Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Perez in concert
Washington Performing Arts sponsors and presents GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist, composer and educator Danilo Pérez on Saturday, April 30 at 8 pm International Jazz Day at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington DC Pérez will join his ensemble , The Global Messengers.
Pérez hopes to usher in a new era of enlightenment that will unite all of humanity with her epic new album, Crisálida, which translates to “chrysalis” in English.
Incorporating multiple artistic disciplines including works by Panamanian painter Olga Sinclair, Panamanian photographer Tito Herrera, and the spoken word of his wife and Chilean saxophonist Patricia Zárate, Crisálida is a holistic, interdisciplinary package that invites listeners to reimagine a world in which we all create
Our own chrysalis so that our individual and human light radiates without distinction of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. And, in turn, we nurture that prismatic iridescence to better care for the environment and the human race.
“I envision Crisálida as a protected space where we all come together, whether we are addressing issues of immigration, climate change, environmental justice, science, interconnecting different art forms,” Pérez explains. “We need to work together to build our new chrysalis, which, to me, is the protective emotional, mental and physical state in our early development.”
Crisalis is comprised of two riveting suites in which she leads Global Messengers, a fearless new ensemble made up of alumni from Berklee College of Music’s Global Jazz Institute.
Similar to Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, which helped launch Pérez’s international career, Global Messengers is a multicultural combo that includes percussionist Tareq Rantisi (Palestine), laouto Vasilis Kostas (Greece), violinist and vocalist Layth Sidiq (Iraq, Jordan), cellist Naseem Alatrash (Palestine) and singer Farayi Malek (United States). As guests in various cuts are the batá batá Román Diaz (Cuba), the flutist of Ney Faris Ishaq (Palestine), Zárate (Chile), the singer Eirini (Greece) and the Kalesma Children’s Choir of the Ark of the World (Kivotos tou Kosmou). (based on in Greece).
“These musicians are very interested in cultivating their gifts to become role models for the betterment of humanity.
I love that openness of wanting to explore and connect,” says Pérez, who in addition to being the founder of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, is a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, and Founder and Artistic Director of the Festival. of Jazz from Panama.
“At the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, we talk a lot about finding new sounds through the blues and connecting with its roots, expanding on the folk elements where they come from,” he adds. “The Global Messengers are a new family exploring the power of music as a tool for intercultural dialogue.”
With their intriguing offbeat instrumentation (up to jazz standards), the Global Messengers give the music an arabesque, “beyond category” quality that alludes to chamber music, film score and of course , the brilliant improvisation associated with jazz. The album’s four-part suite “La Muralla (Glass Walls) Suite” occupies the first half, while the four-part suite “Fronteras (Borders) Suite” concludes the program.
The “La Muralla (Glass Walls) Suite” begins with the beautiful “Rise from Love”, featuring Malek’s stunning voice along with Kalesma Children’s Choir of The Ark of the World. Beneath Pérez’s seductive strings and suspenseful piano improvisation and pounding accompaniment are Díaz’s surging batá rhythms, symbolizing Africa’s arrival in the Western world and global influence on music.
On “Monopatia (Pathways)”, Pérez initiates a suspenseful musical dialogue with Kostas before the rest of the band enters, establishing a universal 21st century blues that connects the dots between the sonic footprints of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, African-American sensibilities and the rhythmic and musical music of Latin America. melodic flourishes.
The composition also showcases Zárate’s commanding spoken word artistry, as well as Eirini’s soulful singing.
A further sense of urgency arrives with “Calling for the Dawn”, as Rantisi begins with an intricate percussive introduction, followed by a triumphant melody performed by Malek and Sidiq.
Pérez’s embroidered passages, hammering through the rumbling, rhythmic base, add to the suspense, which is intermittently interrupted by Malek’s question, “Where are we going? Is it up or down? “It’s a call to the divine,” explains Pérez about the composition. “It is a warning that if we mess with nature and the environment, then we are responsible for what comes after.”
“Suite La Muralla (Glass Walls)” closes as the strings animate a resplendent rhythm, based on a Panamanian folk dance that Pérez discovered had very striking similarities to some of the folk rhythms of Palestine.