Danilo Pérez: A Man, A Plan, And a Canal

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*In the greater jazz world, Danilo Pérez is a respected pianist. In his homeland of Panama, he’s a national icon and cultural ambassador, and not just for his artistry. Ever since he returned to perform in his war-torn homeland in the 1980s, he’s seen the potential for jazz to be a vehicle for social change, and spent much of his time offstage seeding this vision in the form of youth music education programs. The Panama Jazz Festival he founded, for instance, doesn’t just feature major international acts — it brings students from all sorts of backgrounds to share the stage, and funnels profits back to them.

Jazz Night In America goes to Panama City to take in festival performances by Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and a rising-star violinist named Joshue Ashby, and finds out how music can change lives in Panama. This episode is guest-hosted by Felix Contreras of Alt.Latino.

TRACKS:
3:10 – “King Kong”
14:14 – Rebuilding a City with Music
19:17 – “Suite for the Americas”
30:44 – How Music Saved Joshue Ashby
35:05 – “African Cookbook”

Randy Weston’s performance recorded on Jan. 14th, 2016 @ The Ateneo Theatre in Panama City, Panama.
Danilo Pérez’s performances recorded on Jan. 15th, 2016 @ Danilo’s Jazz Club in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

MUSICIANS
Danilo Pérez (piano and bandleader)
John Patitucci (bass and bandleader)
Randy Weston (piano and bandleader)
Joshue Ashby (violin)
Alex Blake (bass)
Neil Clarke (percussion)
Robert Trowers (trombone)
T.K. Blue (alto saxophone)
Angie Viler (flute)
Anthony Fung (drums)
Oscar Cruz (percussion)
Roni Eytan (harmonica)
Edmar Colon (tenor saxophone)
Samuel Batista (alto saxophone)

*Source: Jazz Night In America – NPR

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