Yilian Cañizares was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied violin there, following the Russian violin school. In 1997, she moved to Venezuela, in order to pursue her studies at the "Academia Latinoamericana de violin". Three years later, she moved again, to Switzerland, in order to complete her studies at the Fribourg/Freiburg conservatory. In addition At the eind to her classical brackground. She became interested in Jazz and started developping her singing skills.
At the end of her studies, Cañizares started the band Ochumare, or "rainbow" in Yoruba, with David Brito (double bass) and Cyril Regamey (drums and percussions). She continued her career under her own name. She has been considered the raising star of the year 2013 by the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur and the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles selected her album Invocación in the top ten 2015 South America albums.
In 2018 Cañizares and the Cuban pianist Omar Sosa released the album “Aguas”, featuring Inor Sotolongo as percussionist.
The new album, “Erzulie”, named after the Haitian goddess of love and freedom, was released on 15th November 2019. Recorded in New Orleans, the album features the participation of several guests including Christian Scott (trumpet), Michael League (double bass), Bill Laurance (piano), Bobby Sparks (organ) and Justin Stanton (keyboards). With this album, Yilian has been nominated for the Songlines Music Awards as best artist/album 2021.