From Cuba to Canada, the music of Miguel de Armas is nothing short of brilliant. Miguel is a pianist who weaves strands of Cuban and American Jazz in a highly eclectic way, with a stage presence and charisma that draws you in to his performances, which are likened to "impromptu jam sessions amongst friends." Born in Havana, Cuba, he studied at the Conservatory Amadeo Roldan and graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte with a Bachelor in Cuban Percussion. Since then, he has recorded over 60 albums, graced the stage at New York's Lincoln Centre, and worked with many renowned Cuban artists, such as Chucho Valdes e Irakere, Los Van Van, Pablo Milanés, and Compay Segundo.
Miguel is perhaps best known around the globe as co-founder of NG La Banda, a chart-topping 1980s band whose experiments in non-traditional styles resulted in timba, a tasty fusion of salsa, funk and R&B. For over a decade, he toured internationally with this band, appearing at festivals like North Sea, Montreaux, Nice, Nantes, Normandia, Couleur Café, and Barranquijazz. In collaboration with the NG La Banda orchestra, Miguel recorded an award-winning album entitled The New Cuban Jazz Volume I. In 2012, Miguel made Ottawa his adopted home. There, he created the MDA Latin Jazz Quartet (with bassist Marc Decho, drummer Michel Medrano and Arien Villegas on congas), which adds jazz harmonies and improvisation to Latin music's propulsive rhythms and spirited melodies. As Roddy Ellias wrote in the Ottawa Citizen, "Miguel's writing is tremendous. It’s authentic and it’s contemporary, Miguel is the real thing."