Take Five With Coto Pincheira

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Coto Pincheira:

Chilean-born pianist Coto Pincheira is an internationally experienced pianist and musical leader with over 20 years of education and experience. He plays a variety of musical styles which include but are not limited to classical, jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, Cuban salsa, and pop music. Coto Pincheira & The Sonido Moderno Project released a brand new CD with music from the Bay area to the whole world.

Coto started his studies of music at the early age of nine, studying organ at the Yamaha Academy in Vija Del Mar with Leonardo Barrientos, at the Conservatorium of the Catholic University of Valparaiso with Professor Anibal Correa, Chile's most renowned classical pianist. Coto also studied classical music in several conservatoriums of Vija Del Mar and Santiago. In 1990 Coto studied at the Modern School of Music in Santiago, Chile's most prestigious institution.

At 24 he headed to Havana Cuba for ten years where he had the opportunity to study, work and meet the greatest Cuban pianists such as Hilario Duran, Ernan Lopez Nussa, Ruben Gonzales, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chucho Valdes and Frank Emilio. His abilities were such that he performed for two years in the world famous Tropicana Cabaret—the first and only foreign pianist to accomplish the honor of playing with the big band (36 musicians) for two years.

He came to the San Francisco Bay Area in mid 2002, gracing the Cuban salsa and jazz scene. Coto is playing with the most respected musicians in the Bay Area and around, as well as promoting his latest Latin jazz CD release Coto Pincheira & The Sonido Moderno Project.



Teachers and/or influences?

  • Yamaha Academy, Vina Del Mar, Chile;

  • Catholic University of Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar, Chile;

  • Conservatorium of Santiago, Chile Conservatorium of Music, educated by Professor Anibal Correa, Chile's most famous classical pianist;

  • Escuela Moderna de Musica, Chile;

  • Escuela De Musica Ignacio Cervantes, Havana Cuba-conducting and orchestration;

  • Hilario Duran, Havana, Cuba—Cuban percussion, harmony and piano;

  • Escuela Nacional de Artes de Cuba Afro-Cuban jazz and techniques.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I always had an inclination for music since I was very young. I remember my music class was the most fun of all, my teacher use to play the piano and I knew that instrument had a special effect on me; although the drum set is something that I always wanted to play. When I was 12 I knew music was what I would be doing forever.

Your teaching approach:

Every student is a completely different world, so your approach always will be different. Teaching without a doubt is the most important part in music, if taught right, because giving the wrong message to a student could be really bad for the student's future.

Your dream band:

Sometimes the ideal band is when you get the chance to work with a group of people for a certain amount of time, so you get to know and connect with your musicians and their performance skills, so you work with them make things much easier and the results are more positive.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Well, I have a few; this one was not too long ago. I was playing at Yerba Buena festival in San Francisco downtown, and we had a back line so I didn't bring any of my gear. Well to cut the story short, when it was time for the piano solo everything was great. But at some point I got a little too excited through the solo that the keyboard stand broke and I ended up playing the solo with the keyboard on my lap.

Favorite venue:

I have to say that in the Bay Area, the clubs in general give you a very nice treatment and the crowd is very loyal.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

I think it was Bill Evans; I remember playing Waltz for Debby.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I think in my album I show a little bit of my influences learned through my years as a musician living in Chile, Cuba and here in the United States; three completely different cultures.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Jazz today is going great. People are writing new stuff, new musicians everyday, new projects. Musicians don't fade away.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Well, we can't forget the past of jazz because it will take you to the future in music, but innovation and evolution is essential and we must give the right message to the up coming generations.

What is in the near future?

I'm concentrating in growing up as a musician and focusing on my project to build my space in the music industry and to develop my career.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

I don't know.

Post a comment


Shop Amazon


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.