The Grand Concourse (Machat Records)

Dayramir Gonzalez

Released July 21, 2017

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review




Serving as the follow up to his 2007 debut, this record is defined by the voyage of a young artist from Havana whose creation of musical works sheds light on the gems of traditional Cuban sentiments, contemporary Afro-Cuban jazz, and the vanguard sounds of New York. 

Extending the concept of his debut album Dayramir & Habana enTRANcé, Gonzalez continues the Cuban musical feast on The Grand Concourse with songs featuring Grammy Award-nominated guest artists like Pedrito Martinez, Yosvany Terry, and Oriente Lopez in special musical configurations that span string quartet, full orchestra, solo piano, choir, and Afro Cuban jazz septet.

With songs like “Situaciones en 12/8,” a purely Afro-Cuban jazz sentiment driven by pulsating rhythms, or his contemporary approach to Cuban classical music on the orchestral chamber piece “Sencillez,” to more contemporary popular Cuban sounds found on “Iyesa con Miel” (a tribute to the Yoruba goddess Ochun), whose melody is carried by the iconic voice of Martinez, Gonzalez’s music is defined by just that: the diverse spectrum of musical genres executed with virtuosity, approached with a contemporary perspective that maintains an underlying Cuban savor.

“This is an ambitious project that doesn’t present me as only a pianist or improviser, but also as a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and bandleader,” says Gonzalez. “For me, making an album is always about creating a full and complete piece of art, where I have a palette of different colors to choose from and can paint all those sounds that float in my head.”

Track Listing:

1. Smiling (Dayramir Gonzalez) 01:52

2. Moving Forward (Dayramir Gonzalez) 07:27

3. Sencillez (Dayramir Gonzalez) 06:07

4. Iyesa Con Miel (Dayramir Gonzalez) featuring Pedrito Martínez / Yosvany Terry 08:15

5. Blood Brothers (Dayramir Gonzalez) 05:44

6. Camello Tropical (Dayramir Gonzalez / Ramsés Rodríguez) feat. Nadia Washington 04:47

7. Lovely Time with My Dear (Dayramir Gonzalez) 08:20

8. Linear Patterns in Havana (Dayramir Gonzalez) feat. Raul Pineda 06:30

9. Two Makes the Difference (Dayramir Gonzalez) 05:45

10. West Coast Exchange (Dayramir Gonzalez) 05:40

11. Hand in Hand, You and I (Dayramir Gonzalez) 02:38

12. Situaciones En 12/8 (Dayramir Gonzalez) 09:08


Dayramir Gonzalez: piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizer (2, 8, 9), chorus (2, 3, 10, 12)

Antoine Katz: electric bass (1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)

Alberto Miranda: electric bass (2)

Carlos Mena: acoustic bass (3)

Zwelakhe-Duma Bell Le Pere: acoustic bass (5, 7, 9)

Zack Mullings: drums (1, 4, 6, 10)

Keisel Jimenez Leyva: drums (2)

Jay Sawer: drums (5)

Willy Rodriguez: drums (5)

Raul Pineda: drums (8)

David Rivera: drums (12)

Paulo Stagnaro: congas (1, 3, 6, 10), batá drums (6), surdo, cajon, guiro, pandeiro and percussion (1, 5, 7-9)

Mauricio Herrera: congas (12), batá drums (2)

Marcos Lopez: congas (2), timbal (10)

Harvis Cuni: trumpet (1)

Oriente Lopez: flute (1, 3, 4, 8, 10)

Kalani Trinidad: flute (12)

Yosvany Terri: alto saxofone (1, 4, 8, 10), shekere (10)

Rio Konishi: alto saxofone (12)

Dean Tsur: tenor saxophone (1, 4, 8, 10), alto saxofone (7),

Edmar Colon: tenor saxofone (12)

Ameya Kalamdani: electric and acoustic guitars (1, 6)

Ilmar Lopez Gavilan: violin (1, 3, 5, 7)

Audrey Defreytas Hayes: violin  (1, 3, 5, 7)

Tatiana Ferrer: viola (1, 3, 5, 7), chorus (2, 3, 10, 12)

Jennifer Vincent: cello  (1, 3, 5, 7)

Caris Visentin Liebman: oboe (5)

Amparo Edo Biol: French horn (5)

Pedrito Martinez: lead vocals and batá drums (4)

Gregorio Vento: percussion and lead vocals (12)

Nadia Washington: lead vocals (6), chorus (3, 10)

Jaclyn Sanchez: chorus (2, 3, 10)

Recorded October 2016, at Samurai Hotel Recording Studio, Queens, NY

Produced by Dayramir Gonzalez & Tatiana Ferrer

Recording Engineers: Jaclyn Sanchez, Marcos Torres and Willy Torres

Mixing: Guillermo Marin

Mastering: Jett Galindo

Executive producer: Tatiana Ferrer & Chamber Coup Music Group


The Grand Course is a tour de force. As writer, arranger, pianist, leader and guiding spirit of this sensational project, Dayramir Gonzalez exhibits complete command. Most of the uptempo tracks balance complexity and momentum, feeding, rather than making things harder, for each other. It begins with “Smiling,” the perfect opener. Gonzalez states the theme at the top, dancing nimbly through myriad meters. The horns punch key points in the rhythm, punctuated by brief solo drum moments. The writing and playing are breathtaking. Three works stand out as homages to love. Each begin with Gonzalez, playing with a reflective blues touch in memory of his late brother Daymell on “Blood Brothers” and with nuance on “Lovely Time With My Dear.” String sections join in on both; they complement his concept, but leave the listener wishing the bandleader might perform alone—a wish that he fulfills on the lovely “Hand And Hand, You And I.” Special mention must be made of the photography and quotations accompanying each song in the liner notes. These words come from Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Brahms, Victor Hugo—a stellar assembly, as are those few young jazz artists who might qualify as Gonzalez’s peers.

Bob Doerschuk (DownBeat)