Grammy-winning electric cellist joins Cayfest lineup

| 18/02/2016
Cayman News Service

Dana Leong

(CNS): Grammy Award-winning electro-jazz cellist, trombonist and composer Dana Leong will be performing at the 2016 Cayfest showcase on Saturday, 27 February. Known for his musical stylings that fuse classical, jazz and pop to creative unique and pioneering compositions, Leong also taught Jazz at Stanford University starting at age 16.

Leong has won two Grammys in Latin jazz for his collaboration with Paquito D’Rivera; worked with Kanye West and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs in hip-hop; and worked with DJ A-Trak and DJ Qbert in electronic dance music. He has also been a guest musical director for the Broadway show Fela; composed themes for international brands such as Hermès, Virgin Galactic, Porsche and Mont Blanc; serves as a US musical ambassador; and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Leong has also worked with Yamaha to consult on the design of the “Silent Cello”, which he plays.

While in Cayman, Leong will be teaming up with another Grammy-winning artist – Caymanian Jason “JG” Gilbert – and Samuel Rose of Swanky Kitchen Band on a special project. Details are being kept under wraps but CNCF’s Rita Estevanovich said the result will be historic.

“We are so thrilled about this fusion of talent that is going to take place,” she said. “The collaboration of these great musical minds is an exciting creative process to witness and we are proud to be a part of this piece of history in the making which is made even more special because we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Harquail Theatre this year. This is the perfect way to commemorate this milestone.”

Cayfest opens on Thursday, 25 February with the National Arts & Culture Awards, an invitation-only event, where local artists are celebrated for their creativity in the arts and ingenuity in preserving and promoting Caymanian cultural heritage.

The following day, students, the community and corporate entities are being encouraged to display their love for culture by donning traditional dress, sportswear, country colours or anything that represents their culture(s) to raise funds for CNCF’s youth and cultural programmes. Cost to take part is $5 for adults and $3 for youth.

Also on Friday, the Cayman Islands Folk Singers will perform their show Home and Away in the evening at the Harquail Theatre.

The weekend of culture culminates with the Red Sky at Night Festival, which takes place at the Harquail Theatre grounds from 4:00pm to midnight on Saturday, 27 February. Red Sky at Night is the largest display of local talent on island, ranging from dancers, actors, musicians, culinary artists, poets and storytellers to creative work by visual artists and crafts people.

For more information on Cayfest events, visit the festival’s website, call 949-5477 or email Rita Estevanovich

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Category: Music, Performing Arts

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