Cuban pianist Yan Carlos Artime Perez looks to heat up Buffalo with area debut

Jan 31, 2019

Pianist Yan Carlos Artime Perez is traveling the country in hopes of gaining more recognition as a lead man. He's often been behind the scenes. He was a producer of Paoli Mejías' 2005 Latin Grammy nominee album "Mi Tambor" and has collaborated with countless latin jazz musicians. For his first and only shows outside of Miami for the time being, he’s playing Pausa Art House tonight at 7:30 PM and Friday at 8 PM. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with Yan Carlos and his translator.

Credit JazzBuffalo

Go figure. Yan Carlos Artime Perez, who has spentmost of his life in Cuba and Puerto Rico, chose to play in Buffalo during one of its coldest winter stretches. Why Buffalo? Pausa Art House owner Lazara Martinzez got to know him when they studied together for a few years back in Cuba.

“It’s something she’s been wanting to do for a while," Yan Carlos said. "For timing reasons, we were never able to get together, but now I guess is the right time.”

He began violin studies at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory in Havana when he was only eight. Along the way he took the time to practice piano. Eventually, he graduated as a violinist and pianist at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana.

Yan Carlos performs Cuban music, but his range as a pianist is quite notable. Whether it’s more of a modern improvisational sound...

Or more traditional Cuban playing with a percussive emphasis on the keys and some very impressive technique.

“I toured several countries with a famous floutist in Cuba. Then I moved to Puerto Rico where I lived for around 17 years," Yan Carlos said. "That’s where I lived for most of my life. I had an opportunity to play with great musicians back on the island.”

After spending years performing with multiple groups in Puerto Rico, Artime is looking to make a name for himself across North America.

“Once I’m known more, I can do other things. Collaborate with more musicians. Not only as a pianist, but also as an author, arranger, producer… I can do a lot of things with music,” he said.

In 2009 he released a CD titled, “Recuerdos Que Lleva El Viento (Memories of the Wind).” His performance at Pausa will consist of mainly new compositions, with the exception of one track: La Tarde

“That composition is a very famous classic,” he said. “A lot of musicians play that piece. It’s really beautiful. So I made my own version on that album.”

Moving forward he’ll be performing new compositions as a solo pianist.

“This concert is very personal,” he said. “Some of the compositions were composed for family members. It’s something very personal for me.”

Artime said he plans to release these new works on a solo album in the near future.

For now, he’s taking it one venue at a time starting with Pausa, as jazz audiences across the continent catch on to an emerging talent.

Lear more about Yan Carlos on his website.