, Aaron Goldberg and Peter Bernstein.

Through him I got the honor to collaborate and play with such luminaries like Joel Frahm (a leading voice of the jazz tenor saxophone) and the great bassists from the NYC jazz scene Sean Smith and Ogana Okewo. As mentioned before, I have had the fortune to collaborate with the Grammy Award-winner David Dejesus. I’ve played on his quintet at different stages and with the Birdland Big Band, one of the most important big bands in the New York jazz scene, which he leads. David has a lot of experience as a band director, so with him I learned a lot about professionalism when it comes to show up to the gig prepared. “Success is a combination of both opportunity and preparation” he often says.

As well I’ve played with the critically acclaimed pianist and composer Pete Malinverni with whom I’ve played at important venues like Mezzrow in NYC and the White Plains Jazz Festival, among others.

What has been your biggest achievement with your music so far?

One of my biggest achievements as a Jazz drummer is to have gone on tour to Tokyo, Japan to play with the great Jazz pianist and friend Miho Sasaki and her trio. Within the tour we played in different cities of Tokyo in many venues and also performed at the highly acclaimed ASAKUSA Jazz Festival, where we were recipients of the Silver Medal for best Jazz Ensemble. One of the best experiences, Japanese people truly appreciate Jazz music!

In addition to this, I would like to mention my endorsement with what in my opinion is the best cymbal company. Bosphorus Cymbals, the handmade cymbals from Turkey. This company has endorsed some of the most important drummers from the Jazz scene such as Ari Hoenig and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra ex-drummer Ali Jackson, and the fact that they can make prototype cymbals with the specifications I want, is something I always dreamed of.

This allows me to truly get the sounds I’m looking for when I’m playing for my different ensembles.

What are your 2020 goals with your music?

Due to the actual changes that have been going on, I’ve decided to go into the studio with two main projects I’m currently working on:The Daniel Criado Project, a Jazz ensemble that focuses on paying tribute to my Colombian roots.

Notice the fact that this is Jazz music with Colombian influences, not Colombian music with Jazz influences, as sometimes these experiments turn out to be.

I plan to record a complete album with all original songs and new people I’ve recently worked with that I know gravitate very well in both worlds.

Dannies From The South is the other project I’m working in collaboration with the great Colombian singer Denisse Vera.

This is an Indie Folk group filled with Pan-American sounds where I am the arranger and percussionist of the group but also play guitar, bass and piano.

We released our single “Alma En Pena” to more than 300 digital platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and Apple Music.

This the first of our upcoming album entitled “What The Mirror Knows”, so stay tuned because we will be launching the other songs of our album pretty soon!

What are top venues you have performed in?

I have had the privilege to play at the top jazz venues in the world such as Birdland Jazz Club in many occasions, Mezzrow, Smalls, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Fat Cat, Cleopatra’s Needle, Tomi Jazz in New York City. Lady Got Chops Festival and White Plains JAZZFEST, Performing Arts Center, Riviera Theater in Buffalo in upstate New York.

The Side Door in Connecticut, Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago, Duc des Lombards in Paris, France...

..Takeofukuyama, Bourbon Jazz, Hanamichi Hall in Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo, ASAKUSA Jazz Festival in Tokyo, Japan and Mordern Art Museum, Festival Internacional de Piano UIS, Fiesta del Jazz Festival UNAB, Festival de Blues & Jazz, Festival de los Planetas, and Luis A. Calvo Auditorium in Colombia...

- Daniel Criado