The Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCézhe were recently named co-champions at the sixth annual DCJazzPrix Finals, where they finished in an unprecedented draw.
The competition took place earlier this month on Union Stage as part of the 17th annual DC JazzFest.
The winning bands, both based in New York City, competed as two of three DCJazzPrix finalist bands, which also included British saxophonist Camilla George’s vibrant quintet, according to the DC Jazz Festival.
“The highlight of the night for me was watching the events of the competition, not to mention the staff support and support from all the artists,” Gelin said. “When the winners were announced, I thought about how our passion for music led to our success in this year’s competition.”
DCJazzPrix was launched in 2016 and is the festival’s international competition created to recognize and support top rising jazz band talents.
Trumpeter and Nassau, Bahamas’ native Gelin were guided by the great trumpeter Eddie Henderson and the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He leads the Giveton Gelin Quintet, a classical jazz, tradition-based and original composition-driven acoustic ensemble with piano, bass, drums and saxophone.
Self-taught from the age of 10, Gelin studied at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School and was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead training intensive at the Kennedy Center. His latest release is “True Design.”
Havana, Cuba-born pianist-keyboardist Dayramir Gonzalez founded Habana enTRANCé in 2004. The ensemble specializes in an infectious brand of Afro-Caribbean jazz expression and includes musicians from Argentina and Chile. Gonzalez’s first professional affiliation came at the age of 16 with former Iraqi member Oscar Valdés’ Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Diákara. He matriculated at the famous Berklee College of Music and has been mentored by Cuban master pianist bandleader and DCJF Lifetime Achievement Award winner Chucho Valdés. Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé’s current release is The Grand Concourse (Machat).
“The whole DC Jazz Festival experience was amazing,” Gonzalez said. “Through its platform, I was able to connect with a lively audience that listened, cheered and danced to my music and also valued my Cuban culture all together. It was a great way to continue building musical bridges between Cuba and the United States, Latin and jazz. ”
In addition to a $ 15,000 cash prize, the Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé have earned years of association with the DC Jazz Festival for professional development consulting and business support to meet their diverse needs, such as advertising, artistic and financial management, booking and touring, audiences and social media engagement, grant writing, commissioning of new works and brand development.
Each band will also receive a paid 2022 DC Jazz Festival mainstage engagement.