Elio Villafranca in Caribé

Riverside Archives

This event has occurred in the past

Elio Villafranca in Caribé

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 08 April 2018
Category Live Event

Riverside Theatres presents

“It is important to see and hear rumba live. It exemplifies the way Cuban people walk, how they behave, how they live.” – Justo Pelladito

Parramatta comes alive to the vibrant Latin beats of Grammy Award nominated Cuban pianist/composer Elio Villafranca,11-piece Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Palacio de la Rumba and the energetic dancing of Adrian Medina’s Con Clave Dance for one show only.

Be transported to Latin America with this spell-binding concert featuring passionate Cuban jazz. Get ready to cha cha chá and rumba.

Dates & Times:
Sunday 8 April 2018 at 3pm SOLD OUT




“There is a wild celebration here… a riot of tone colour. Tempos, ensemble and balance – all seem effortless and intuitively right.” – Raul de Gama, Latin Jazz Network (On Palacio de la Rumba)

“I am profoundly moved by Elio’s vision and musicianship.” – Wynton Marsalis (On Elio Villafranca)

“Elio’s music is passionate.  A brand new application of ancient ways.”  – Chick Corea (On Elio Villafranca)

Elio Villafranca

Born in the Pinar del Río province of Western Cuba, Villfranco was classically trained in percussion and composition at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. In 1995 he relocated to the U.S where he has worked extensively in the jazz and Latin jazz scenes throughout the US.

In the wake of early innovators such as Mario Bauza and Machito and later Chuchos Valdes, Villafranca is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable Cuban pianists and composers making major creative contributions to the international development of Cuban jazz.

Since his debut album “Incantations/Encantaciones” ranked amongst the Top 50 albums of 2003 (JazzTimes), the Steinway artist has received a multitude of accolades including Jazz Corner’s Pianist of the Year (2008), BMI Jazz Guaranty Award (2008) and the NFA/Heineken Green Ribbon Master Artist Music Grant (2008).

In 2010 he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Album (2010) and in 2014 received the Swing Award at Jazz at the Lincoln Centre. Last year, he was among five pianists chosen by Chick Corea to perform at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival, also receiving the Sunshine Award which recognises excellence in the performing arts, education, science, and sports of the various Caribbean countries, South America, Central America, and Africa.

His music has been described as “passionate” and “a new application of ancient ways” by jazz legend Chick Corea, while internationally celebrated trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz at the Lincoln Centre, Wynton Marsalis, professes to having been “profoundly moved” by the Cuban composer’s vision and musicianship.

Villafranca has released three albums under his name. He has performed nationally and internationally as leader of his quartet, and as a sideman he has collaborated with leading jazz and Latin jazz artists including: Wynton Marsalis; Jon Faddis; Sonny Fortune; Giovanni Hidalgo; Eddie Henderson; Miguel Zenón; Cándido Camero; and Johnny Pacheco.

Currently based in New York, Villafranco is a faculty member at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music and resident professor at Temple University in Philadelphia.


Cruz Vazquez Borges (Cuba/Sydney)

Soloist dancer of World famous Tropicana company. He is trained in Ballet, Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Spanish, Tap, Salsa, Rumba, Son, Acrobatics, Hip Hop and Cuban folklore. Cruz speaks Spanish, English and Italian. Cruz has toured the World with the famous Lady Salsa smash hit show, as well as performing in the famous Tropicana show and Ballet TV in Cuba. He has also been a backup singer and dancer for Salsa Orchestra Halia Maria Monpier in Cuba,Hip Hop and Contemporary dancer in Company PMM soloist dancer of MSC cruises and coreographo and dance master at Arthur Murray Sydney.

Adrian Medina (Cuba/Sydney)

Professional Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer. Born in Havana, Cuba, Adrian holds diplomas in Folkoric and modern Afro Cuban dance and music. He is a performance dance lecturer at the Adelaide Institute of TAFE and has performed with the famous Tropicana Dance Company (Havana). Toured with Havana Nights, and has made numerous film and TV appearances in Cuba and Europe. In 2004, he was the winner of the Sabor Latino National Salsa Dance Award.

Airagdin Pavon More “El Moro” (Cuba/Sydney)

Airagdin Pavon More, known as “El Moro”, was born in Havana, Cuba. He studied dance at the Academia Nacional de Narisco Medina, Havana and performed with many prestigious Cuban Dance Companies including JJ, La Giraldilla, Ballet Folklorico de la Havana, Marrabenta, Raices Profundas and Oriki, which toured to France and Mexico. He was first solo dancer and choreographer with “Havana Nights”, one of the largest independently produced shows ever to leave Cuba, touring extensively throughout Mexico, Central Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and Australia.

Moro has worked as a dance teacher in Oslo, Stockholm and throughout Australia. He specialises in Afro-Cuban Dance, Rumba, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Son, Salsa and Dominican Bachata. In 2004, Moro established Buena Vista Dance, to teach Cuban Dance and promote Cuban culture in Australia. He has choreographed and performed in various shows, including Cuban Folkloric Company, World Salsa Congress, Afro-Cuban Express, and NZ Pacific Salsa Congress. In 2009 he also won the Sydney and Melbourne Bachata Championships, Professional Division with his partner Alegria. In 2009, Buena Vista Dance won the National Cubamemucho Salsa Rueda Competition in Melbourne, in which Moro choreographed, directed and performed. The group went on to represent Australia at the Cubamemucho 2010 World Rueda Championships in Munich, where they placed third. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 he and his partner won the Australian Bachata Championship.

Yarima Gavilan Herrera (Cuba/Sydney)

Founder & Director, Head Instructor, International Performer and Entertainer, and Australia’s only authentic professional female Cuban Dancer.

Yarima was born in Cuba and trained at The Tropicana School and Teatro America for Cabaret dance and performance, at the Folklorico de la Universidad de la Habana, and trained and performed with ‘7 Potencia’, a professional Afro-Haitian dance company in Havana. Added to this, since moving to Australia she has trained as a Zumba Instructor, and completed her Zumba Gold certificate.

Yarima has been teaching and performing in Australia since 2002. She has taught and performed at the Sydney Salsa Congress, the New Zealand Salsa Congress, Australia’s Cuban Dance and Music Congress, Portsea Summer Festivals, Queensland’s Cuban Festival, Sydney Cuban Salsa Congress, Australian Rueda de Casino Championship Festivals, Newcastle Latin Festivals,The Spectrum Now Festival, Afro Latino Festival, Sydney Latin American Film Festival, and at the Melbourne Latin Festival, Adelaide for the Salsa Expo and many more.

In 2009 she created and performed ‘Cuba Baila’ a Cuban Dance showcase at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. In 2010 she supported the legendary Cuban band LOS VAN VAN at the Sydney Opera House with another fabulous Cuban Dance showcase. Yarima has danced in stage shows around Australia such as Afro-Cuban Express, Cuba Todo Loco, Cuban Folkloric Company, and around New Zealand with the Cuban Carousel dance show. Yarima’s performances and teaching style is always bright, bubbly and infectious and always with a huge smile on her face.

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1 hour 30 minutes (No interval)

Ticket Prices

Members Adult $39
Members Concession $34
Members 30 Club $30
Adult $44
Concession $39
Groups 10+ $39
30 & Under $34

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