Schmitt Music presents an exclusive video premiere
Please join us on for a special concert and conversation with Steinway Artist Nachito Herrera – premiering on Thursday, February 4 at 7PM CST / 6PM MST!
“Being a Steinway Artist is a dream come true.” – Nachito Herrera
Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera is a two-time Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator. He recently became the first Cuban-American pianist added to Steinway’s distinguished roster of artists!
In March 2020, Nachito suffered a nearly fatal case of COVID-19 and was in a coma for over two weeks. Within days of waking, he had a portable digital piano in his ICU room.
“Science and miracles worked together… and I prayed that if I could at least play a melody it would help me a lot [in my recovery].” – Nachito Herrera
Nachito couldn’t recall a major scale at first, but he was soon able to play and wrote a gorgeous melody – a piece called Esperanza – Spanish for hope.
The Minnesota pianist is now back in good health, performing live-stream shows, and practicing on his amazing 9-foot Steinway & Sons concert grand piano. Nachito recently welcomed us into his home for some exclusive performances and conversation with Schmitt Music Piano Specialist Mark Mueller. Tune in to hear “Esperanza” in its entirety and much more on Thursday night!
Read more: Nachito’s Esperanza made our 2020 end-of-the-year list of 10 Musical Moments from Minnesota!
Check out this MN Original video featuring Nachito and his trio performing in 2010:
Four-time nominee, two-time Grammy Award winner, Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera is a formidable pianist, described by All About Jazz as having “stepped onto the national stage as a fully evolved artist, brimming with confidence, in total command of a vast array of traditional and contemporary Cuban idioms, and imparting a virtuosic touch on all aspects of this shimmering production. Herrera’s inventive arrangements and the expertise of his musicians produce a program that exudes an organic quality from start to finish.” Jazz critic Neil Tesser described one Herrera’s performances as having “…vaulted him into the upper echelon – a trinity comprising Chucho Valdes, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and now Nachito Herrera.”
As a pianist, music director, composer, arranger, producer, and recording artist, Steinway Artist Nachito Herrera has worked with such groups as Cubanismo, the Buena Vista Social Club, AfroCuba Allstars, and Nachito Herrera and the Universals. Over the past 30 years, he has performed at major international jazz festivals, including The Gilmore, Amsterdam, North Sea, Montreal, San Francisco, Telluride, and Vale Jazz Festival, among many others.
After an early successful performance with the Havana Symphony Orchestra, Herrera embarked on an extensive tour throughout Europe. He later became the Music Director of the Tropicana Club in Havana, and joined the famed Latin Jazz group ¡Cubanismo! as the lead pianist, arranger, and musical director, which went on to accumulate many awards for their recordings and performances. Following a Winter 2009 tour as a member of The Afro Cuban All Stars, Nachito embarked on an extensive worldwide solo tour. Since then he has performed in the most prestigious halls in Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, Central and South America, Australia and the United States.
As soloist with orchestra, he toured extensively with the National Symphony of Cuba, giving 47 performances on their American tour. He has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Youth Symphony, Metropolitan Orchestra, Chippewa Valley Symphony, University of WisconsinEau Claire Big Band. He has performed under the batons of Doc Severinsen, Giancarlo Guerrero, Chick Corea, Manny Laureano, Marlene Pauley, Ramón Tebar, and William Kroll.
Nachito was nominated for an Emmy Award for the 2017 PBS show, Minnesota Original: Nachito Herrera. He was presented with the American Heritage Award by Barack Obama; the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s 2014 Immigrant of Distinction Award; the 2015 Minnesota Immigrant of Distinction Award; and the Minnesota Music Awards for Best Latin Jazz Artist for three years running. The Nachito Herrera Day Proclamation was celebrated on December 1, 2018.
An enthusiastic pedagogue, Herrera teaches Jazz Performance & Composition, Classical Performance, theory, harmony, improvisation, and solfege at MacPhail Center for the Arts. He has performed and given masterclasses at The Gilmore Keyboard Festival and for Minnesota Youth Symphonies, and adjudicated the Dakota Jazz Competition for the Dakota Jazz Education Foundation. He has held artist residencies at conservatories and universities including The Juilliard School, Berklee Colege of Music, University of Chicago, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, University of North Dakota, University of Iowa (Iowa City and Cedar Falls), and Mankato State University.
“One of the world’s great Cuban pianists. [Nachito] blends jaw-dropping technique and rich, powerful soulfulness in an amazing display of musical power and emotion.” – TEDx Talks
Nachito Herrera is a Steinway Artist.