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Artist Bios

Diego Ramirez

A remarkable young pianist, Diego Ramirez is from Cabo del San Jose on the southern point of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. In 2005, when Portland Jazz Festival's Bill Royston and Sarah Bailen Smith were scouting for local talent for the Cabo Jazz Festival, they literally discovered Ramirez playing at a beachfront club. Performing with a local trio called Pa'ax, Diego was playing an on electric keyboard. Royston asked him to perform an opening set for Regina Carter in December 2005. It was only the second time that Ramirez had ever played publicly on an acoustic piano, a rare commodity on the Baja peninsula. His performance not only overwhelmed the audience, but Ms. Carter invited him to join her on stage for an impromptu duet which turned into a late night jam session. Royston vowed to bring Diego to the United States and to play on a Steinway grand piano.

Diego Ramirez is 33 years old, married and the father of 2 young children. He studied briefly in Mexico City at the National Conservatory of Music, and was especially influenced Czech instructor Maestra Irina Lieberman. He has absorbed the work of Mexican classical composers Silvestre Revueltas, Manuel M. Ponce, and Carlos Chavez, as well as improvisation by Miles Davis and arrangements by Leonard Bernstein. Diego will finally reach his life-long dream of playing in the United States at the Portland Jazz Festival.

For additional information, please call 503.228.JAZZ (5299) / 888.828.5299 or email