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Getting to know Luis Perdomo

I took in another “Meet the Artist” session on Monday afternoon. This time was Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo. Perdomo and his band were fresh off a European tour and were looking forward to playing in Burlington again.

Perdomo had visited Burlington on vacation with a friend quite some time ago and had enjoyed the area. For a musician who had grown up in Venezuela, just getting to experience another area must have been very new and interesting.

He talked about his childhood and how his life as a musician took off. He had his first gig at the age of 12. He listened to any music he could get his hands on. His piano teacher would lend him several LP’s (remember, those big black CD things that played on record players? You do remember record players, right?) every week. One of the first was a Cecil Taylor record. He would blare it from his house while his friends were listening to more popular Venezuelan music. Taylor’s music was the catalyst for his interest in becoming at Jazz musician. At the age of 13, he decided that he wanted to be a professional musician.

While studying back in Venezuela, his teacher stressed the importance of studying classical music in addition to Jazz and other popular musical genres. He would study Bach and Beethoven in addition to Cecil Taylor and other prominent Jazz pianists.

After finishing high school, he applied to three colleges and got into one for Biology but decided not to attend. Instead, he tried to get local gigs playing music. Finally he got a gig playing in the most popular Jazz club in Caracas. The band played Jazz from 9pm to 3:30am. The next youngest musician in the band was 38 years old. Perdomo held the gig for four years.

In May of 1989, he made a trip to New York City with some friends, having wanted to see the place where all of the music he was listening too came from. During the trip, he spent all of his money on CD’s and Yankee’s tickets.

He just happened to be in New York when the Manhattan School of Music was holding auditions for the following year and decided to take an audition on a whim. He played a Jazz standard and did some sight reading (reading unprepared music) and that was it. After returning home, he was informed that he had been accepted and offered a sizable scholarship to attend the prestigious school.

While at school, he began to have a greater understanding for the music he had been playing for years. He played in a band with the notable vibraphone player Steffon Harris. Harris got him a lot of his first gigs in New York. Through him, Perdomo met Claudio Acuna and Jason Lindner. When Lindner couldn’t make a gig, Perdomo subbed for him. Soon he was playing with the great Jazz bassist John Pattitucci.

He soon received a call from Ravi Coltrane, son of the great John Coltrane. He played with Ravi for a period of time and soon began playing with alto sax player Miguel Zenon. Though he had his reservations about playing with the Puertro Rican musician, thinking that “he must not play ‘real Jazz,'” he was quite impressed.

Sadly, I was not able to attend the concert on Monday evening but I certainly plan to check out Perdomo’s music. I can tell just from hearing him talk about his experiences and decisions throughout his career that he certainly has something to say musically.

Looking forward to catching some music around town this afternoon, despite the inclement weather. And of course, Will Bernard and his band (Stanton Moore and Robert Walters among them) will be at Nectar’s tonight for a show that is not to be missed.

Meet the Artist with Luis Perdomo | Flynn Space 6.8.09

Meet the Artist with Luis Perdomo | Flynn Space 6.8.09

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Burlington Discover Jazz Festival ’09

Here’s what’s on my menu so far:

Thur. 6.4.09
Left Ear Trio @ Ri Ra Pub

Fri. 6.5.09
Esperanza Spalding & Anat Cohen @ Flynn

Sat. 6.6.09
Revision @ Red Square
David “Fuze” Fiuczynski & Michetti @ Nectar’s

Sun. 6.7.09
Michael Louis Smith Coalition @ Half Lounge

Mon. 6.8.09
General musical wandering…

Tues. 6.9.09
CVU Jazz @ City Hall Stage (Church St.)
James Harvey & Garuda @ City Hall Stage (Church St.)
Will Bernard Group (Will Bernard, Tim Luntzel, Stanton Moore, Robert Walter) @ Nectar’s

Wed. 6.10.09
Gordon Stone @ Lawson Lane Stage
Japhy Ryder @ Fountain Stage (Church St.)
Lettuce @ Metronome

