Dafnis Prieto, drummer, composer, and educator, is the recipient of a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship (the “genius grant”). He has electrified audiences with his dazzling technical abilities and rhythmically adventurous and groundbreaking compositions. A classically trained musician who attained from an early age, the multifaceted percussive traditions of his native Cuba, Prieto transposes elements from his Afro-Cuban musical heritage onto a jazz drum kit, incorporating congas, timbales, and the layered rhythmic patterns of rumba and son.

After moving to New York in 1999, he quickly became the drummer of choice for many prominent artists such as Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O’Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. As a bandleader of his own and as a sideman, Prieto has performed at many venues and festivals throughout the United States and around the world.


Besides the MacArthur Fellowship, he has also received various awards including: “Up & Coming Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a Grammy Award Nomination for ”Absolute Quintet” as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best New Artist” in 2007. Prieto also has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops. Since 2005, he has served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University. Please, visit him http://www.dafnisonmusic.com/