The W&J Productions and the Arte Institute are pleased to present “Distance Chemistry” by Renato Diz and Maria Quintanilla and a featuring short-film “Conversations II” by Pedro Marnoto.
Tuesday, December 6th at 9:30pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014
CONVERSATION II directed by Pedro Marnoto
This is a short film based on the improvised track “Conversation II” from the album “Distance Chemistry” by Renato Diz & Maria Quintanilla.
Renato Diz is a Portuguese pianist, composer, arranger, improviser, producer and educator based in New York City.
Born in Porto, Portugal, Renato studied exclusively classical piano for the first 12 years of his life, under supervision of Rui Pintão, however with the intention of becoming a psychologist.
A chance encounter with jazz at the age of 16 – a performance by renowned Portuguese jazz pianist and composer Carlos Azevedo – changed his life and he decided, literally overnight, to become an artist. He became the first (and only) private student of Carlos Azevedo and went on to win one of two open spots at the leading jazz program in Portugal and Spain for a bachelor’s degree in jazz
performance. His main instructors were Michael Lauren and Abe Rábade in jazz, and Sofia Lourenço in the classical department. He also took private lessons with Mário Laginha.
In 2011, Renato moved to New York City to pursue a double Master Degree in Jazz and Classical performance at New York University, from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude. His main instructors are internationally-acclaimed jazz artists Ralph Alessi, Jean-Michel Pilc, Tony Moreno, Bruce Arnold and Andy Milne, and Marilyn Nonken in classical and post-modern repertoire.
During this time he was awarded a NYU Scholarship for Outstanding Performance, Ella Fitzgerald Scholarship and Leake & Watts Citizenship Award.
Renato finds inspiration in many art forms and has composed, performed and recorded post-modern, experimental, new jazz, pop, heavy metal, and world music. One of his recent projects is a collaboration with Zulfugar Baghirov on a groundbreaking modern interpretation of selected works by Azerbaijani / Soviet composers Qara Qaraev, Zakir Baghirov, Faradj Qarayev and Uzeyir Hajibayov. Renato is also active in composition and innovating cross-disciplinary artistic experiences.
In 2009, he composed and recorded the soundtrack for the documentary “Memórias de um lugar (A Place’s Memories)”, which was named Official Selection at the Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival. His project “Lake”, an interactive stage performance fusing electronics, video, acting and acoustic improvisation, won Best Artistic Project at the 2010 Serralves International Festival. In January 2013, Renato transcended artistic mediums again in collaboration with celebrated Portuguese expressionist painter Adelino Angelo, who’s notable works include portraits of John Paul II and D. Manuel Fraga Iribarne. The critically acclaimed performance featured Renato spontaneously improvising on the piano to 11 randomly chosen paintings by the maestro at the Antonio de Almeida Foundation in Porto, Portugal.
In 2015 his project “I will play your soul” was selected amongst 26,000 applications to be featured at IDEAS Festival at New Museum. Renato dedicates his life to creating music that transcends musical style to touch audiences with sound that is pure and universal in message and meaning. As a performer Renato Diz has played at some of the most prestigious stages in the United States, South America and Europe both solo and as part of diverse artistic projects.
Since 2011 Renato Diz has been featured in a total of 20 recordings between his own music and collaborative projects, in 2016 he signed W&J Productions and released the albums “Distance Chemistry” and “Poetics Of Sight”, and is set to release 5 more recordings until the end 2017.
Maria Quintanilla, originally born in Lima, Peru, is an award winning New York basedâ€¨vocalist, composer, and music educator. Her insatiable curiosity has enabled her to perform and record in a wide spectrum of styles that range from classical to jazz, funk to pop, soul toâ€¨latin. Despite her young age, Maria Quintanilla has toured all over Europe, North and South America, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with award winning artists such as mentor Jon Faddis, Steve Turre, Tia Fuller and Renato Diz amongst others. She has been recognized as a performer with poise far beyond her years and with having an exceptional ear for raw vocal expression.
In 2013 she was an “Outstanding Musician” award recipient at the DeMiero Jazzâ€¨Festival. Between 2013 and 2015 she was a leading vocalist of vocal group Pacific Standard Time which was awarded the DownBeat Music Award for “Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble” (2014) and “Outstanding Performance” (2015 & 2016) in the Graduate College category.â€¨Ms. Quintanilla keeps a regular activity as a music educator, as well as live and recording artist both with her own projects and as special guest. Maria was a recipient of the Ella Fitzgerald Scholarship throughout her undergraduate studies at Cal State University of Long Beach which she completed with the highest honors; and is currently an Ella Fitzgerald Scholarship recipient at SUNY Purchase where she is completing her Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies under the tutelage of Jon Faddis, John Abercrombie, Pete Malinverni and Alexis Cole.
Maria has just released her debut duo album “Distance Chemistry” with virtuoso pianist Renato Diz. Not bound by style or instrumental limitations they decided to create their debut album entirely upon improvised arrangements of songs that marked their musical growth during their formative years. Masterpieces like “Strange Fruit” and “Calling You” are rediscovered, deconstructed, and rebuilt with singular twists from the ever-evolving pianism of Renato Diz and the powerfully elastic voice of Maria Quintanilla. Their original composition “Conversation II” was made into a short film under the same title and directed by Pedro Marnoto.
Ms. Quintanilla is now in the post-production process of her second album as a co-leader alongside her dearest collaborator Renato Diz and Taiwanese percussionist Sayun Chang. Together, their debut album SA MA RE will be a unique blend of compositions that tell the compelling stories of Taiwanese tribe traditions.