As a performer and innovator, Danilo Pérez has made a considerable mark in the jazz world. The Grammy-nominated pianist is touring in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his landmark Thelonious Monk tribute record Panamonk.
You would be hard pressed to find a pianist with a musical resume as sterling as Danilo Pérez. Getting his professional start as a pianist for Dizzy Gillespie, and later as a member of Wayne Shorter’s quartet, Pérez cut his teeth with two of the most iconic jazz artists of the modern era. Despite his lofty sideman credentials, the Panamanian artist found even greater success as a leader, having recorded fourteen acclaimed records since his solo debut in 1993, including 1998’s Grammy-nominated Central Avenue and 2015’s Children of the Light with Brian Blade and John Pattitucci. One of his most revered records, however, is 1996’s Panamonk, a tribute to the legendary Thelonious Monk with a touch of his Panamanian roots. Of the record, The New York Times said, “Mr. Pérez’s approach was refreshing in its irreverence: rather than try to be as faithful as possible to Monk’s distinctive rhythms and harmonies, he used Monk’s vision as a jumping-off point for his own individuality as an improviser.” Now, in celebration of Monk’s centennial, Pérez brings audiences Panamonk Revisited: 20th Anniversary with his longtime collaborators, bassist Ben Street and drummer Lee Fish.
Outside of his recording and performing, Pérez has served as a goodwill cultural ambassador of Panama for UNICEF, as well as one of the co-founders of the Panama Jazz Festival. He also serves with the faculty of the New England Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
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