Nestor Torres - Bird's Basement
If a flute could talk and sing, it would certainly be in the voice of Nestor Torres, for he speaks through his instrument. Equally fluent in Jazz, Classical and Latin idioms, his fluid versatility sets him apart. Nestor’s total command of his instrument allows him a freedom of expression that is at once captivating and liberating, powerful and genuine.
Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Nestor Torres has played music all his life. His parents (the father, a gifted musician himself, and mother, an educator and business woman) gave him a set of drums at age 5, and later took up the flute (at age twelve). He moved to NYC with his family in his teenage years and went on to study at Mannes School of Music and later at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. At that time he was also able to learn to improvise in a style of Cuban Dance music called ‘Charanga’, which helped to shape and develop Nestor’s melodic and danceable sound.
In 1981, Nestor moved to Miami, where he continued to develop his unique sound - and a strong following. Since then he has - and continues to - tour all over the world. He has also performed and recorded with the likes of Ricky Martin, Tito Puente, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, and many more.
Nestor Torres has recorded 14 Cds to date. His 5th & 7th records, Treasure of the Heart and My Latin Soul, were nominated for a Latin Grammy, and his production This Side Of Paradise won the Latin Grammy award in the Pop instrumental category on September 11, 2001.
“Of course it was a great honor and privilege to win the Grammy,” Torres reflects. “That being said, the fact that I was to receive it on 9/11 gave my work and my music a stronger sense of mission and purpose. Terrorism and violence come from ignorance, anger, and hopelessness. Music inspires and empowers; it soothes the human heart and enlightens the spirit. I have made it my prime point to create music and live my life in a way that does just that.”
From that experience, together with a commission to compose and perform for the Dalai Lama, Nestor Torres produced Dances, Prayers & Meditations For Peace in 2005.
In his brand new CD, Nouveau Latino, Nestor Torres returns to his Latin roots with a fresh approach, impeccable musicianship, and irresistible improvisations. Featuring songs from stars like Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades, Torres’ interpretations of these great Latin hits appeal to those discovering the songs for the first time as much as those who remember them.
In addition to his achievements in the studio and on the stage, Torres is also recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees; one in 1994 from Barry University, and the other in 2000 from Carlos Albizu University, for his commitment to youth education and cultural exchanges.
NESTOR TORRES: Facts & Career Highlights
• Classical and Jazz flute studies at Mannes School of Music, and New England Conservatory of Music.
• Early improvisational ‘on the job training’ playing in Cuban and Latin Dance bands including Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente.
• Regular featured guest at the ‘Salsa Meets Jazz At The Village Gate’ series in NYC.
• Has toured Japan repeatedly, including collaborations with Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter.
• Collaborations: with James Moody, Jon Faddis, Chris Botti, Larry Coryell, Hubert Laws, Arturo Sandoval, Michel Camilo, Paquito D’ Rivera, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Pablo Zigler, Makoto Ozone, Patrice Rushen, Bob James, George Duke, Wallace Roney, Peter Nero and Clare Fisher, among many, many others.
• Jazz Festivals: Capitol Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festivals; in Los Angeles and in NYC with Eddie Palmieri; Aspen Snowmass; Maui; Heineken in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic; Sedona; Atlanta…. Among many others.
• Symphonic: Has performed with the New World, Singapore, Springfield Missouri, Charleston, Signature (Tulsa, OK), Puerto Rico, and Stanford Symphonies; Philly Pops Orchestra; and the Naples, Florida; Malaysia, and Florida Philharmonics.
• Recordings to date (14): ‘Colombia En Charanga’, ‘Afro Charanga Volume 2’, ‘No Me Provoques, ‘Morning Ride’, ‘Dance of the Phoenix’, ‘Burning Whispers’, ‘Talk To Me’, ‘Treasures Of The Heart’, ‘Canciones Primeras’, ‘This Side Of Paradise’, ‘My Latin Soul’, ‘Sin Palabras’ (Without Words),‘Dances, Prayers & Meditations For Peace’, and ‘Nouveau Latino’.
• Grammys: His Latin-jazz composition “ Luna Latina” (from Treasures of the Heart) was nominated in 2000 for a Latin Grammy as well as his CD ‘My Latin Soul’ in 2002. In 2001, he won a Latin Grammy for his CD ‘This Side of Paradise’.
• Two Honorary Doctorate degrees from Miami-based Universities – one in 1994 from Barry University and the other in 2000 from Carlos Albizu University – for his commitment to youth education and cultural exchange as an Ambassador of Peace and Culture.