Internationally-acclaimed Cuban violinist, Omar Puente has performed in both classical and jazz genres to audiences worldwide. On leaving Cuba, he was first violin with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, and toured with Buena Vista’s Ruben Gonzales.
Since arriving in England in 1997, he has maintained an international profile when possible, playing all over Europe, Middle and Far East, the USA and Africa. He has supported and shared the stage with a whole host of other stars; Tito Puente (no relation), Ibraham Ferrer and Omara Portundo, and played with John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland and Eddie Palmieri as well as being invited to jam with many visiting Latin artists such as Ruben Gonzales and the Afro Cuban Allstars.
Omar’s many accolades include The Lukas Award for The Classical, Jazz or Folk Act of the Year 2018; a top 10 placement for Songline Magazine’s Album of the Year; and a nomination for Best Jazz Soloist in the 21st International CubaDisco Fair 2017.
Having maintained close links with traditional Cuban music, classical genres and jazz, Omar’s most recent album ‘Best Foot Forward’ is rich with energy, colour, creative arrangements and originality.
Omar continues to teach in Havana at the prestigious National Conservatoire, and Trinity College in London and has published a University level textbook on the violin in Cuban Music.
Omar led and directed World Heart Beat musicians at the Congrego! Festival in July 2021 at the Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival, King George’s Park, Wandsworth – an explosion of Latin American music and dance providing a vibrant and danceable showcase of Latin energy and culture for all post lockdown.
As well as teaching violin, Omar leads and directs the Latin Sessions every Wednesday at the academy.