Danilo Perez

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You don’t have to listen to the music of Danilo Perez in order to comprehend the sweeping breadth of his abilities. By the time he’d reached his 10th birthday, the uber-talented lad—introduced to the piano at age three by his father, Danilo Sr., himself an established vocalist and bandleader—was already a promising student at the National Conservatory in his native Panama. He relocated to the U.S. a few short years later, attending Berklee in Boston to study jazz composition, eventually becoming the artistic director of the school’s Global Jazz Institute.

Perez spent a good chunk of his post-college period performing with some of the best in the business, including a stint in Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra that led to a Grammy win for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 1991.  However, it wasn’t until Perez began focusing on material all his own that heads really started to turn in his direction, particularly with the release of 1994’s The Journey. Hailed by critics as one of the best of the decade, the LP expertly fused elements of Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms in Perez’s passionate efforts to reflect the harrowing transport of African slaves to the Americas. Two years later, PanaMonk, his brilliant album tribute to Thelonious Monk, sealed his spot as one of jazz’ true elites, exemplified in his stellar output since then.

Though he would never stop playing as a sideman, adding gigs with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Wayne Shorter over the years, the level of ambition in Perez’s solo work has only grown. His 11th project, Panama 500—due Feb. 4 via Mack Avenue Records—is perfectly indicative of that, as tonight’s WCL show will reveal, aided by Ben Street, Adam Cruz, Roman Diaz and Alex Hargreaves. An homage to his homeland, Perez’ pending album commemorates the quincentennial of Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossing the Isthmus of Panama and establishing the first European settlement in the new world.  // JAKE ABBATE

8pm. $30. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.
 

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Monday, February 10, 2014
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
- Price: Unknown

WHERE
World Cafe Live , 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA
One time only on 02/10/2014. .

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