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Xavier Casellas

Born in Calella (Maresme), he began his musical career as an autodidact, mainly thanks to listening to the greats, such as Frank Sinatra, Tony  Bennett, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé, and to the great orchestras: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa…


Subjects: Voice, Instrumental Ensemble


Later, he found rock, pop, the music of the Beatles, folk, R&B, soul and funk particularly appealing, which for several years led him to work with various eclectic groups, as well as working in advertising. He began to feel the need to improve his basic academic training and decided to start a university degree linked to his other passion, narrative fiction and cinema. He went on to study Audiovisual Communication at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, graduating in 1999. He also studied at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) in the United States, and has attended various workshops and seminars on screenwriting and film directing.

When this period came to an end, the need to make music resurfaced fiercely, but in a different way. Unexpectedly (or perhaps not!), jazz caught his attention and appeared to him the principal vehicle of musical expression, which is how he met musicians in this field with whom he worked and learned every day: Emilio Solla, Nono Fernández, Aldo Caviglia, Tom Warburton, Dani Domínguez, Dani Pérez, Roger Mas and, later on, José Alberto Medina, Federico Lechner, Jordi Matas, Juan R. Berbín, Mariano Steimberg, Martín Leiton, Ramon Prats, Albert Bover, Jaume Vilaseca, and Ramón Díaz.

He has also collaborated with great musicians in New York, such as the aforementioned Solla, as well as Ben Monder, Romero Lubambo, Ted Poor, Jorge Roeder, Víctor Prieto, John Ellis, Oscar Feldman, Julien Labro and Alexis Quadrado, among others.

Since then, he has released four albums as a leader. Yesterday’s Sun (Fresh Sound, 2006), which he performed at the 38th Barcelona Jazz Festival, held at L’Auditori, as well as performing it at the prestigious Dizzy’s Club at the Lincoln Center in New York for four nights. In his second recording project, Unguarded Smiles (Quadrant Records, 2010), recorded in New Jersey, he exploits his lyrical side more fully, something which he had previously begun to explore on his first CD. On this album, as well as singing, Casellas puts lyrics to music written by great contemporary composers like Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel, as well as creations from other times by masters like Frederic Mompou. He performed this work in different emblematic clubs in New York, such as Smalls, Zinc, Cornelia St. Cafe and Mezzrow, as well as performing it at national venues such as Jamboree, Nova Jazz Cava, Milano, Jimmy Glass, Bogui, La Bilbaína and Café Berlín.

On numerous occasions over the years, he has also collaborated with big bands such as the Antonio Peral Big Band, the Cotton Club and the Gran Canaria Big Band.

His most recent work, also recorded in New York, was released months before the pandemic and entitled In a Sentimental Move (Fresh Sound, 2019). It was born out of an impulse to immerse himself in a great song book, the American Songbook, full of beautiful, timeless compositions with which he felt he could develop a more profound expression: to this end, the choice of duo format with his colleague and dear friend Emilio Solla, winner of the Grammy for best Latin Jazz album 2020. It is a selection of ten universal titles interpreted in a minimalist and intimate way on piano and voice, which also features collaborations with great names such as Romero Lubambo, John Ellis, Julien Labro and John Bailey, who enrich the palette of colours and textures in a remarkable way.

He has taught English, Language and Communication and Singing at the Taller de Músics ESEM. He has also participated in various seminars, sharing experiences with colleagues such as José Alberto Medina, Dick Oatts, Jesús Santandreu, Mariano Steimberg, Ramón Díaz and Mikel Andueza.

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