Danilo Perez Newsletter

Three Nights of Magic at the First Annual Panama Jazz Festival

Look for a feature in this month's issue of DownBeat documenting the inaugural jazz festival in Danilo's homeland. As Cultural Ambassador from Panama, Danilo has long hoped to bring world-class talent to the tiny Central American nation. "Panama needs a festival like this, as we are so hungry for this music," Danilo told DownBeat's Jason Koransky, "but the resources have not been here to put on a festival."  Danilo has worked tirelessly over the past few years to bring the festival to fruition, serving as artistic director, inviting friends from the international jazz scene to perform (including Steve Turre, Regina Carter, Mike Stern and Kenny Barron), putting together a group of local Panamanian musicians, featured in the Panama Big Band, and coordinating with local officials to find the resources necessary to pull off an event that the Panamanian press heralded as "magic".

The DownBeat article features a behind the scenes glimpse of Danilo at work promoting the festival, photos of performers and much more. The next festival is scheduled for January 2005.

Wayne Shorter Quartet "Thrillingly in the Moment"

Danilo is back on the road with the Wayne Shorter Quartet.  A recent stop in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center once again proved the quartet is one of the finest in jazz.  In his preview of the Friday night show, Philadelphia Inquirer music critic Tom Moon described a previous encounter with the quartet: "Shorter and the rest of his ensemble [Danilo, drummer Brian Blade and bassist John Patitucci] sounded as if they were discovering new wrinkles and surprises in the music."

Moon was not disappointed.  In his review of the Friday evening performance, he wrote, "the jazz saxophonist and his agile backing trio reached the end of a dizzying 15-minute journey that, at times, resembled a space-travel thrill ride...they reclaimed the nearly lost jazz ideal of open exchange - in which tiny compositional cues inspire thorough melodic reinvention, and the momentum of in-the-moment exploration prevails..." Read more of the review.

Danilo received some more good press recently from Billboard magazine's Dan Ouellette.  In an article lauding the work of genre-busting jazz musicians last year. "Perhaps the biggest jazz achievement of 2003 was the increase in musicians being called upon to curate as artistic directors of festivals and cultural organizations. Joining such pioneers as Dr. Billy Taylor, Wynton Marsalis and Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves, Danilo Pérez and Joe Lovano were chosen to oversee jazz programming at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, N.Y., respectively."

Danilo Perez Trio Live at the Jazz Showcase

At the end of his trio tour (Ben Street on bass and Adam Cruz on drums), Danilo spent a week at Chicago's Jazz Showcase and recorded several performances.  After returning from his current stint with Wayne Shorter, Danilo will be back in the studio to mix the recordings for a future release. Check back for updates.

Writer Kevin Whitehead caught the trio opening night, noting, "Pérez keeps your ears swiveling, wondering where he'll turn up next. High hazy atmospheric chords, evoking his New England Conservatory colleague Ran Blake, will evaporate just as an ominous line erupts far below. Or he'll play two distinct lines square in the middle of the keyboard at the same time, tricky stuff."

After months on the road and in peak form, the trio was also recently featured on A&E's “Breakfast With the Arts.”

Upcoming Tour Dates







02.13 - 14

Nagoya, JP

Osaka, JP

Hong Kong

Aichi Art Hall

NHK Hall

Centre Concert Hall

Wayne Shorter Quartet

Wayne Shorter Quartet

Wayne Shorter Quartet

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