The Erie Art Museum presents the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet. Fusing contemporary American jazz with the ancient rhythms of his native Peru, Gabriel Alegría will bring his unique form of world jazz to the Museum’s stage on Sunday, October 29, at 3:00pm. Suggested donation is $20/per person, $15 for Museum members.
The Afro-Peruvian Sextet was established in 2005. The ensemble’s insistently inventive program of traditional Afro-Peruvian music transformed by Gabriel Alegría’s highly personal synthesis of folkloric Afro-Peruvian rhythms, jazz, and other musical strains has led to a signature accomplishment: developing the band’s patented blend of deep scholarship and playfulness into a touring experience that conveys a vast knowledge of the music and, perhaps more importantly, transmits black music from coastal Perú as a way of life to its audiences. Each member of the Sextet is a master musician. During more than ten years on the road together, the mission of the band has incessantly been to spread the joy and love of Afro-Peruvian music around the world.
The Afro-Peruvian Sextet has produced six CDs, one DVD and one vinyl record to date. This concert will celebrate their brand new release “Diablo en Brooklyn”.
Their audiences come from all over the globe and include a legion of dedicated fans who work directly with the band on various projects including concert promotion, merchandise sales and most notably, Tour Perú, an innovative concept by which fans of the band literally join the musicians on the road in Perú once per year. With home bases in Lima and New York City, the band has been embraced by both cities. In 2015 Hot House Magazine awarded the band New York City’s “Best Ensemble of the Year” award and the New York City Jazz Record “Best Latin Jazz Album.”
The band has successfully developed and consolidated a thriving “scene” around Afro-Peruvian jazz music. The Latin Jazz Network described the band in this way: “Every once in a while there comes a musician who, when playing his or her chosen instrument, seems to carry within a vital life-force that is irrepressible.”
Amidst the Afro-Peruvian Sextet’s detailed fusion of Afro-Peruvian rhythms and jazz harmonies, lies a very demanding, authentic and honest interpretation. The New York Times writes “the Sextet knows its mission well and has the execution down to a science.” “Peruvian trumpeter Gabriel Alegría champions Afro-Peruvian music,” wrote Downbeat Magazine in a prominent review, “the hip asymmetrical bass line of Alegría’s El Norte is goaded by wonderful hand percussion and stickmanship on cajita from Hugo Alcázar and Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón.” Latino Magazine described the music as “rhythm-saturated, orchestrally-enticing performances that are the definition of sonic joy” while the Wall Street Journal echoed with “a highly sympatico blend of North American improv and South American beats.”
Gabriel Alegria has also performed concerts for the United Nations and various diplomatic missions from around the world. The Afro-Peruvian Sextet has appeared in over 400 concerts and master classes throughout North America. During the course of a career that has spanned the globe, Alegría has appeared in concert and/or on recordings with Arturo O’Farrill, Maria Schneider, Placido Domingo, Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, The Peruvian National Symphony, Bill Watrous, Russ Ferrante and Alex Acuña.
Algería has had a significant presence on North American Radio and his recordings reached the top of Jazz Week World Music Charts and CMJ Jazz Charts. Alegría successfully presents a true cross-cultural exchange between the Americas, and he has been lauded on both continents as the newest and freshest voice to come from Latin America. Currently Associate Director of Jazz Studies at New York University, Alegría earned a doctorate in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree from the City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College. His knowledge of Afro-Peruvian music is the result of fieldwork and time spent at home in Perú learning the art form’s greatest exponents.
Gabriel Alegría & the Afro-Peruvian Sextet
Sunday, October 29 at 3 p.m.
Suggested donation $20 per person, $15 Museum members