Danilo Pérez

Danilo Perez, a pianist, composer, educator, and social activist is one of the most dynamic and influential musicians in our time. Perez was born in Panama in 1965 and began his musical education at the age of three with his father, who is a singer and bandleader. Perez was already studying European classical piano at the National Conservatory of Panama by the age of 10. He received his bachelor’s degree as an electronics student in Panama. After that, he went on to study jazz composition at Berklee College of Music. He performed alongside Terence Blanchard and Slide Hampton while still in school. He quickly established himself as a young master and toured or recorded with many artists including Jack DeJohnette (1992-1992), Charlie Haden (1992-1992), Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden (1998), Joe Lovano (1996), Joe Lovano (1997), Tito Puente (1998), Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, Roy Haynes (1998). Danilo was joined by Wayne Shorter in 2000 to form Shorter’s great quartet, which also included John Patitucci, Brian Blade, and Tom Harrell. He has been touring since 2003 with a regular trio that includes Ben Street and Adam Cruz. Perez began to focus on his own projects and ensembles in 1993. He released eight albums as a leader and received Grammy(r), Latin Grammy(r), and nominations for Central Avenue (1989), Motherland (2000), and Across The Crystal Sea (2008). Producer Tommy Lipuma signed Perez to the Impulse label in 1996. He recorded Panamonk, a tribute album to Thelonious monk. According to DownBeat magazine, it is one of the greatest jazz piano albums ever made. Perez also released Providencia, his Mack Avenue Records debut, in August 2010. The album was nominated in the category “Best Instrumental Jazz Record” by Grammy(r) for 2011. Carnegie Hall commissioned him last year to compose an octet in honor of members of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The Banff Centre commissioned him to compose a piano quintet for Cecilia String Quartet, titled Camino De Cruces. He also composed the music of the Museum of Biodiversity Panama, which was designed by Frank Gehry. Perez was Cultural Ambassador to Panama and Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. He has been awarded a number of awards for his music, activism, and social work. Perez is currently UNESCO Artist for Peace. He is also the Founder and Artistic director of Panama Jazz Festival and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. His latest album, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue Records) is scheduled for release on February 4, 2014. from http://daniloperez.com

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