Bio

XAVIER PADILLA was born in Caracas, Venezuela. A bass player, composer and arranger, he started out in the late 70’s with the award winning experimental group AUTANA, then cooperated with local groups such as Cuarteto de Música Creativa, Octano, Adrenalina Caribe, Salsa Silva y Guerra, la Típica Manía, Paraguas, Sangre Nueva and finally with the iconic national composer and conductor Aldemaro Romero. Xavier grew up inmersed in musical genres as diverse as Afro Venezuelan folk music, Cuban Son, Gaita, Salsa, main stream Jazz, Fusion, Brazilian folk and pop, Free Jazz, Blues, Progressive Rock, Latin Jazz and Latin Pop. In the early years of his career he recorded in GUACO’s arranger (RICARDO HERNÁNDEZ) first album as a solo artist, and toured (at 21) with legendary Queen of Salsa CELIA CRUZ.

Aiming to expand his musical horizons, Xavier moved to Europe in 1988. After a brief sojourn in Paris, he settled in Germany, where he spent the next 5 years working professionally with different formations, first joining the reputated salsa orchestra CONEXIÓN LATINA, a 12 piece which had on timbales legendary NICKY MARRERO and played a great deal of jazz festivals throughout Europe. Then Xavier had the opportunity to partcipate in various recordings with other artists as well, namely with SENTA BERGER (the prolific Austrian actrice featured in early James Bond films), along Charles Mingus’s celebrated saxophonist CHARLIE MARIANO and reknown Belgian-Italian drummer BRUNO CASTELLUCCI (Premiata Forneria Marconi). There were also other projects and recordings, namely for B. Von Alten’s Latin Jazz Sunrise Orchestra, Colombian composer-arranger Francisco Zumaqué, acid rock German group Dunkelziffer and pianist-composer Georg Pommer. Xavier eventually joined the Circus Roncalli Orchestra, until moving to Athens, Greece, in 1994.

Once in the craddle of Western civilization, Xavier Padilla started touring and recording with platinum selling rock group PIX-LAX. Simultaneously, he toured and recorded (two albums) with Greek singer-composer NIKOS PIPINELES, and also did sessions for the very popular singer VASILIS KARRAS. Xavier very soon got involved in the Athenian Jazz and pop scene, forming the PALETTE TRIO and playing on PANDELIS BENETATOS’s TRIO, as well as freelancing among the most prominent Greek musicians, as GIORGOS KONTRAFOURIS, VASILIS SALTIKIS, JOHNNY PAPADOPOULOS, IANNIS STAVROPOULOS, STRATOS VOUGAS, JEAN-PIERRE GALÉPIDÈS, NIKOS KAPILIDIS, MANDO STAMATOPOULOU, KOSTAS BALTAZANIS, SPYROS PANAGIOTOPOULOS, TAKIS PATERELIS, PETROS KOURTIS, DIMITRIS TSAKAS, YIOTIS SAMARAS and SERAFIM BELOS, among others. He also played with the popular Latin group HASTA BANANA, and traveled with the Greek bouzuki master THANASIS POLIKANDRIOTIS for a performance at the Rotterdam Folk Festival in Holland.

After 4 intense musical years in Greece, Xavier moved back to France, settling for good in Paris in 1997. Soon started playing and recording with Venezuelan pianist-composer FRANKLIN LOZADA and his MADRUGADA FELIZ, to then join ORLANDO POLEO’s group CHAWORO, touring in France, Africa, Great Britain, Venezuela, Turkey and Tahiti, also recording, composing-arranging for that group. Simultanously, Xavier performed live, recorded and arranged music for ALFREDO « CUTUFLÁ » FRANCHESKI and his CHARANGA NUEVA, while gigging randomly with CAMILO AZUQUITA, YURI BUENAVENTURA, MARIO CANONGE, FRANKLIN VELOZ and AFRICANDO, among others.

In 2001 Xavier was called up by THE GIPSY KINGS, which lead to an intense stint of writing and world touring with the internationally acclaimed group. He authored one of the most prized ballads they ever recorded, « Como Siento Yo », which their lead singer, Nicolas Reyes, uses present to the public as his « favorite song ».

Besides THE GIPSY KINGS and all others artists above mentioned, Xavier has either arranged, recorded or performed with BERNARD LAVILLIERS, GAROU, TITO PUENTES, PATATO VALDÉS, MIGUEL « ANGÁ » DÍAZ, LUISITO QUINTERO, MININO GARAY, KARIM ZIAD, DANY BRILLANT, JULIA MIGENES, TITO ALLEN, MARCIA MARIA, MARIO CANONGE, JULIEN LOURAU, TATO MARENCO, MARIO REGIS, JEFF GARDNER, ALFREDO RODRÍGUEZ, TRIANA D’ALGER, MARIO REYES, MOKRANE ACHEWIQ, MALIK KERROUCHE, DANIEL STAVINSKY, MICKI MURPHY, MALIK BELLILI, FABRICE DELDONGO, SAMIRA BRAHMIA and French progressive rock group TAÏ PHONG. Xavier currently works as MD and bassist for the group GIPSY ROYALE, in cooperation with MILES COPELAND (STING’s former manager), and leads the group GIPSY 4 EVER.

