"Somehow, being away from home frees you up from the usual hangups about your own playing and makes you more willing to experiment. I learnt a lot of important principles here that stay with me today. Burned into my memory are visions of late night jams and french wine."
Born in Santiago de Cuba, Omar studied classical and Cuban music at the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana – Cuba's top universities. Visiting tutors included Dizzy Gillespie and Paquito d'Rivera and fellow students included Gonzalito Rubalcaba and Oriente Lopez.
He has toured extensively with the Nacional Symphony Orquestra de Cuba and with Ruben Gonzales and Guillermo Rubalcaba.
He has lived in England since 1997, where he has recorded with Kirsty McColl and Temple of Sound, amongst many others, and played with Jools Holland, Eddie Palmieri and the Cuban All-Stars.
He teaches Jazz Studies at Leeds College of Music and Trinity College London and continues to teach in Havana and maintain his contacts with Cuba's top musicians.
Find out more about Omar Puente at http://www.myspace.com/omarpuentefiffe