Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo
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Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Latin




"review by Paul Blair"

Pianist Perez' website is bursting with enthusiastic reviews for his new CD, Nuevo Comienzo - and justly so. To his working quintet (which knocked 'em dead during a recent tour of Siberia!), he added Wycliffe Gordon's trombone and Peter Bernstein's guitar for guest spots. The pulse throughout is primarily Latin and the tunes are all Oscar's. Greg Glassman shines on trumpet and Stacy Dillard beautifully handles the saxophone parts. Bassist and drummer are Matthew Rybicki and Will Terrill. Ida Mae's, by the way, is a newish no-cover spot at 111 W. 38th St. between Broadway and Sixth Ave. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:00 PM. Written by Paul Blair - Hothouse Magazine

"review by John Gilbert"

Oscar Perez has created some sounds as hot as a Cuban night and others come like a susurration, whispering its message like a cool breeze, to the discerning ear.

Perez utilizes a quintet with occasional special guest appearances by
Wycliffe Gordon and others.

There are eleven tunes on this album and each is a gem. Perez has the
facility and ideation at the piano which should bode well for him in the
jazz world. His side men have been selected with care and they perform

Perez can be heard at his best on track two entitled, "Baile de K" in
which (if the listener has ears) one can hear a respectful nod to the
great Bud Powell.

This is a superb Latin Jazz recording.
5 Stars - eJazznews.com

"Press Release of CMA Grant"

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Ann Braithwaite
(781) 259-9600





"This is a musician that has his own voice. Both his compositions
and his improvisations are evidence of this"
— Dave Miele, Jazz Improv Magazine

Pianist/composer Oscar Perez premieres his CMA commission piece with two performances.

• Thursday, September 3, 2009; Oscar premieres his new work with his unique ensemble Nuevo Comienzo featuring Perez on piano, Greg Glassman (trumpet), Stacy Dillard (saxophone), Anthony Perez (bass), and Jerome Jennings (drums), special guests Emiliano Valerio on percussion and Charenee Wade (vocalist) at the Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson St in NYC. Sets are at 9pm and 10:30pm. Tickets are $10-15. Log on to www.jazzgallery.org for more information.

• Sunday, September 13, 2009; Oscar presents the New Jersey premiere of his new work with his 7-piece ensemble Nuevo Comienzo — at the Oskar Shindler Performing Arts Center; Weekend Jazz Festival, 4 Boland Drive, West Orange, NJ. Performance is at 3:00pm. Tickets are $10.
Call (973) 669-7385 or log on to www.ospac.org for more information.

Afro-pean Affair was created with support from Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Program now in its ninth year, supports composer / performer-led ensembles in the creation and presentation of original composition within the jazz idiom.

Chamber Music America, the national service organization for the ensemble music profession, was founded in 1977 to promote artistic excellence and the economic stability of the field, and to ensure that chamber music, in its broadest sense, is a vital part of American life. With a membership of over 8,000, including ensembles, individual musicians, presenters, artists' managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensembles music, CMA welcomes and represents a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine, and a website, www.chamber-music.org.

His latest CD entitled Nuevo Comienzo employs an instrumental septet of New York artists. The sound draws from Latin and jazz music to explore innovative arrangements. It features guest artists Wycliffe Gordon (trombone) and Peter Bernstein (guitar). Along with many performances in and around the east coast, this group recently spent a month touring throughout Russia including Moscow and concert halls in Siberia. Since the release of the CD, the feedback has been very positive. As Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez of JazzReview.com noted, “Prolific pianist and composer Oscar Perez delivers an amazing bouquet of Latin jazz compositions. Perez blends his rhythmic Cuban roots and American jazz with high skill.”

Pianist Oscar Perez is a New York City native. His training has been as diverse as his musical tastes. During his high school years, he studied with two very prominent classical pianists, Robert Harris (Juilliard Faculty) and Edgar Roberts (New York University Faculty). He was later a student of Danilo Perez and Sir Roland Hanna at the New England Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music, respectively. He has spent recent years traveling and playing in the musical groups of trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, and trombonist Steve Turre. He is the recipient of the 2006 ASCAP/IAJE Commission in honor Of Billy Strayhorn. Oscar’s group at the 2007 International Association of Jazz Education Convention premiered the work. His latest project is the result of a New Works Grant by Chamber Music America for his septet aptly entitled Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo.

