Drummer Dafnis Prieto was recently awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his talents as a drummer and composer.
Here is Dafnis strutting his stuff from a recent ceremony acknowledging his accomplishments at NYU:
I was very fortunate to study with Dafnis for a couple of weeks during a residency workshop at the Banff Centre during the winter of 2010. He has an incredible amount of technique, independence and facility on the drums (in true Cuban style!) but never lets that overshadow his capacity for making meaningful music. He is a real visionary in terms of his approach to sound, rhythm and melody and I honestly think that his contributions to the instrument will make him recognized as an innovator in the years to come.
During our time together he really stressed the importance of studying the roots and rhythms of traditional Cuban Rumba music and also pointed to more progressive players such as Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman and Peter Apfelbaum for inspiration.