Orion Morales Gonzalez - Artist in Residence: Advanced Piano, Composition, Music Theory

Orion was born on August 27, 1982, in Chile - where he is affectionately known as: Orion Lion. 

In 2017 he earned a Master of Arts degree in Jazz Performance at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, where he toured and performed throughout the United States, made several recordings, and pursued advanced studies with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Jack Dejohnette,  Terr lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Adam Cruz, David Sanchez, Alan Pasqua, Marco Pignataro,  and Patricia Zarate, among others. 

From 2001 to 2006 he attended the Instituto Escuela Moderna de Música de Chile and he completed a Bachelors degree in Composition and Arranging. In addition he holds a degree in Political and Public Science from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado (2013). 

As a pianist, he has shared the stage with artists like: Danilo Perez & the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Patricia Zarate, Lihi Haruvi, Jean Luc Ponty, Alain Perez, and Horacio "Negro" Hernández, among others. He has performed in several international Jazz festivals, and  given concerts in the US, France, Germany, Holland and Spain. 

From 2012 to the present, he has held the position of Artist and Coordinador of the Panama Jazz Festival, and he directs the festival’s annual closing concert for  an audience of 25,000 people. 

He is artistic director of the Chilean music festival ChilEUropa Jazz Fest which is a production of the European Union in South America, and of Chile Jazz por la Paz, which is sponsored by UNESCO. 

He published  a book of 70 compositions and has released nine albums that merge jazz, Latin American folk music, and classical music. His latest work, LAUTARINOS, won the Chilean Culture Department’s Luis Advis Award for best composition in 2012. 

From 2014 to 2016 he was the Conductor of  the Moderna Orquesta de Jazz at the Escuela Moderna de Musica y Danza in Santiago-Chile.  From 2005 to 2011 He was the director ( as well as the founder) of the Big Band of the Universidad de Chile. He has taught composition classes at several prestigious Latin American Universities, the Universidad de Chile, Pittsburgh University and Berklee College of Music. 

He founded the Asociación Amigos de Orion Lion Foundation whose mission is to generate social mobility and cultural change through music. 

The major Chilean newspaper El Mercurio  recognized his contribution to social labor and his culture,  naming him on it’s  2007 list of 100 Young Leaders.