Danilo Perez at Catalina’s Bar & Grill

Danilo Perez Danilo Perez
at Catalina’s Bar & Grill
by Paula Edelstein

Danilo Perez and his Motherland Project Band, excited his fans at Catalina’s Bar & Grill October 17-22, 2000. The pianist and diplomat (he is the Cultural Ambassador to Panama) played a remarkable set that included songs from his latest Verve release, MOTHERLAND. The band – featuring Don McCaffie on saxophone, Essiest Essiest on acoustic bass, Luciana Souza on vocals, and Adam Cruz on drums – played an outstanding set that lasted nearly two hours! Opening with a burning Panamanian tamborito, the band blazed through the first song and then sequed into the beautiful punto, “Elegant Dance.” Don McCaffie’s flute solo was especially memorable on this piece.

Danilo Perez offered a great tribute to Benny Golson that featured an outstanding piano solo that combined post-bop elements with a variety of Latin rhythms. However, it was “Suite for the Americas,” a piece originally commissioned by the Chicago Jazz Festival, that was the highlight of this great evening. Perez’s magnificent range and command of the suite featured a complete array of sounds from South America, Central America and North America. Perez’s show offered nothing but the best in jazz, fusion and Panamanian folklore. Keep in touch with Danilo Perez on tour at http://www.vervemusicgroup.com.