# # #

- Braithwaite and Katz Public Relations

"Quote Sheet"

Quote Sheet

“Perez can be heard at his best on track two entitled, Baile de K in which (if the listener has ears) one can hear a respectful nod to the great Bud Powell.
This is a superb Latin Jazz recording. 5 Stars”
- John Gilbert, eJazznews

“Perez shows his ample skill on this first album, incorporating the stylistic elements of Tyner, Hancock and Chucho Valdes. …It’s just a matter of time
before his name enters the jazz public’s consciousness.”
-Matt Merewitz, All About Jazz

“Prolific pianist and composer Oscar Perez delivers an amazing bouquet of Latin jazz compositions. Perez blends his rhythmic Cuban roots and American jazz with high skill.”
- Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez of JazzReview.com

“After hearing this fine pianist perform with Wycliffe Gordon, it was clear to us that he wouldn’t be a sideman for long. An improviser and composer with his own distinct voice, NYC native Oscar Perez has expertly combined the traditions of his Cuban heritage with straight-ahead jazz.”
- Sheila Anderson, Author/Announcer, WBGO 88.3 FM

“The pianist’s writing and arranging is smart, tradition inspired Latin jazz with the emphasis on jazz chords and colours. It’s an addictive, sultry sound rich with concise improvisations that always tell a wise tale and tell it well”
-Joseph Blake of The Times Colonist

"This is a musician that has his own voice. Both his compositions
and his improvisations are evidence of this"
- Dave Miele, Jazz Improv Magazine

“This CD has a nice fusion of Latin, jazz... Special guests, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone and Peter Bernstein on guitar, bring an extra dimension
to this emerging jazz ensemble.”
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower, Roberta on the Arts.com

“His latest album, Nuevo Comienzo, featuring eleven Perez-composed jazz tunes, is one of those rare albums that successfully combine Latin rhythms with
aggressive jazz tunes and skillful improvisation.”
-Jeff Eason, The Mountain Times

“Pianist Perez' website is bursting with enthusiastic reviews for
his new CD, Nuevo Comienzo - and justly so.”
-Paul Blair, Hothouse Magazine

- Various

"CD Title: Nuevo Comienzo Reviewed"

Featured Artist: Oscar Perez
CD Title: Nuevo Comienzo
Year: 2005
Style: Contemporary Jazz

Oscar Perez (piano), Greg Glassman (trumpet, flugelhorn), Stacy Dillard (saxophones), Anthony Perez (acoustic bass), Geoff Clapp (drums), Angel Desai (vocals), Emiliano Valerio (percussion), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Peter Bernstein ( guitar)

Prolific pianist and composer Oscar Perez delivers with his new release Nuevo Comienzo an amazing bouquet of Latin jazz compositions. Performed with Greg Glassman, Stacy Dillard, Anthony Perez, Angel Desai, Emiliano Valerio and special guests Wycliffe Gordon and Peter Bernstein, this album is a wonderful collective work.

Perez blends his Latin rhythmic Cuban roots and American jazz with high skill. This young man is always searching for musical explorations and new ways to combine compositional forms.

The release of these tracks show a great interplay inside the group. Notable is trumpeter Greg Glassman, who sets a wonderful groove. Wycliffe Gordon and Stacy Dillard hold down the fort while Oscar Perez explores the piece, Baile de K.

Anthony Perez and Stacy Dillard create a great exchange of swing while the piano explores the tune Hilltop Arrival with an upbeat mood. Brilliant are the voices of Gordon on trombone and Dillard playing the saxophones on Borrowed n Blue On this, Oscar Perez adds a degree of tension which allows a great solo from Glassman's trumpet.

Already popular in South America where his compositions, groups and styles are admired, Oscar Perez travels with his Latin rhythms even as far as Siberia He knows where and when to spark the salsa's heat when cooking with Latin jazz!

Not only is Oscar Perez a musician very active on the New York scene, closely associated with The Colden Center, The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center, but he is also the music director of the St Edward's Church in Harlem. His voice fits very well in many contexts, which proves his dexterity and passion for his art.

Nuevo Comienzo offers a broad range of styles coming close to near-perfection and intensity.

Reviewed by: Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez
- JazzReview.com

"Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower Review"

This CD has a nice fusion of Latin, jazz, and soft listening. Special guests, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone and Peter Bernstein on guitar, bring an extra dimension to this emerging jazz ensemble. Oscar Perez has composed an eclectic mix of abstract, surreal sound, fused with almost danceable mambo rhythms. There are inclusions of voice, percussion, and brass heard above the standard trio of piano, drums, and bass.

