A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Last summer, we launched The Woodshed at The Jazz Gallery, a new initiative to offer musicians the use of our space at no charge for rehearsal, research, and development. With your help, we raised over $20,000 in just 31 days via Kickstarter. Today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal features an article on The Woodshed (if you have the print edition, turn to page A23), which includes a few wonderful quotes from the artists benefiting from the initiative. To those of you who helped make this possible, thank you for your support!

Luis Perdomo
is no stranger to the piano at The Jazz Gallery. He’s performed here as a leader or co-leader upwards of twenty times since 2002, and has also appeared regularly in bands led by saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Miguel Zenón. On Friday night, Luis returns to our stage with a new quartet featuring saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Rodney Green.

In 2007, we commissioned Luis as a part of The Jazz Gallery Composers’ Series. The result was ”Central Coast: Impressions on Afro-Venezuelan Music”, an extended work featuring the twin bass stylings of Boris Koslov and Hans Glawischnig along with reedist Peter Apfelbaum and drummer Eric McPherson. Speaking about the experience in an interview with The Beating Planet, Luis explains:

Some time ago, The Jazz Gallery [asked] me [to write] a work [for] its composers cycle. The venue has been a home [to me] during the last ten years. That’s how I had the opportunity to consolidate a project I had in mind for some time. I called it “Central Coast: Impressions on Afro-Venezuelan music”, which is a ten-piece collection inspired by the music of Venezuela’s central coast. It was very successful, since my idea was to keep the main rhythmic elements and the spirit of that music, but present [it] in a different way. I hired a sax player who played flute, percussion and blow-organ. There were also two acoustic bass players, a drummer and of course piano. It was a very interesting thing that attracted the attention of the audience.

Most recently, Luis participated in a residency as a member of Miguel Zenón‘s quartet, in which the band performed at The Gallery on a monthly basis for over a year. The residency was designed to prepare the group to record their 2011 release, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook, which was recently nominated for a GRAMMY.

You can familiarize yourself with Luis’ playing through these videos: an original composition for trio, an extended piano solo with Miguel Zenón at The Jazz Gallery, or an extrapolation on John Coltrane’s famous harmonic matrix “Giant Steps” with the Ravi Coltrane Quartet.