Latin Grammy Nominee Performs Virtual Violin Concert For Koubek Center

Violinist Daniela Padrón performed songs from her debut solo album, Bach to Venezuela, on May 15, live on the Koubek Center’s  Instagram and Facebook pages. 

The performance brought together more than 100 viewers. They showered her with virtual applauses and heart emojis as she played the violin at home. 

The concert was originally scheduled to be in person at the Koubek Center on April 25, but was canceled due to the coronavirus. 

“It was a different experience, but one that I enjoyed, [even though] we’re having all of these conditions,” Padrón said. “I’m pretty sure that this is gonna change us forever. I just hope that it still allows the chemistry that live music has.”

Bach to Venezuela adapts instrumental pieces from Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach into different traditional Venezuelan rhythms. It reflects her desire to create a bridge between the classical and non-classical music world. 

Music has always been an integral part of Padrón’s family. 

She was born on May 20, 1987 in Caracas, Venezuela. Her mother, Olga López, is a renowned classical pianist. 

Padrón, 33,  started studying piano and violin at her mother’s music school, Escuela Experimental de Música Manuel Alberto López, when she was four. 

But when she was 8 years old, playing two instruments became too time-consuming. After realizing that her mother always corrected the way she played the piano, Padrón decided to stick with the violin.  

“Whenever I practiced the piano at home, she was like: ‘That’s not right!’,” Padrón said. “When I played the violin, she didn’t say anything. I liked the piano more to be honest, but I ended up loving the violin.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in violin performance in 2005 from the Escuela Experimental de Música Manuel Alberto López and a second bachelor’s degree in business administration from Metropolitana in Caracas in 2009, Padrón chose not to pursue music professionally. 

But Padrón kept playing the violin. 

She stayed in touch with her friends from music school, who eventually joined her in a seven-member rock band, Systaltic. Their ease and versatility helped her reconnect with music. 

“In classical music, everything is written, everything is like you have a map of the journey that you’re gonna take,” Padrón said. “The first day when I went [to practice with my rock band], my friends were like: ‘There’s no music record here, you just start playing and that’s it.’” 

Soon, new opportunities poured in. 

Folk/pop band Gaêlica contacted Padrón for a gig after their violinist couldn’t make a show. 

Padrón, a fan of the band, could not believe it. She stayed in contact with Gaêlica and became an official member two years later. 

In 2013, Gaêlica was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the Best Folk Album category for their album, Luz: Una Navidad Celta en Venezuela. The band mixes Celtic and Latin rhythms with Arabic and Irish hints.

“I started making a path through a different side of music,” Padrón said. “That allowed me to get to know a new musician in me. I found myself in a way that I really felt comfortable with music.” 

In August of 2012, Padrón moved to Miami. 

She dedicated herself to teaching young musicians in Miami and Venezuela, the latter via the Internet. Padrón also became a conductor for a children’s orchestra at the Miami Music Project. 

Two years later, Padrón formed a duo called Up a Notch with her friend César Muñoz.  They performed at weddings and other events. 

She met other musicians through Muñoz. One of them, Juan Delgado, helped her produce Bach to Venezuela in 2016.

“Dani is an excellent musician that has a very clear idea and vision of what she wants to accomplish in each project,” Delgado said. “She commits to the projects 100 percent [and] her passion and her personality opens a lot of doors for her and the project.”

Padrón is currently working on her new album, +58. The album, named after Venezuela’s area code, will comprise purely of music from her homeland. 

“Daniela is a true artist,” Delgado said. “Her career as a recording artist is just starting, and I have no doubt that there is a lot to be seen from her.”