Born in Havana, 1972 - The musical odyssey of Joël Hierrezuelo Balart begins. With a lineage of great-uncles like Lorenzo, Caridad, and Reynaldo Hierrezuelo, and a father who introduced him to percussions at a young age, Joel’s fate was sealed in the universe of music. By the time he was twelve, he had begun to make music with amateur bands. His passion culminated with a degree in music teaching from the esteemed Institut Superior of Habana in 1995.
1995-1996: France experienced the rhythm of Joel as the lead singer with Ricoson. Upon returning to Cuba, he continued his journey with the likes of Polito Ibañez and contributed to the birth of Temperamento alongside Roberto Fonseca, Javier Zalba, and Ruy Lopez Noussa.
1997: Joel relocates to Paris, where his talent gets recognized alongside artists like Alfredo Rodriguez, Raul Paz, and Beny Suarez y su Son. He also graced stages alongside renowned artists like Celia Cruz, José Alberto "El Canario", and Bobby Carcases, to name a few.
1998-2001: An era of recordings. From "La Charanga" with Cubaïla to the jazz-infused "Latinoriental" with Algerian singer Hamidou, Joel’s voice finds various musical canvases to paint upon.
2002-2005: The birth of Mambi, a musical collaboration with talents like Carlos Miguel Hernández and Yaite Ramos. Their album "AL MACHETE" becomes a sensational hit with guest artists including Tata Güines and José Luis "Changuito" Quintana.
2006: Joel's versatility takes another step forward with Africando's "Ketukuba" and his tribute to Alfredo Rodriguez in "OYE AFRA".
2007-2016: Joel finds himself in the ensemble of Roberto Fonseca, touring the world and gracing numerous international jazz festivals. Albums like "Akokan", "YO", and "Live in Marciac" come alive during this era.
Parallelly, he collaborates with stellar artists like Omara Portuondo, Gilles Peterson, Mayra Andrade, and Minino Garay, diversifying his repertoire.
2017: The rhythms of Mali beckon as Joel joins Amadou & Mariam, touring across continents from the United States to Africa.
2018: This year sees Joel touring extensively with Amadou & Mariam across Asia and the US. In the same year, "Zapateo Suite" is born - a culmination of artistic collaborations with Yonathan Avishai, Felipe Cabrera, and Munir Hossn.
2019: Tours continue with Amadou & Mariam and accolades come pouring in for "Zapateo Suite", with performances spanning from the Malta International Jazz Festival to the Duc des Lombards.
2020: "Así de simple" debuts - a magnificent blend of jazz and world music. This album sees collaborations with the likes of Pierre de Bethmann, Felipe Cabrera, and Naïssam Jalal.
2022: "Cimarrón", a tribute to his Afro-Cuban and Caribbean heritage, releases under Continuo Jazz. Not just an album, but a testament to his musical evolution, celebrating the crossbreeding of cultures.
Joël Hierrezuelo Balart's journey is a testament to passion, dedication, and an ever-evolving love for music. From Havana to Paris, his notes have traveled, transcended borders, and touched souls globally.
BANDS & COLABORATION
AMADOU & MARIAM
ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ Y LOS ASEREKÓS OMARA PORTUONDO
PIERRE DE BETHMANN
SALOME DE BAHIA
VERONIQUE HERMAN SAMBIN
GILLES PETERSON & HAVANA CULTURA AFRICANDO
JOSE LUIS QUINTANA (CHANGUITO) MAMBI
PARIS SALSA ALL STARS
JOSE MANGUAL JUNIOR
ERNESTO TITO PUENTES
ROBERTO PLAT ORQUESTA