The Gilmore

Featured Video: Elio Villafranca

Watch upcoming Festival performer Elio Villafranca in Steinway & Sons’ “Live from the Factory Floor” series, which brings together renowned Steinway pianists and the talented craftspeople who create their piano of choice. The pianists perform for the Steinway production staff in what Steinway CEO Michael Sweeney calls “a dramatic reunion of separated family members.”

Villafranca got his start playing percussion in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba. He was classically trained in both percussion and piano at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. At a point in his studies, a teacher asked Villafranca to quit percussion and focus on piano. He resisted, but he became well-known for his piano performance and is now an award-winning performer, composer and bandleader.

Villafranca performs in Kalamazoo on May 9 and Battle Creek on May 10.