Standing on the shoulders of flute giants from worlds as diverse as Rampal & Galway in Classical Music; Richard Egues’ Cuban Charanga style; rocker Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull; Herbie Mann and – most influential of all – Hubert Laws as pioneers of Jazz Flute, Latin Grammy Award-winning Nestor Torres’ rhythmic and mellifluous flute sound remains apart in a class all by itself. His 14 recordings as a soloist; 4 Latin Grammy nominations, one Grammy nomination and one Latin Grammy Award; collaborations with diverse artists such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mathews, Herbie Hancock, Tito Puente, Michael Camilo, Paquito D’ Rivera and Arturo Sandoval; as well as performances with the Cleveland, Singapore, and New World Symphony Orchestras among many others, are testament to the remarkable journey of an Artist who continues to grow and enrich the lives of those who experience his talents.
Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Nestor Torres moved to New York City, where he pursued Classical flute studies at Mannes School of Music, Jazz at Berklee College of Music and Classical and Jazz at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During that time he also learned to improvise in the ‘Charanga’ Cuban Dance Music style, which helped shape and develop Nestor’s melodic and danceable sound.
His CD, This Side Of Paradise, won the Latin Grammy award in the Pop instrumental category, scheduled to be presented on September 11, 2001. This great achievement – and its timing – proved to be a major turning point for Torres.
“Of course it was a great honor and privilege to win the Grammy. That being said, the fact that I was to receive it on 9/11 gave my work and my music a stronger sense of mission and purpose.”
Since then, Torres has focused on transcending his role as a Jazz Flautist to that of an agent of change through crossover multi-media productions, compositions, and performances. To that effect, his compositions ‘Successors’, Marta y Maria and Disarmament Suite (commissioned by the Miami Children’s Chorus, St. Martha-Yamaha Concert Series, and ICAP – International Committee of Artists for Peace – respectively), are variations on Nestor Torres’ multi-cultural fusion sounds as expressions of today’s world. Then again, Nestor’s music has always been about that: a Crossover fusion of Latin, Classical, Jazz and Pop sounds. Rich and engaging, complex and exuberant, profound yet accessible.
In addition to his achievements in the studio and on the stage, Torres is also the recipient of many awards, including two honorary doctorate degrees from Barry University and Carlos Albizu University, for his commitment to youth, education and cultural exchanges.