A dazzling pyrotechnician and accomplished composer...one of the most startling and rewarding piano-led debuts since Gonzalo Rubalcaba's 'Discovery: Live at Montreux.'
Critically acclaimed pianist/composer Gabriel Guerrero comes from a new generation of contemporary musicians emerging in the Jazz scene. Addressing music for its drive, direction and roots rather than styles, Gabriel has gone from South American rhythms, contemporary improvisation, and avant-garde to the traditions of bebop and jazz. Gabriel exalts his music with a high understanding of its roots bringing his experience and diversity to the table. Born in Colombia and based in New York City for almost twenty years, Gabriel began his classical training at age five, giving concerts and TV appearances at age nine. Gabriel has performed in jazz festivals in Europe, South America, USA, and Asia, and is a high demand musician in the scene today. Gabriel has been featured on Power of Love, the debut record by Herbie Hancock's long time drummer Gene Jackson's trio NuYorx, released on Whirlwind Recordings in 2018. As a leader Guerrero performed with his own trio for over 25 years and founded QUΔΠTUM Trio & Quartet in 2015, performing regularly in New York. Some past members of his trio include drummer Rudy Royston and bassist Linda May Han Oh.
Guerrero's 2012 debut album on Surca Music features seven original songs and two arrangements. Musicians on the album include the Gabriel Guerrero Trio featuring Jorge Roeder, bass, and Eric Doob, drums, plus other lineups including Jerry Bergonzi, sax, Bruce Gertz, bass, and Samuel Torres, percussion, among others. The album contains songs with Colombian rhythms such as Porro and Bullerengue as well as contemporary jazz songs showcasing Guerrero's strong intellect and versatility on his writing and arranging. An All About Jazz review of the album says, "He is well on his way to staking out a claim as one of the rising pianists in contemporary jazz." As a sideman Gabriel can be heard on the recently released Bruce Gertz Quintet recordings Reptilian Fantasies and It Wasn't Me featuring Jerry Bergonzi, and Panama Suite (Artist Share, 2008) by the Danilo Perez Big Band featuring Danilo Perez on electric piano and Gabriel on acoustic piano plus a 19-piece big band.
He has performed with Paquito D' Rivera, Dave Holland, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove, George Garzone, Mike Mainieri, Esperanza Spalding, Adam Nusbaum, Gene Jackson, Dafnis Prieto, John Riley, Mike Clark, Bob Moses, Michael Spiro, Anthony Branker, Gregg Bissonette, and Jamey Haddad, and has been recently performing regular gigs with the Jerry Bergonzi and the Bruce Gertz Quartets. He has also put together various musical projects such as SURCA, a multi-cultural quartet dedicated to expanding on South American rhythms and avant-garde jazz.
In Colombia, Gabriel studied classical piano from age five before moving to New York in 1998 to study at Hunter College, winning the Concerto/Aria Competition performing Mozart's Piano Concerto K444 with the Hunter Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, Gabriel won a scholarship to study at The New England Conservatory of Music, earning both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree studying with Danilo Perez, Steve Lacy, Fred Hersch, Jerry Bergonzi, and Charlie Banacos. In 2004, Gabriel was selected along with fourteen other musicians from the United States to be part of The Steans Institute for Young Artists Jazz Program at Ravinia Festival. Other teachers include Ran Blake, James Moody, Rufus Reid, George Russell, and Joe Lovano.
Gabriel made several TV appearances on Colombian TV from age nine through his teens performing solo piano and later on performing with his quartet in 1998. Gabriel has participated in Jazz festivals in Europe, Colombia, and USA such as Ploiesti Jazz Festival (Romania), Angel City Jazz Festival, Red Hook Jazz Festival, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Lily Pad Piano Festival, IAJE Jazz Convention, KoSA Festival, Ravinia Festival, UIS International Piano Festival, Jazz al Parque, Festival de Musica El Nogal, and performed in important venues such as Jazz Gallery, Smalls Jazz Club, Regattabar, Scullers Jazz Club, ShapeShifter Lab, Greenwich House, Inc, Outpost Performance Space, IBeam, Jordan Hall, Sala de Conciertos Luis Angel Arango, Luis A. Calvo Concert Hall, as well as taught clinics at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and Universities in Colombia such as EAFIT University, Escuela Fernando Sor, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, and Universidad Industrial de Santander among others.
Gabriel is deeply attracted to the idea of unpredictability and surprise in jazz, which he feels is absolutely critical to artistic expression. Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi appreciates this adventurous quality in Gabriel's playing: "Gabriel Guerrero brings fresh ideas to his music. When I think he is going left he goes right and when I think he is going right he goes left. He always surprises me, which I love. He brings his Latin culture to the music in his own inventive way. He is a real improviser."
For more information about Gabriel Guerrero, please visit: https://gabrielguerreromusic.net/.
Ron Di Salvio
Dominic J. Marshall
Sean Michael Giddings