Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

Manuel Valera

Manuel Valera

Music Adjunct Faculty

Music and Performing Arts Professions

Born and raised in Havana, Grammy nominated, Guggenheim Fellow, pianist and composer Manuel Valera since arriving in NYC h as become well known in the modern jazz scene, garnering national reviews and lending his talents as a pianist and composer to such notable artists as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Dafnis Prieto, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jeff “Tain” Watts, John Benitez, Samuel Torres, Joel Frahm, Yosvany Terry and classical violin virtuoso Joshua Bell among many others.

This dynamic and prolific artist has recorded 13 CDs as a bandleader with touring projects ranging from his Grammy nominated group New Cuban Express to his modern contemporary trio to solo piano.

Valera is the recipient of many composition grants — most notably a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works three different times, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation 2 times and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. He has traveled the world performing in more than 30 countries at some of the biggest international venues and festivals in the world.


Jazz Studies

Pursue your passion for the constantly evolving jazz landscape with advanced performance training and related academic study.

Read More