José Víctor (Pepe) is a young talented musician, composer, music professor, and photographer. Pepe started studying music at the age of 7 and in 2014 he received his degree in Musical Composition at the Arts University in Havana, Cuba. In the same year he was awarded the “Communtations” grant by the Hermanos Saiz Association, which enabled the recording in 2016 of his first chamber and symphonic music album, “Voices of the Subconscious”.
As a composer, he has experimented with several styles and influences of contemporary and experimental music, electronic and electroacoustic music, world music, and various popular Cuban music genres, including “trova” (Cuban traditional ballads, lyrics). He is member of the National Association of Cuban Artists and Writers (UNEAC) and part of the organizing committee of the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music, where he has participated as an interpreter and composer since 2009.
Pepe is the keyboard player of the famous Cuban Grammy-nominated band Sintesis, with whom he also worked as string orchestra arranger and orchestrator. With Sintesis, José Víctor has toured around Cuba, the USA, Europe, Asia and South America, being part of as many as 50 performances and shows. He has also worked alongside Cuban and foreign dance choreographers and his music has accompanied seven ballet and contemporary dance choreographies that have been premiered and performed in Cuba, Mexico, the USA, and Spain. José Víctor is part of the staff and head of Classical Music at Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC), Cuba’s top contemporary art center. He is director and interpreter of the Interactive Havana Ensemble of Havana, an experimental music and improvisation orchestra.
Pepe became interested in digital color and black and white photography when very young. His images explore two worlds: the world of abstract and macro photography, and the world of street, portrait, and casual photography.
To the date, he has participated in several personal and collective exhibits, including: REVOLUTION: Cuba’s emerging Photographers (The Exposure Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007), Imágenes: 1959-2009 (Rome and Madrid, 2009), Cuba’s Invisible Universe (Havana, 2010), enCuba (The Groove Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, 2010), Kaleidoscope: a photographic symphony (California, 2013), Visions of Cuba: Santa Fé Photographic Workshops in Cuba (Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, 2017), and Discovering California (FAC, Havana, 2017).
Pepe has collaborated with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops programs in Cuba since 2015. His website is www.gavilondophoto.com/Jose-Victor-Gavilondo.