Yilian Cañizares

Yilian Cañizares is a Cuban-Swiss musician who has lived in Switzerland since 2000.[1]

Yilian Cañizares
Yilian Canizares.jpg
Yilian Cañizares at the Marseille Jazz festival des 5 continents 2015
Background information
OriginHavana, Cuba,
Genresjazz, World music, Music of Cuba
Years active2009—present
LabelsNaïve Records


Yilian Cañizares was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied violin there, in the strictest Russian tradition.[2] In 1997, she moved to Venezuela, in order to pursue her studies. Three years later, she moved again, to Switzerland, in order to complete her studies at the Fribourg/Freiburg conservatory.[3] She originally wanted to become a classical musician.[1] As she was in Switzerland, she became interested in Jazz and decided to sing.[1] She has remained in Switzerland and has acquired the citizenship.[4][5] She found her own style after having discovered the French jazz violin player Stéphane Grappelli. She decided to use elements of his style with Cuban music.[6]

At the end of her studies, she started the band Ochumare, or "rainbow" in Yoruba,[2] with David Britto (Double Bass) and Cyril Regamey (drums and percussions). She continued her career under her own name.[5] She has been considered the discovery of the year 2013 by the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur [7] and the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles selected her album Invocación in the ten 2015 albums from South America not to be missed.[8] She teaches violin and jazz improvisation at the Ecole de jazz et des musiques actuelles in Lausanne.[4]

Together with pianist Omar Sosa she have created the album “Aguas”, featuring Inor Sotolongo as percussionist.[9][10]


Her style reflects her various influences with shades of jazz, classical music and cuban music, with a lot of space left for improvisation.[3][4][11] The French magazine Les Inrockuptibles speaks of a jazz instrumentation mixed with Yoruba ritual percussions.[8] She sings in Spanish, Yoruba and French. One of her hallmarks is that she plays violin and sings at the same time.[1][12][13]


Ochumare Quartet

  • 2009: Caminos
  • 2011: Somos Ochumare

Yilian Cañizares

  • 2013: Ochumare, Naïve Records
  • 2015: Invocación, Naïve Records
  • 2018: Aguas, with Omar Sosa, OTA Records


  1. ^ a b c d "Demandez le programme" (video). TV5, Program 64 Minutes. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, de Bach à la santería". Radio France Internationale. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, Havanaise du monde". Le Courrier. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "La Suisse, une autre île nourricière". Le Temps. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Yilian Cañizares, par-delà les océans et les traditions". Le Nouvelliste. 7 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Die Sängerin und Geigerin Yilian Cañizares in Moods". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Violon magique – la chanterelle du latin jazz". Le Nouvel Observateur. 30 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Dix albums incontournables d'Amérique du Sud". Les Inrockuptibles. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares To Release New Album: "Aguas"".
  10. ^ "Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares -- De La Habana y Otras Nostalgias".
  11. ^ "Moncalieri Jazz festival: dallo swing italiano al jazz cubano". La Stampa. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Yilian Cañizares – Havanna liegt im Waatland". Radio SRF 2 Kultur. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Le 12:15". Télévision suisse romande. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2015.

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