(All music composed by Oscar Perez).

Notable tracks:

#4–Borrowed ‘n Blue – With a percussive introduction, followed with a brass combo, the piano adds soft swing that mellows the track. Glassman on trumpet leads Dillard on sax, as Perez creates a soft background blending. Clapp on drums is prominently featured, in and around the horns. Perez’ solo passage is accompanied by soft brushes and muted brass.

#7 –Regalo – With a fused trombone leading the brass contingent, this track quickly goes Latin clave rhythm. The danceable motif is brief, as Gordon on trombone adds depth to atonal horns. Anthony Perez on bass takes a short riff, prior to Oscar’s contemplative one. The band teams up for a flourish and finale.

#8 –Solamente Todo – Bernstein, on guitar, develops an immediate, mellow, meandering mood. Bass and guitar blend with soft keyboard and drums, while the brass contingent is silent.

#10 –Early Endeavor – An eerie opening, with contemporary keyboard effects leads to horns and back to the keyboard, in an almost Asian motif. This is an abstract, fragmented, but often melodic track worth waiting for.
- Robertaonthearts.com

"Article from Russian Magazine"

Omsk Received Oscar Perez For Two Days

Jazz-quintet Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo came to Omsk from New York for two days… But in a short time this magnificent group of five played a concert in our Concert Hall and had two brilliant jam-sessions in the Actor’s House Club and at the new Jazz-café Party Piano.

Jazz Fever
The city of Omsk had a musical fever for two weeks before the Americans appeared. “If it sounds as great as the CD, it’ll be amazing!” - Alexander Dmitriev (Party Piano Jazz Club owner) cried through the telephone. On the eve of the concert young musician Anton Petrov asked me: “Did you hear??? Jazz from America is coming tomorrow! These guys are tremendous!!!” So I decided that it would be better to see and to hear for myself.

Today He is Playing Jazz and Tomorrow…
“I’d do it again, why not?” – That was the answer the leader Oscar Perez gave during the press conference when somebody asked him about the traveling in Siberia. The musicians liked Siberia. “Siberia is very hospitable, with intellectual audiences and a lot of beautiful people.” When asked what other things they enjoyed, they mentioned Russian bania (sauna), Nevskoe beer and, of course, Russian vodka.

This visit is the beginning of large project for two promoters: American Arkady Freeman and Vjacheslav Semushkin from Omsk. For two years they want to present monthly jazz concerts for Siberian audiences. It is very difficult to persuade American musicians to make such a trip. Most are afraid of the frigid climate, the unknown audience responses and possible terrorist attacks. But it is well worth it because in Siberia the audiences are fresh and emotional. “We like it”, they commented.

The Man of Glass, the Perez Brothers, Percussion, and Saxophone…
“You are the best!” How many times did we hear such shouts from Omsk jazz fans during those two days? - Far too many to count. But all from the group of five got much recognition and love. Oscar Perez (piano), his brother Anthony (bass), Greg Glassman (trumpet), Stacy Dillard (saxophone) and Geoffrey Bryan Clapp (drums) gave an excellent jazz gift to us. During the concert the audience shouted out, and whistled so much during jam-sessions when the musicians sat in.

The Singing Manager – It Can’t Be!
Did you ever hear of a managers singing? We heard! Mr. Freeman is not only tour manager for the quintet, and he is a bit crazy for jazz musicians. He took an active part in the concert, both as master of ceremonies and singing a song at the concert’s conclusion. At the jam session it was a magic, as Stacy took the trumpet and Greg played the drums. They performed music at a high level even on each other’s instruments!

Nearly fifty people wanted to take photos with the artists. It was very hard to get to the band to say hello. Even though the musicians were full of energy the manager yelled: “OK guys! Let’s go!” It was a shame but their time had finished… Two of these jazzmen decided to stay in Omsk for one more day. They liked our city so much. Stacy and Greg performed in one last jam-session in a restaurant called Fifth Avenue. They have now left but jazz in Omsk is not over, it must go on!

