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|Julio A. Santillán is a New York-based composer and guitarist originally from Tucumán, Argentina. His compositions combine elements from his home land folk music, jazz improvisation and classical music.
He has studied classical guitar at Instituto Superior de Música (Argentina) under the direction of maestro Pablo González Jasey. He graduated summa cum laude with a dual major in Classical Composition and Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA). He also studied jazz improvisation with Mick Goodrick.
Mr. Santillán received the following awards: Kunstgegen Foundation 2007 Music for Modern Dance Performance Competition, 2004 Van Lier Fellowship, ASACPlus, Louis Armstrong Jazz, the Arif Mardin and the Contemporary Writing and Production Achievement.
As a composer/arranger he has produced music for documentary films, theater, recordings and live performances for artists around the world. Recently, argentinean virtuoso guitarist Victor Villadangos, has included guitar studies from Julio’s Book “Cinco Estudios Criollos” in his latest CD “Guitar Music from Argentina vol. II” (Naxos). Julio also produced colombian singer Marta Gomez’s “Cantos de Agua Dulce”, “Entre Cada Palabra” (Chesky Records) and “La Ronda”- Women of Latin America, “Paula Ausente”- Women of the World (Putumayo Records).
He has recorded and performed with many musicians from Argentina, Boston and New York including Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), Livingston Taylor, Raúl Carnota, Quique Sinesi and Sandra Mihanovich. Mr. Santillán has shared the stage with important artists such as Mercedes Sosa, John Mayer, Pablo Ziegler (Astor Piazzolla), Paquito D'Rivera, Bonnie Raitt, Tania Libertad, Diana Krall and Leon Gieco. He has performed and gave workshops in Argentina, Colombia, Finland, Greece, Canada and in more than fifty cities in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Dallas and Washington D.C.
Julio A. Santillán has recorded over 30 CDs, including a play-along CD for “The Latin Bass Book” (Sher Music, by Oscar Stagnaro), two albums with the Pablo Ablanedo Octet (Freshsound records), four cds with Marta Gómez (BigSur records /Chesky Records)- one of which was chosen among the best 10 records of 2003 by the Boston Globe- and one by tango diva Katie Viqueira (Freshsound records)- Independent Music Award winner, 2005 best World Music Album.
At the moment Julio is working with a brand new project: the Julio Santillan Trio.The group has been featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. such as “Blue Note” (New York) and “Regattabar” (Boston). He has released four cds with his compositions: “Desde el Norte”, “Anit Negra”, “Ñann” and “El Bosque de la Memoria” (BigSur Records).
These are some quotes from the media:
"Santillan meld styles from down south into a fresh distinctly jazz sound."
-Time Out New York
"Santillán and company have found a way to weave together startling tapestries of color that splash both surprise and warm feelings everywhere as they move a cultural fusion into the future."
"Passion in music is always good; passion shaped by elegant concepts is even better. Argentinean native Julio Santillán leading this trio's compelling blend of classic guitar, argentinean folk and jazz, is even better."
-The Village Voice (New York)
Currently he is a faculty member at Manhattan College.