23 Mar

Danilo Perez

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Danilo Perez is considered one of the finest contemporary pianists and jazz composers of our era. “… but there are still amazing musicians — like Danilo Perez, who plays piano with Wayne Shorter’s quartet. He is not afraid of anything.” Herbie Hancock  

“There is nothing small about Danilo Pérez’s ambitions. The pianist wants nothing less than to create a Panamanian style of jazz composition.”—Geoffrey Himes, JazzTimes Magazine

“Danilo Pérez has all of the attributes of a performer, conductor, impresario, and purveyor of musical expression greatly needed in these uncertain times. His effort to bring to the world a beacon of hope and inspiration . . . is a prime example of confidence in a future laden with cornucopian gifts for all humanity.”—Wayne Shorter

Danilo started his musical training at 3 years. When he was 10 years old he was studying the European Classical Piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama, eventually transferring to the Berklee College of Music to study Jazz composition and then serving as a professor at the New England Conservatory of Music. While growing up in Panama, Perez was notably influenced by the works of Gershwin, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and his mentor in spirit Thelonious Monk. When Danilo Perez moved to the United States his prominence increased immensely. He played with living jazz legends who played a key role in shaping Perez's technique and style. Between 1985 and 1988, while being a student at Berklee, Perez played with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D'Rivera. He also was part of the Grammy winning album, Danzon. Wynton Marsalis asked Perez to tour Poland with his band in 1995; Danilo Perez was the first Latin artist to perform with Marsalis. He also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente,  Wynton Marsalis, John Patitucci, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, Wayne Shorter, Roy Haynes, Steve Lacy and others.
In 1993, Pérez turned his focus to his own ensembles and recording projects, releasing eight albums as a leader, earning Grammy® and Latin Grammy® nominations for Central Avenue (1989), Motherland (2000) , Across The Crystal Sea (2008). In 1996 he was sign by producer- Tommy Lipuma to join the Impulse label and recorded Panamonk , a tribute to Thelonious Monk which according to DownBeat magazine is one of the most important jazz piano albums in the history. Additionally, Pérez released Providencia, his debut for Mack Avenue Records, in August of 2010. The album was also nominated for a 2011 Grammy® Award in the category of “Best Instrumental Jazz Album.” As a composer he has been commisioned by The Lincoln Center, Chicago Jazz Festival and Imani winds Quintet among others. Last year Carnegie Hall commisioned him to write an octet for members of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. In May 2014 he was commisioned by The Banff Centre to write a piano quintet for the Cecilia String Quartet titled Camino de Cruces and he also composed the music for the Museum of Biodiversity in Panama, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Pérez, who served as Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama and Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, has received a variety of awards for his musical achievements, activism and social work efforts. He currently serves as UNESCO Artist for Peace, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston’s Berklee College of Music. His latest album, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue Records) is scheduled for release on February 4, 2014. 

Danilo Perez Interview http://jazzonline.gr/en/articlesinterviews/interviews/item/2596-danilo-perez-interview.html


Danilo Perez on March 23, 2014 at Gazarte - Voutadon 32-34- Gazi - 210 3460347 -

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 17:40

Related Video

back to top