 

WORLD VENUES

Radio City Music Hall, New York, USA, 2003, 2004, 2005

Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Wolf Trap, Vienna, Virgina, Washington D.C., USA, 2002, 2004, 2005

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, Colorado, USA, 2003, 2004

Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California, USA, 2002, 2003, 2004

Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2002, 2003, 2004

Santa Barbara County Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 2002, 2004

Mann Center for Performing Arts, Philadelphia, Pen., USA, 2004, 2005

Princess Diana’s Family Château, Northampton, UK, 2005

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2004

Niagara Fallsview Casino, Niagra Falls, Canada, 2011

Summer Nights at the Pier, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2004

Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California, USA , 2004

Opera San Petersburg, Russia, 2003

Mizner Park, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 2003, 2005

Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, Canada, 2002

Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, New York, USA, 2002, 2003

Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, CT, USA, 2005

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Washington, USA, 2002, 2005

Midtown Music Festival, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2003

Fleet Boston Pavilion, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2003, 2004

Kenwood House, London, England, UK, 2004

NTELOS Pavillion, Harbor Center, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, 2003

Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, USA, 2003

Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta, USA, 2002, 2005

Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California, USA, 2002, 2003, 2005

Journal Pavillion, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 2002

Dodge Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2002, 2003

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Ft. Myers, Florida, USA, 2003

The Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA, 2003

Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, 2003

Orlando House of Blues, Orlando, Florida, USA, 2003

Saenger Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 2003

Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 2003, 2005

The Backyard, Austin, Texas, USA, 2003

Grove Theatre, Anaheim, California, USA, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2003

Casino del Sol Anselmo Val. Tori Amph., Tucson, AZ, USA, 2003, 2005

Nissan Pavillion, Bristow, Virginia, USA, 2003

United Islands of Prague, Czech Replublic, USA, 2004

North Fork Theatre, Westbury, NY, USA, 2005

Budapest Opera Theatre, Budapest, Hungary, 2004

Bank of America Pavillion, Boston, MA, USA, 2005

Pier Six Concert Pavillion, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2005

House of Blues, Toronto, ON, Canada, USA, 2007

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, USA, 2007

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, FL, USA, 2006

Dodge Arena, Hidalgo, TX, USA, 2005

Bass Performance Hall, Ft. Worth, TX, USA, 2005

Performing Arts Center, Austin, TX, USA, 2007

Jones Hall for Performing Arts, Houston, TX, 2007

Hampton Court Festival, East Molesey, Surrey, UK, 2005

Roots Festival Concert Building, Amsterdam, Holanda, 2005

Dyrham Park, Nr. Bath, UK, 2003

The Point, Dublin, Irlanda, 2005

Charlecote Park, Nr. Stratford, UK, 2009

Oregon Zoo Amphitheater, Portland, OR, USA, 2006

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA, USA, 2008

Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA, USA, 2004

The Showgrounds, Cork, Irlanda, 2007

Sandia Casino Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM, USA, 2004, 2012

Viejas Casino, Alpine, CA (San Diego), USA, 2004, 2005

Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, NV (Las Vegas), USA, 2007

The Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, NM, USA, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO, USA, 2010

Ravinia Pavilion, Chicago, IL, USA, 2011

State Theater, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2011

Kremlin Palace, Red Square of Moscu, Russia, 2003

(etc…)

FESTIVALS

Festival Jazz im Zemtrum, Germany, 30/04/1990

Drum Jazz Festival, Holland, 09/08/1990

Wissen International Jazz Festival, Germany, 1990

Crete Jazz festival, Greece, 1995

Saint-Louis Jazz Festival, Senegal, 10/05/1997

Festival Tempo Latino, Vic-Fezensac, France, 27/07/1997

Festival Jazz Chatellerault, France, 15/05/1998

Festival Internationale di Musica, Roma, Italia, 26/06/1998

Festival de Thau/Méze, France, 18/07/1998

Dunhill International Jazz Festival, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 18/03/1999

Casa Latina Festival at Jazz Cafe, London, England, 11/07/2000

Megéve 12me Jazz Festival, France, 13/08/1999

Jazz in Marciac, France, 1998/ 1999/ 2001

Muzillac 98, France, 22/08/1998

Jazz sur Son 31, France, 17/10/1998

Jazz en Touraine 98, France, 17/09/1998

La Villette Rythmes Caraibes, Paris, France, 31/05/1998

Festival Latino Americano di Milano, Milan, Italy, 26/06/1998

Festival Chalons-en Champagne, France, 20/07/2001

Tahiti Festival Jazz, French Polynesia, 15/04/2000

Nice Jazz Festival, Nice, France, 22/07/2001

Royal Hall Festival, London, England, 26/09/1999

Festival Musiks à Manosque, Manosque, France, 24/07/1998

Midem Monaco 99, Monaco, 24/01/1999

Jazz à Colombes, Île-de-France, France, 13/05/2000

Harbor Fest, Hong Kong, 2003

Jazz à Vannes, France, 25/07/1998

(etc…)