Published On: Thu, Nov 17th, 2016

2017 Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest to honor Panamanian pianist, composer, and humanitarian, Danilo Pérez

Contest for the event’s commemorative logo is now open

The twenty-seventh edition of the JazzFest will be held from March 23-March 26, 2017.

danilo-perezSAN JUAN – The preparations for the twenty-seventh edition of the most prestigious Jazz festival of the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest (PRHJF), have begun with the announcement of next year’s honoree of this spectacular event that will sure please all music fans. From March 23 through March 26, the festival will honor Panamanian jazz pianist, composer and humanitarian, Danilo Pérez. Also, the details for this edition’s contest to select the commemorative poster were revealed.

“Danilo Pérez is the perfect musician to dedicate the twenty-seventh edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest”, expressed Luis Álvarez, Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest’s producer and vice president of the Liquor Division at Méndez & Compañía. “We are very pleased to dedicate this festival to Danilo, a great musician, friend, and above all, an exceptional human being. With this dedication, we recognize his great musical career as a pianist and composer, his humanitarian labor and his commitment with musical education for the youth. It will be an honor and a privilege to have his presence on the next Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest’s stage” finished Álvarez.

Upon receiving the news of his recognition during the next Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, Danilo Pérez said: “I am very excited with the news. It is a great honor and I take it with great responsibility. My relationship with Puerto Rico is musical and artistic, but it’s also a fraternity. I remember when I first participated in the first Heineken JazzFest back in 1991, so I feel extremely proud that a festival this big and with so much history recognizes me and my career. It’s really wonderful and I take it with a lot of responsibility. As a musician, social activist, educator, mentor and ambassador, I now feel with more energy to continue doing what I am doing.”

Open Call for Poster Design

As it’s been a tradition during past years, the PRHJF team also announced that the contest for the design of the commemorative poster of next year’s edition of the PRHJF is now open. The honoree, Danilo Pérez, will be the central theme. Those interested in participating in the contest must have abilities in graphic arts, as an amateur or professional, and live in Puerto Rico permanently. Each artist will be able to submit one piece in the graphic media of its choice, as it may be reproduced digitally. The submitted piece must measure 20 inches wide and 26 inches tall.

Also, the design submitted by the artist must include graphic references of the artist and it will be responsibility of the creatives to do all the historic research of the artist they find necessary in order to familiarize with his career and the elements that define the honoree’s contribution to the genre. The design must also include a reference to the Heineken brand. The deadline to submit the designed pieces will be on Friday, December 2nd, 2016, before 5:00pm in the main offices of Méndez & Co. Inc., in Guaynabo. The rules for the contest are available at

About Danilo Pérez

Since an early stage in life, the talented pianist and composer Danilo Pérez started with passion a successful musical career. At 50, the musician born in Monte Oscuro, Panama City, has conquered the entire world with his dowries as a pianist and composer, and has transcended as a pillar in music through education, as a cultural ambassador, and humanitarian. All these characteristics undoubtedly position him as one of the most influential and dynamic artist of our time.

Graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1988, Pérez had the honor of playing alongside big stars of music when he was still very young. His career as a professional musician vowed quickly after finishing his studies, participating in presentations and recordings with Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, Roy Haynes, and Puerto Rican legend, Tito Puente, amongst others.

 Awards & distinctions

Danilo Pérez has multiple discographic productions that have won him nominations for the Grammy and Latin Grammy, like Central Avenue(Best Jazz Album), Motherland (Best Jazz Album and Best Latin Jazz Album), Across The Crystal Sea, and Providencia (Best Instrumental Jazz Album). His work as a composer has also been recognized in important festivals and venues, being commissioned by The Lincoln Center, Chicago Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall (for the Simon Bolivar Symphonic Orchestra in Venezuela), The Banff Centre, amongst others. In 2002 he was nominated to receive the award for Best Pianist of the Year, awarded by the Jazz Journalist Association. In 2005, the Ibero-American Communication Association gave him the Ibero-American Award, and he was named a Good Will Ambassador by the UNICEF. In 2009, the Smithsonian Institute of Washington gave him the Legacy Award for his contribution to arts as a musician and educator. Next year, his home, Panama, recognized him with the Vasco Núñez de Balboa award.

Educator & philanthropist

The Panamanian pianist and composer maintains his country very present as his career continues evolving. Since a very young age, Danilo Pérez channeled the musical values his father taught him, and he used music as a learning tool, improvising music lessons and music programs free of charge for kids and young ones. In the 80s, he helped create the musical program Jamboree Juventud from Panama, and in the next decade he would help create the jazz program for the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. His participation in productions, presentations, classes, and concerts during all those years led him to create the first international jazz festival in Panama in 2003, followed by the creation of the Danilo Pérez Foundation in 2004. Since then, he has celebrated the Festival that allows young musicians to have the opportunity to take master classes from professors of very important musical institutions from around the world, and present themselves in front of thousands of attendees year after year, in different parts of Panama City, following a very similar model to the Berklee in Puerto Rico program, of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest.

He is currently the Artist for Peace of UNESCO, who recognized his work and commitment to bringing kids and younglings living in poverty in Panama the opportunity to participate in high quality musical programs. Likewise, the UNICEF named him a Good Will Ambassador, he’s the Cultural Ambassador of the Republic of Panama, and serves as the Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston. This last program is an interdisciplinary one, focused on developing the creativity and talent of its student to their maximum potential, understanding how the power of music can be a tool for the good of society and connecting the creative musical thoughts with nature, using sound, rhythms, and harmonies to incorporate in music, all while the student learns and understands the importance of geological preservation.

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