Yul Ballesteros is a musician, composer, arranger & producer. He began his musical studies in Gran Canaria when he was ten years old. Having perfected these for three years in Madrid he was granted a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated in the year 2007. He has collaborated with a number of musicians of the calibre of Kevin Mahogany, Dave Samuels, Dick Oatts, Gary Versace, Dave Santoro, Ari Hoening, Perico Sambeat and Joe Magnarelli, among others. Yul is the resident arranger of the Gran Canaria Big Band and has done the arrangements for different artists of distinctive genres, such as Sole Giménez, Braulio & Efecto Pasillo, to name a few. He is one of the most talented guitarrists on a national scale, with a solid track record behind him. In 2013 he received the award -‘Premio Gran Canaria’ in the music category and with his disc Solo he was nominated for the Best Jazz Album 2017 at the Canaries Music Awards.
Very active in the field of education, he has been a teacher/senior lecturer at the ‘Conservatorio Superior de Músicade Canarias’ (Canaries Advanced Music Conservatory) and the ‘Conservatorio Superior de Música de Málaga’ (Málaga Advanced Music Conservatory) as well as at different schools of modern music, such as the Monk School of Arts & Music in Salamanca, and the Esmuva School of Modern Music in Madrid. He also holds courses and seminars all over Spain and in some other countries, namely England, France, Germany, Ecuador and the USA.
Ballesteros has taken part in a number of recordings with different groups. He co-founded the ‘Big Band de Canarias’ with Kike Perdomo where they released three albums. He is also a member of that ensemble, with whom he has also released two discs. Outstanding among his projects as co-leader of musical entities, are the albums GBP (2012) and the two he recorded with the timple player Germán López Something Stupid (2011) & Don’t Worry Be Happy (2013). With respect to his solo career and following the positive reviews from both the public & critics concerning his first four discs, Yul Ballesteros released his new work Islazz (2019), a tribute to each of the ‘miniature continents’ that make up the Canary Islands, to their flavours, smells, landscapes and their people. It encompasses a journey, by way of music, to all those nooks & corners of a land rich in tradition and full of modernity & trendiness with a cultural heritage that grows daily; in which, by means of eight compositions, one per island, the music takes us into a world of sensations that pretend to recreate what we feel when we submerge ourselves completely in this paradise that we are fortunate to live in. Eight compositions that are a natural evolution of his previous discs as leader, Solo (2017), Nine Tales from the Inner Space (2015), Minor Things (2010) & 121 Park Drive (2008).
YUL BALLESTEROS CANARIAN QUINTET
Yul Ballesteros: guitar
José Vera: sax
José Alberto Medina: piano
Tana Santana: contrabass
Suso Vega: drums