-Article and translation by Anna Zhurnal for Omsk City Magazine

- Omskcity Magazine - Russia


Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo - Afropean Affair
Oscar Perez - Nuevo Comienzo
Charenee Wade - Love Walked In
Charenee Wade - You Stepped Out of a Dream
Anthony Nelson, Jr - Tenor for Two
Christian Tamburr - Move
Coby Brown Group - Homesick
Cathy Elliott - The Turning Point
Keith Pray - Pray Nation




Contact: Ann Braithwaite
(781) 259-9600

Pianist/Composer Oscar Perez Introduces the Latest Wave in Post-Latin Jazz on New CD Afropean Affair
Available October 11

“This is a musician that has his own voice. Both his compositions and his improvisations are evidence of this.” — Dan Miele, Jazz Improv Magazine

“The pianist’s writing and arranging is smart, tradition inspired Latin jazz with an emphasis on jazz chords and colours. It’s an addictive, sultry sound, rich with concise improvisations that always tell a wise tale and tell it well.” — Joseph Blake, The Times Colonist

The widespread outrage spawned by the Recording Academy’s decision to do away with the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album has obscured a far more interesting development. A new generation of musicians is busy erasing the old distinctions between straight ahead and Latin jazz, forging thrilling new group concepts by blending Afro-Caribbean rhythms and postbop idioms. With his second album, Afropean Affair, pianist/ composer Oscar Perez places himself firmly in the forefront of this rising movement. The CD will be released on October 11.

Featuring Perez’s stellar young band Nuevo Comienzo, Afropean Affair focuses on the pianist’s original music, which he designed to showcase his group’s improvisational prowess and conservatory-honed facility for interpreting extended compositions. Balancing poise and power, the combo features some of the most prodigious young players on the scene, including the commanding saxophonist Stacy Dillard on tenor and soprano, silver-toned Greg Glassman on trumpet and flugelhorn, resourceful percussionist Emiliano Valerio, deeply funky drummer Jerome Jennings and harmonically deft bassist Anthony Perez (who also happens to be Oscar’s younger brother).

“I grew up listening to my father’s albums of traditional Cuban music,” says Perez, 36. “But we’re American jazz musicians and we’re not trying to be anything else. The concept I’m going for filters everything through the writing. In picking the members of the band, they needed to have their own sounds. Jerome is a drummer who just loves to groove. He’s not playing straight Cuban rhythms. He’s always mixing it up, which is true for all of us.”

From the brisk, mercurial opening tune “The Illusive Number,” which bobs and weaves through various time signatures, to the gorgeously flowing melodic line running through “Paths and Streams,” which has all the makings of a jazz standard, Perez displays a real gift for crafting memorable tunes. Adding to the band’s singular sound is Perez’s acute textural sensibility, seen in his artful use of the Fender Rhodes.

The album’s centerpiece is the texturally expansive three-piece Afropean Suite, a work commissioned by Chamber Music America that Perez premiered at the Jazz Gallery in September 2009. With the addition of the soul-drenched vocalist Charenee Wade, who contributes beautifully calibrated wordless lines, the suite traces an evocative emotional arc that flows from the soaring, sanguine first movement, “Cosas Lindas Que Viven Ahora” (Pretty Things That Live Now) to the nostalgia-laced “Last Seasons Sorrows” to the beatific closer “A New Day Emerging.”

“My writing gets influenced by everything I listen to,” Perez says. “In the new stuff I hear a lot of Chick. We’ve become a lot more adventurous the more we’re not thinking about being a traditional Afro-Cuban band. We’re looking at that early Return To Forever model, not so much drawing on Brazilian influences as playing on the edge, with that quiet intensity. We try to get as tight as possible, but I don’t want it to be super-tight so it can go anywhere we want.”

As the album’s title suggests, Perez sees his music as a cultural confluence where Europe, Africa, America and the Caribbean flow seamlessly together. Not surprisingly, he traces his group concept back to his studies with Danilo Perez, the brilliant Panamanian pianist who is ground zero for what can be called post-Latin jazz, with a roster of students that includes trailblazing artists such as Puerto Rican tenor saxophonist David Sanchez and altoist Miguel Zenon, Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder, Colombian percussionist Tupac Mantilla, Argentine vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, among many others.

Born in a middle class neighborhood in Queens, Perez grew up immersed in Latin American music. His Cuban father fled the island in 1966, though he decided to strike out on his own in New York City rather than joining the exile community in Miami. His mother was born and raised in Colombia, and brought her love of Latin music to New York. A dedicated violinist while attending the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts (the school made famous by “Fame”), he also studied piano with two illustrious classical pianists, Julliard’s Robert Harris and NYU’s Edgar Roberts. On his own time he played guitar in vario