Thur. 6.11.09
Lettuce & Porter, Baptiste, Stoltz @ Waterfront Funk Tent

Fri. 6.12.09
Rubblebucket Orchestra @ Fountain Stage for Block Party
Branford Marsalis @ Flynn
Marco Benevento Trio @ Metronome

Sat. 6.13.09
Rubblebucket Orchestra @ Nectar’s

Sun. 6.14.09
General musical wandering…

I plan to catch all sorts of other things around town as I hear about them/hear them. I’ll take pictures and maybe some audio as well and I’ll do my best to post throughout the week.

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Picture 1

Chapter 2 kicks up the dust at Metronome

Eric Krasno, the guitarist of Soulive and Lettuce and various other projects, lead Chapter 2 on an evening of funk and soul at Club Metronome in downtown Burlington on Thursday night. The group put on quite a show. Louis Cato, the bass player, managed to steal the show with an incredible solo at one point during the night. Adam Deitch also deserves to be mentioned for some of the tightest and most interesting live drumming I’ve heard in a while. It seemed like he broke new ground with every song they played.

Looking forward to catching Krasno and Deitch together with Lettuce when they play during the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Chapter 2 | 5.28.09 Club Metronome - Burlington, VT

Chapter 2 | 5.28.09 Club Metronome - Burlington, VT

 

 


The Dirty Dozen shake things up at Higher Ground

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans, Louisiana tore the roof off of the Higher Ground Ballroom last night in South Burlington, VT despite a surprisingly low turnout. The septet laid down an infectious bed of New Orleans funk and groove that will not soon be forgotten

Though originally it seemed to be an odd pairing, the indie band Adam Ezra Group opened for the Dirty Dozen with a 50 minute set. Adam Ezra had performed a solo set at Higher Ground opening for Kaki King on 10.9.08. A few songs into their set, it became more clear as to why the group had been chosen to open. They performed a set full of vibes that reminded me of Rusted Root and other funky, more mainstream acts. At one point, Ezra mentioned that they had backed out of a gig in New Hampshire to come open for DDBB. The applause that followed ensured that they had made the right decision.

The rhythm section of the brass band took the stage just before 10pm and laid down a funky groove as the rest of the members walked on. The band didn’t let the music stop for more than a minute for the rest of the evening. Bass sousaphone player Julius McKee played some of funkiest bass lines throughout the night even though he remained atop a stool for the majority of the show.

Terence Higgins, the drummer, was easily the highlight of the evening for me. I’ve wanted to see him for years now and I enjoyed every minute of his performance. He is truly an example of a drummer with skills beyond belief who knows how to play tastefully. He would lay down a groove and then I’d catch little over-the-barline phrases with ghost notes and fills between his floor tom and snare. He only had a kick, snare and floor tom in his setup but he played it more impressively than a lot of 5-piece drummers I’ve seen lately. 

I’m definitely looking forward to concerts coming up in the next few weeks including the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 are playing this Thursday at Club Metronome in Burlington. Adam Deitch is sure to bust out some funking drumming at that show!

 

Dirty Dozen Brass Band | Higher Ground Ballroom 5.23.09

Dirty Dozen Brass Band | Higher Ground Ballroom 5.23.09

New Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey album :: FREE DOWNLOAD!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that that new JFJO CD, Winterwood, is available for free download off of their website. As it says on their website, “Thanks to everyone for 15 years of music and Jazz Millions. JFJO loves you! As a token of JFJO’s appreciation for all that you have done to make the odyssey possible, JFJO is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of their New Studio Album, entitled ‘WINTERWOOD.” 

If you’ve never listened to them before, this is the perfect opportunity because there is nothing to lose! I’ve been lucky enough to see them perform live once at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival back in 2007. Hopefully we can get them back towards the East Coast again soon. They’ve got some funky stuff that’s certainly worth checking out. Enjoy!