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Newport Jazz Festival Reflects On Dizzy, Mongo and Monk

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Thursday August 03, 2017

From The Providence Journal

Newport Jazz Festival reflects on Dizzy, Mongo and Monk
By: Andy Smith

‘Jazz 100’ looks at the works of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Mongo Santamaria, all born in 1917.

The Newport Jazz Festival will honor jazz greats in many forms this weekend; one of them is called “Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Mongo & Monk.” That would be Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria and Thelonious Monk, all born in 1917.

Pianist and bandleader Danilo Pérez, a Panamanian who plays what he calls Pan-American jazz, has assembled an impressive ensemble for Saturday’s show: Chris Potter on sax, Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Josh Roseman on trombone, Roman Diaz on vocals and percussion, Adam Cruz on drums, and Ben Street on bass.

Pérez played with Gillespie’s band from 1989 until Gillespie’s death in 1993. He’s also closely associated with Wayne Shorter, and was part of Shorter’s quartet with Brian Blade and John Patitucci.

“The Jazz 100 project is a celebration of the contributions of four icons,” Pérez said in an interview. “We try to take the music to different places, instead of trying to do perfect renditions of the original song … we’re trying to keep the joyful spirit they had in their music.”

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