Jesús Andrés Fuentes Valverde was born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. He is an active pianist, arranger and educator. Jesús is currently a DMA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. holds a MM in Jazz Piano Performance from Texas Tech University and a BM in Commercial Music from the University of Texas at El Paso.
While Jesús is mainly a Jazz pianist, he has studied and regularly performs a variety of genres including Classical, Latin, and most commercial music styles. As a Jazz pianist he has played with world renowned artists such as Tom Harrell, Allen Vizzutti, Jaleel Shaw, Jiggs Wigham, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. In other genres, Jesus has accompanied artists such as Joe Ely, Mac Davis, Ian Moore, and Il Divo, as well as being a member of the metal band Orcus O Dis.
Jesús has received multiple academic awards throughout his music studies including a Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2020, where he currently teaches group piano class and Jazz keyboard. Jesús was sponsored by the Promising Artists of the 21st Century Jazz Program to travel to Colombia as a member of the UTEP Jazz Quartet to perform and give masterclasses in 2016, and receiving the 2015 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award at the University of Texas at El Paso.
As an educator, his musical versatility enables Jesús to relate to students with any musical background to develop their own unique musical voice.
Jesus Fuentes is releasing his album debut “Liminality: Live at Smith 25” on all digital platforms on January 1st, 2021. This album is a testament to Jazz musicians’ desire to create and express themselves during times of a Global Pandemic.
“So many of my favorite Jazz recordings happened live in concert: Miles Davis Live at the Plugged Nickel, Benny Green Trio Live at the Village Vanguard or Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard are examples of records that have had a deep impact on me. These live concerts are full of magical moments fueled by spontaneity and interaction that were luckily recorded for posterity. The first recital for my doctoral degree was approaching and I was thinking to myself how I have never recorded any of my concerts. I bought a portable recorder and a bunch of microphones a week before the actual performance just because I wanted to keep these memories of a milestone in my academic career and I would be able to listen to myself playing with great friends and peers”
“Muchos de mis álbumes favoritos fueron grabados en vivo - en concierto con una audiencia: My Funny Valentine (Miles Davis), Benny Green Trio Live at the Village Vanguard or Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard son ejemplos de grabaciones que tuvieron un impacto muy profundo en mi. Estos conciertos están llenos de momentos mágicos, inspirados por la espontaneidad y la interacción del momento, que muy afortunadamente quedaron grabados para la posteridad. El primer recital de mi Doctorado se acercaba y no podía dejar de pensar que jamas habia grabado alguno de mis conciertos. Compre una grabadora portátil y algunos micrófonos la semana antes del concierto - solamente esperando tener el recuerdo de este momento tan importante de mi carrera académica. Afortunadamente para mi, los micrófonos grabaron un audio con calidad excelente y aún más increíble, la grabadora portátil que use para el saxofón se le acabó la memoria justo después de la última nota que Matt tocó esa noche. Para mi fue una señal que tenía que hacer algo con estas grabaciones ”
The performance took place Friday, November 13th, 2020 at Smith Memorial Hall’s Room 25 – a multipurpose classroom/hall with a brand-new concert Steinway. However, the room that would’ve been filled with students, teachers, family and friends, was empty; neon pink tape over the seats and on the floor, marking the spot for student musicians to be distantly safe while performing, and signs reminding them to wear masks and wipe down equipment with alcohol wipes. The performance was live streamed to around 80 participants that tuned in from 6 different countries. Hopefully this short album evokes the spirit of Jazz musicians. A socially distant quartet performing for a virtual audience.More Info Más info