Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Panamanian Jazz Pianist DANILO PEREZ and FRIENDS Celebrate Philly Native McCoy Tyner, April 14

MARCH 15, 2012

Danilo Pérez

The Kimmel Center’s 2011-12 Jazz Up Close series, which pays tribute to Philadelphia jazz legends, concludes on April 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. with a celebration of phenomenal jazz pianist and composer McCoy Tyner. Danilo Pérez and Friends honor Tyner’s transcendental piano technique and contributions to jazz, headed by Grammy award-winning Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, and features Brian Blade on drums, John Patitucci on bass, and Kenny Garrett on saxophone. The program also features an exclusive Artist Chat during intermission hosted by Pérez.

Tickets for Danilo Pérez and Friends Celebrate McCoy Tyner are available at $35 to $40, and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10am to 6pm, later on performance evenings).

“Pérez has all of the attributes of a performer, conductor, impresario and purveyor of musical expression greatly needed in these uncertain times.” - Wayne Shorter

Grammy Award winner Danilo Pérez serves as Artistic Advisor of the Jazz Up Close series. His extraordinary career as a pianist and bandleader has delivered a distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz that covers the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music. Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez started his musical studies at age three with his bandleader/singer father, and by age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and has performed and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra, Steve Lacy, Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, Roy Haynes, and many others.

Pérez has led his own groups since the early '90s, recording such remarkable major label albums as his 1993 eponymous debut, The Journey (1994), Panamonk (1996), Central Avenue (1998),Motherland (2000) and …Til Then (2003), Danilo Pérez Trio Live at the Jazz Showcase (2005), Danilo Pérez Big Band's Panama Suite (2007), Across The Crystal Sea (2008) conducted and arranged by Claus Ogerman, and Grammy nominated Providencia (2010).  In 2003 Pérez founded the Panama Jazz Festival and in 2005 he set up the Danilo Pérez Foundation to promote Panamanian art and culture. He currently serves as the Ambassador of Goodwill for UNICEF, Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston. He also continues to play with Ben Street and Adam Cruz as a trio and is part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet.

Brian Blade is widely respected in the jazz world as drummer, composer, and leader of The Fellowship Band (with whom he has released three albums). He is also known as the drummer for many heroes of the music world, including Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter, Seal, Bill Frisell and Emmylou Harris.  In 2009, Brian also released a collection of songs where he plays guitar and sings entitled Mama Rosa. A student of Gospel music and New Orleans jazz from an early age, Blade’s musical influences include John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Elvin Jones, and Joni Mitchell. During his studies at Loyola University, Blade became friends with Jon Cowherd and eventually formed their own group, “The Fellowship.” Since 2000, Brian has been part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Pérez and John Patitucci.

Three-time Grammy Award winner and 14-time nominee John Patitucci has been at the forefront of the jazz world for the last 25 years and is active in all styles of music. His most recent CD from 2009, Remembrance, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album. As a composer, Patitucci has twelve solo recordings of his own and has also been commissioned to write for various chamber music groups, including the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Throughout his career, he has performed and recorded with jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Victor Feldman, Nancy Wilson and countless others. Patitucci is an avid music educator and engages in writing books, making instructional videos, and giving master classes around the world. He is a tenured Professor of Music at City College and currently teaches at the Berklee College of Music’s new Global Jazz Institute, created by pianist Danilo Pérez.

As an alumnus of Miles Davis’s support team, prominently featured in the trumpeter’s band until his death in 1991, Kenny Garrett has grown into one of jazz’s most potent and thoughtful artists. Since launching his career in 1978 with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Garrett has played with the Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Dannie Richmond Quartet, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen. His brilliant 1990 recording, African Exchange Student, signaled the take-off of his career as a leader. Garrett’s other notable albums include Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane (1996) and Beyond the Wall (2006). His latest CD, Seeds From The Underground, will be released on April 10, 2012.


Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Kimmel Center, Inc.’s mission is to operate a world class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. The 2011/2012 season is sponsored by Citi. For additional information, visit

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