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Danilo Perez: A Man, A Plan, A Festival

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Danilo Perez is more than a pianist. He’s an educator, urban developer, the proprietor of his own jazz club – Danilo’s Club – in the heart of old Panama City, Casco Viejo. He’s also the Cultural Ambassador of Panama, where he presents his annual Panama Jazz Festival, which just wrapped up for the year.

"Panama has been a hidden treasure (for jazz), starting with Luis Russell, who was the director of the famous Louis Armstrong orchestra. He was from Bocas Del Toro. Sonny White was the pianist on the famous recording with Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit. Sheila Jordan told me that Duke Jordan was from Panama. Billy Cobham, Santi Debriano, Carlos Ward, Carlos Garnett, there’s a huge list."- Danilo Perez

Listen above to explore Panama's hidden jazz history from Central America. We check out Luis Russell's classic "Panama," along with Perez's Grammy-nominated recording "Panama Blues" featuring traditional mejorana singers, plus hear our  exclusive recordings on the grounds from the 2016 Panama Jazz Festival featuring Perez with The Berklee Global Jazz Institute, bassist John Pattitucci, and Puerto Rican superstar singer Danny Rivera.

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute is:
Danilo Perez, piano
Samuel Batista, saxophone
Edmar Colon, saxophone
Roni Eytan, harmonica
Oscar Cruz, percussion
John Patitucci, bass
Anthony Fung, drums

Special thanks to Rob Hayes, Michael Borgida, and Sophie Maricq from Berklee College of Music.

For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.