For nearly 30 years, Dafnis Prieto’s revolutionary drumming techniques and compositions have been making a powerful impact on jazz and Latin music all over the world.

The Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, arranger and educator plays with unbelievable joy and spirit. Born and raised in Cuba and based in New York since 1999, Prieto has built a lucrative and influential music career that has earned him numerous accolades, including being the recipient of the highly coveted MacArthur Fellowship. Prieto has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own ensembles ranging from duets to big bands, including the distinctively different groups featured by nine acclaimed recordings as a leader.

His newest album is Cantar, a collaboration with Grammy-winning Brazilian singer Luciana Souza. They’re joined by a trio of masterful improvisers including pianist Martin Bejerano, bassist Matt Brewer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum. The album is out Friday, Sept. 16.

Prieto joined us on Café Latino to talk about the creative process behind his music, including the songwriting that went into this record.