Latin Grammy Award-winner Juan Diego Villalobos; is a versatile vibraphone/percussion player and producer, who has excelled in different styles of music like jazz, classical and Afro-Venezuelan music; making him one of the most sought-after musicians in New York.
His musical journey started at a young age, performing with his family in different festivals around Mexico and Venezuela, which initiated him in the Afro-Venezuelan culture. Later on, he studied at the Simon Bolivar Music Conservatory in Caracas and became part of “El Sistema” by joining the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela; where he performed across Europe, Asia and the US as a classical percussionist, sharing the stage with Christian Vazquez, Makoto Ozone and the acclaimed conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
During 2014, Villalobos got selected among fourteen Venezuelan musicians to participate at "Lang Lang & Friends," a concert held at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, in celebration of the 69th anniversary of its founding with special guests such as Sting, Alec Baldwin and Lang Lang himself. In addition to his classical training, Villalobos developed a passion for jazz, which allowed him to present his compositions and perform with several jazz artists from and across Venezuela and the United States.
Villalobos continued his jazz studies under the tutelage of Stefon Harris and Joe Locke, obtaining a full scholarship to study jazz vibraphone at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music (2018 - 2022). During this time, he appeared at distinguished venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Harlem Stage, Smalls Jazz Club and Birdland; as a bandleader and sideman, performing alongside Paquito D’Rivera, Ben Wendel, Arturo O’Farrill, Dayna Stephens, Jeremy Pelt, Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis, Andy Narell, John Beasley, among others.
Villalobos has also been recognized for his contributions to the music industry by winning a Latin Grammy for his participation on the album “Identidad” by Venezuelan cuatro player Miguel Siso. Also, his album “Perspectiva” (2017) showcases his unique new sonority, reimagining jazz and Afro-Venezuelan music to create a sound based on their common roots.