Afro-Cuban Jazz Piano Quartet Hits Carnegie Hall In 'Voices From Latin America' Festival

By O'Jay Burgess on Nov 26, 2012 03:44 PM EST

Carnegie Hall's "Voices From Latin America," festival is showcasing the skills of four very talented pianist on Dec. 4 when Egberto Gismonti, Danilo Perez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Chucho Valdes hit the stage.

The quartet will be mixing in solos and duets in their Afro-Cuban jazz performance. 

Chucho Valdes is also set to perform on Dec. 1 with his quintet which comprises of Valdes on piano, Yaroldy Abreu Robles on percussion, Dreiser Durruthy Bombale on bata drum and vocals, Rodney Yllarza Barreto on drums and Angel Gaston Joya Perellada on Bass.

Valdes who comes from a musical family believes that the festival on a whole is what is needed to showcase just how wonderful the Latin culture is.

"The festival is a tribute to the whole story of a style of music. It's all about identity. You evolve in different directions, and then there are the roots," Valdes said on the Carneige Hall website. "A man returns to his roots. It's something American, something Cuban. The result is the history of the music and history of Cuba."

Gismonti is Brazilian pianist who started to learn his trade at the age of six. After studying classical music for 15 years he went to Paris to continue his learning orchestration and analysis with Nadia Boulanger and composer Jean Barraque.

Not satisfied with just his classical music skills Gismonti went back to his native Brazil and started exploring the folk and jazz elements of his culture and has a repertoire ranging from Django Reinhardt to Jimi Hendrix. The popular musician has countless albums and has even done music for film.

Equally well travelled is Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez. Perez began studying European classical piano at a very young age at the National Conservatory in Panama. As years pass by the Panamanian found himself in America, studying at the Berkley College of Music where he studied jazz composition.

Perez is considered one of the finest contemporary pianists and jazz composers of era and has worked with the likes of Paquito D'Rivera, Jon Hendricks and Terence Blanchard.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba is a noted Cuban pianist who is also a Grammy award winner. The Cuban has played with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter just to name a few.

Born Gonzalo Julio Gonzalez Fonesca he originally took to the drums but then converted to the piano at age 9 and is a product of the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana.

Egberto Gismonti- Agua e Vinho

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