Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Children of the Light
Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci & Brian Blade
with special opening by Joey Alexander
Friday, November 20, 2015, 8pm — Sanders Theatre
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci & Brian Blade in Children of the Light with special opening by Joey Alexander on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8pm at Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge.
Tickets start at $30, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Harvard Box Office, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
This performance marks the Celebrity Series debut for the ensemble and Joey Alexander, however Danilo Pérez and Brian Blade performed with the Wayne Shorter Quartet in 2013.
Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade have been three quarters of the extraordinary Wayne Shorter Quartet for more than a decade. They’ve also continued their individual careers as leaders of their own projects and groups. Now, as Children of the Light, they step forward as a trio for the first time with imagination and fearlessness. They released their new album, Children of the Light, in September 2015.
Danilo Pérez is a pianist, composer, educator and social activist, and is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez started his musical studies when he was three years old with his father, a bandleader and singer. By age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electronics in Panama, he studied jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. While still a student, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. He has toured and/or recorded with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra from 1989-1992, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, and Roy Haynes. In 2000, Danilo joined Wayne Shorter to form Shorter’s quartet with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Since 2003 he has been touring with regular trio featuring Ben Street and Adam Cruz.
In 1993, Pérez turned his focus to his own ensembles and recording projects, releasing eight albums as a leader, earning Grammy® and Latin Grammy nominations for Central Avenue (1989), Motherland (2000), and Across The Crystal Sea (2008). In 1996 he was sign by producer Tommy Lipuma to join the Impulse label and recorded Panamonk, a tribute to Thelonious Monk which according to DownBeat magazine is one of the most important jazz piano albums in the history. Additionally, Pérez released Providencia, his debut for Mack Avenue Records, in August of 2010. The album was also nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the category of “Best Instrumental Jazz Album.” As a composer he has been commissioned by The Lincoln Center, Chicago Jazz Festival and Imani Winds Quintet among others. Last year Carnegie Hall commissioned him to write an octet for members of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. In May 2014 he was commissioned by The Banff Centre to write a piano quintet for the Cecilia String Quartet titled Camino de Cruces and he also composed the music for the Museum of Biodiversity in Panama, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Pérez, who served as Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama and Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, has received a variety of awards for his musical achievements, activism and social work efforts. He currently serves as UNESCO Artist for Peace, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston’s Berklee College of Music. His latest album, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue Records) was released in 2014.
Grammy-winning bassist John Patitucci has become one of today’s most influential musicians and composers since attracting worldwide acclaim as a member of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band. He has released several albums as leader of his own groups and made notable contributions to renowned ensembles led by Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, and Danilo Pérez. His mastery of electric and acoustic bass has extended his contributions in Afro-Brazilian and contemporary jazz, pop and classical settings. He has worked with musicians as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Bon Jovi, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Sting, and Was Not Was. He has also worked with film composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Ry Cooder, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Mark Isham, Carter Burwell and many others.
Patitucci is a three-time Grammy Award winner with 14 Grammy nominations. His latest CD, Remembrance, features saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blade. He was formerly the artistic director of the Bass Collective, a specialized school in New York, and was a Professor of Music at the City College of New York from 2002-2012. Most recently, he launched an interactive online bass school through ArtistWorks.com in 2013 and released an instructional book, Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining, published by David Gage. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the Global Jazz Institute at the Berklee College of Music.
Drummer and composer Brian Blade grew up as the son of a Baptist pastor in Shreveport, Louisiana and was immersed in gospel music from his birth, taking inspiration from his older brother Brady, an acclaimed drummer. At 18, Brian moved to New Orleans for studies at Loyola, and became fully integrated into the jazz scene there, studying and performing with Crescent City stars including Ellis Marsalis, Johnny Vidacovich and Harold Battiste. He formed the The Fellowship Band in 1997 with pianist Jon Cowherd. As Blade was developing his own musical identity as a bandleader, he became an increasingly in-demand sideman and band member, cultivating long-term associations with Joshua Redman, Joni Mitchell, Kenny Garrett, Edward Simon, Daniel Lanois, and others. In 2000, Blade began his most visible and fruitful partnership as a member of jazz legend Wayne Shorter’s all-star quartet, touring the world and recording four albums with the saxophonist, including the GRAMMY-winning 2013 release, Without a Net. In 2013 he won the ECHO Jazz Award for “International Artist of the Year Drums/Percussion” for his album, Quiver. His most recent release is the 2014 album, Landmarks.
A native of Bali, 12-year old jazz pianist Joey Alexander taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. An amateur musician, Alexander’s father soon recognized his son’s gift for jazz, as his technique and ability to grasp complicated musical concepts was beyond someone of his years. Due to the lack of jazz education where he lived, Alexander began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. In recognition of his talent, UNESCO invited Alexander to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol Herbie Hancock, who provided early enthusiastic support to Alexander’s budding career. Other significant influences are Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans and John Coltrane. Alexander has a special affinity for trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis.
Alexander has been featured at festivals worldwide including Jakarta’s International Java Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. His brilliance as an improviser won him the Grand Prix in the 1st International Festival Contest of Jazz Improvisation in Odessa, Ukraine, in 2013, which included over 43 talented jazz professionals from 17 countries. He has performed for President Clinton and other luminaries at galas including the Arthur Ashe Gala, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual gala and A Great Night in Harlem at The Apollo, where he played in honor of Hancock. A performance at the University of the District of Columbia immediately blew up on Facebook, attracting half a million views. Alexander has an exclusive worldwide recording deal with Motéma Music label, and his label debut My Favorite Things (2015) features his working band of Sammy Miller, Russell Hall and Alphonso Horne and special guests Larry Grenadier and Ulysses Owens, Jr.
Program to be announced from stage.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 77 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger; Donna & Mike Egan; Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda; The Garbis & Arminè Barsoumian Charitable Foundation; Stephanie L. Brown; David & Harriet Griesinger; Paul L. King; Jann Leeming & Arthur Little; The Royal Little Family Foundation; Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation; Stewart Myers; Eleanor & Frank Pao; The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation; Stiffler Family Foundation; Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma; Nancy Richmond Winsten; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; EMC Corporation; Foley & Lardner; Massachusetts Cultural Council; National Endowment for the Arts; The Peabody Foundation; PTC; Tufts Health Plan; The D.L. Saunders Real Estate & Hotel Investment Group, AMO; Vertex Pharmaceuticals.