Saturday, June 22 | 5:15 p.m.

Diego Figueiredo/Harold López-Nussa — Allen Theatre

Praise flows for Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo. Jazz critic Scott Yanow says, “Diego has the rare ability of making everything sound beautiful.” George Benson hails Figueiredo as one of the greatest guitarists he’s ever seen. Guitar World Magazine raves about his live performances, describing them as effortlessly sublime and utterly fabulous.

Figueiredo lives in, with and for music. Born in 1980 in Franca in São Paulo, Brazil, he began playing music at 4 years old. By 12, he had already attracted a local following, and at 15, he was drawing huge crowds around Brazil. Figueiredo has recorded over two dozen albums and is the winner of several competitions, including the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition and Brazil’s Visa Prize.

Cuban-born pianist and composer Harold Lόpez-Nussa’s Blue Note Records debut of Timba a la Americana, an album released in August 2023, teems with joy and pathos that was inspired by the pianist’s recent decision to leave his Cuban homeland. Produced by Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael League, Timba a la Americana unveils a new sound performed by a tight-knit band featuring harmonica virtuoso Grégoire Maret, Luques Curtis on bass, Bárbaro “Machito” Crespo on congas and Lόpez-Nussa’s brother, Ruy Adrián López-Nussa, on drums.

Lόpez-Nussa traces the origins of Timba a la Americana to a day during his family’s first winter after leaving Cuba to live in Toulouse, France. He found himself flipping through voice memos on his phone, listening to jams and fragments of song ideas he’d documented years before. These seedlings of songs transported him back to the rhythmic communication that was part of his everyday life in Cuba.

The 45th annual festival will return June 20 ̶ 22, 2024 at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. For a full line-up visit