Thrilling young trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader, and one of the leading voices of a young generation of talented Cuban musicians, returns to Exit Zero Jazz for the third time – this time leading his own band.

With the ambition of developing his creative spirit, Kali conquered the New York scene in 2014 by blending traditional Cuban sounds with influences from Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Wayne Shorter, as well as R&B and Hip-Hop, which makes him stand out due to his unique spark in his aesthetic views, his variety of sounds and originality. He has been performing professionally since 2007, sharing the stage with world-renowned musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Arturo O’Farrill, Paquito D’Rivera, Chucho Valdés, Anat Cohen, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Miguel Zenón, Jeff “Tain” Watts, David Murray, Cándido Camero, Olga Tañón, Bobby Carcasses, among others.

Kali then began to appear in the most important jazz-related events in Cuba such as Jazz Plaza Festivals and The Jojazz Contest in 2009 where he won top prizes for Best Improvisation, and 2010 for Best Small Combo categories, which encouraged him to record and produce his first CD “Gente de Colores” (Colorful People), in 2011. He has played in some of the top venues of New York including Birdland, Symphony Space, Rainbow Room, Dizzy’s Jazz Club Coca-Cola, David Rubenstein Atrium, Zinc Bar, Subrosa, ShapeShifter Lab, among many others. He has also been a guest lecturer at the University of California, Riverside on Cuban music and Jazz. In March of 2016 he was selected as a finalist for the National Trumpet Competition. Kali has collaborated in a wide variety of festivals such as National Folk Festival (US), DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, The Exit Zero Jazz Festival, as a Wynton Marsalis’ guest, among others; and recordings like “Familia”, CD by Arturo O’Farrill and Chucho Valdes.

Currently, Kali is finishing his degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music while playing with his own band in differents clubs around New York. Kali, one of the new Rising Stars of the Latin Jazz says “I want to break with the concept of what “Cuban music” is, or means. Cuban music is more than what people think. I know my roots, and I love them, but I also live in the 21st century and I believe in upgrades. I want to modernize the Cuban Music. I want to merge everything I know and I’ve learned so far. I think is possible, and I don’t have to lose my roots to do this.”

Rusty Nail April 22nd at 1:00 PM
Rusty Nail April 22nd at 11:00 AM
Robert Shackleton Playhouse April 21st at 9:30 PM

Lineups & Venues