Nominated for the 2007 Grammy Awards.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diego Urcola began his musical studies at the age of 9, in the Music Department of the Colegio Ward, where his father Ruben was director.
In 1988, he received the title of Profesor Nacional de Música from the Conservatorio Nacional de Música.
Subsequently, he moved to Boston where he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship. In 1990, he received his diploma in Jazz Performance from Berklee.
In 1991, Diego moved to New York where he currently resides.
Since 1991 to the present he is a member of the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet.
In the middle 90s he toured with Slide Hampton and "The Jazz Masters", also with the United Nation Orchestra. He performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
In 1997, he received his master's degree in Jazz Performance from Queens College, taught by Jimmy Heath.
Urcola won the second place at the '97 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition.
Between 1996 and 1998, he performed with the Joe Henderson sextet, Steve Turre "Sanctified Shells", the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and Wayne Shorter for a broadcast TV special "The 2nd Annual Celebration of America's Music" hosted by Bill Cosby and televised nationwide by ABC Television in December 1998.
Urcola has performed several times with the Jimmy Heath sextet and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Star Big Band conducted by Jon Faddis.
He worked with the Milt Jackson All Star Big Band in 1999. In 2000, he became a member of the International Vamp Band, founded by well known Israeli bass player, Avishai Cohen.
In 2001, he received the Latin Grammy Award as a member of Paquito D' Rivera Quintet for the best Latin Jazz Album "Live at the Blue Note".
In 2001 and 2002, after his appearance with Paquito D' Rivera Quintet in the documentary and musical "Calle 54" made by Fernando Trueba,
Urcola toured Europe, United States and Latin America with Calle 54 All Star Band. Since 2004 Urcola is also part of the Caribbean Jazz Project, lead by Dave Samuels, with whom he recorded the 2006 Grammy nominated "Here and Now - Live in Concert", for Concord Music Group.
In 1999, he released his first album as a leader, Libertango, on Fresh Sound Records. This album includes five of his compositions:
Clara, Dancing in the Closet, Buenos Aires (recorded also by Paquito D'Rivera in Live at the Blue Note, Latin Grammy winner award), Super Mario and Samba para Claudio.
Another of his compositions, Blues for Astor (dedicated to Astor Piazolla), was recorded by Paquito D' Rivera in the album called "A night in Englewood".
In 2003 he released his second album as a leader, which has been a 'Critics Pick' by the New York Times: "Soundances" (Sunnyside), made in Buenos Aires with an entirely Argentine band, moves from nimble Nuevo tango with bandoneon ("Blues for Astor"), to deep, discursive ballads that have their roots in early Pat Metheny and the best Brazilian songwriters of the 70's, to Weather Report-style levels of intertwining melody with electric piano and bass, to old Argentine songs, to a beautiful bandoneon-and-trumpet duet on Miles Davis's "Blue in Green".
"Soundances" was nominated in the Latin Jazz category for the 2005 Grammy awards and the 2004 Latin Grammy awards.
Once again, his last album, 'VIVA', was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Awards!
His recordings as a side man include:
Orange Then Blue, Funkallero 1991; Edward Simon, Beauty Within 1993 for Audioquest; Paquito D'Rivera, Night in Englewood 1993; Bebo Valdés, Bebo Rides Again 1994 Messidor; Latin Jazz (Nascente) 1995; Juan Pablo Torres, Trombone Man 1995; United Nations of Messidor 1996 for Messidor; Paquito D'Rivera, Portraits of Cuba 1996 for Chesky Records; Latin Jazz for Lovers, Messidor's finest, VOL 4 1997; Latin Jazz Highlights, Messidor's finest, VOL 5 1997; Jason Linder Premonition for Concord Records; Paquito D'Rivera, Live at M C G 1997; Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dear Ella 1997 for Polygram Records; Jazz Underground: Live at Smalls 1998; Freddie Bryant, Brazilian Rosewood 1998 for Fresh Sound; Edward Simon, Bikina 1998; Paquito D'Rivera, Tropicana Nights 1999 for Chesky Records; Guillermo Klein, Los Guachos III 1999 for Sunnyside; Latin Beat Magazine, Real Latin Jazz 2000 for Capitol; Magali Souriau, Birdland Sesions 2000 for Koch Jazz; Freddie Bryant, Live at Smoke 2000 for Fresh Sound; Paquito D'Rivera Quintet, Live at the Blue Note 2000 for Half Note Records; Danilo Perez, Motherland 2000 for Polygram Records; Claudia Acuña, Wind from the South 2000 for Polygram Records; Rudy Calzado, Tribute to Mario Bauza 2001 for Universal Latino; Various Artists, Calle 54 2001 for Emi Int'l; Avishai Cohen, Unity 2001 for Strech Records, Lyla and At Home for Razdaz Records; Juan Pablo Torres, Together Again 2002 for Universal Latino; Donato Poveda, Bohemio Enamorado 2002 for RCA Int'l; Guillermo Klein, Los Guachos III 2002 for Sunnyside.
In 2004 he also recorded the 2006 Grammy winner "Bebo the Cuba" with Bebo Valdés produced by Fernado Trueba. In 2004 Dianne Schuur, "Schuur Fire" Concord Music Group.