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Bethlehem, Pa., January 8, 2008—Trumpeter and composer Gabriel Alegria’s Afro-Peruvian Sextet will perform at Moravian College on Wednesday, January 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Foy Concert Hall. Gabriel Alegria combines his own distinctive approach to American Jazz with music of black coastal Peru with Afro-Peruvian instruments such as cajon (box drum) and quijada (jawbone). The music in combination with passages of zapateo criollo tap dancing are the hallmark of the ensemble’s moving performances.
Gabriel Alegria was born in Lima, Perú in 1970 into family known for its creative influence on Peruvian culture. Gabriel’s grandfather Ciro was Peru’s most famous novelist and his father Alonso is Perú’s most acclaimed playwright. Today, Gabriel is one of the most influential figures of the jazz music scene in Perú.
Musically, Gabriel combines his personal approach to American jazz with a passionate interest and careful study of the music of black coastal Perú. He has contributed a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz music concept by incorporating and exploring the common African roots found in both styles.
Gabriel’s most recent and varied performance credits as a trumpet player, composer, and conductor span the globe and include in concert appearances and/or recordings with Maria Schneider, Placido Domingo, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, Natalie Cole, The Lima Philharmonic, The Peruvian National Symphony, Bill Watrous, John Thomas, Russ Ferrante and Alex Acuña as well as concerts for the United Nations and various diplomatic missions from around the world. In May 2005, Gabriel conducted and recorded Didier Lockwood’s jazz opera “Libertad” commissioned by Radio France and Opera Montpellier. He has conducted “hybrid” concerts featuring the rock band Frágil and Peru’s National Symphony.
Gabriel was the subject of a documentary film about Afro-Peruvian music directed by Lonnie Goodwin. His web site www.gabrielalegria.com won the Webby award for “best navigation and content.”
Gabriel holds a doctorate degree 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. He is currently a clinical assistant professor of Jazz Studies at Steinhardt, New York University’s School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In addition to teaching at NYU, he continues his work for the internationalization of Afro-Peruvian jazz music and education.
The Foy Concert Hall is located on the Hurd Campus on the corner of Church and Main Streets in Bethlehem, Pa. General admission is $15 and $10 for senior citizens, students and children. Advance tickets may be purchased Buy tickets online through the Lehigh Valley Arts Box Office. For more information call 610 861-1650.
This presentation is made possible by generous sponsorship provided by Jazz Peru International. Please visit www.jazzperu.org. PBS 39 and WDIY are media sponsors of this event; members may receive discounted tickets, visit http://www.wlvt.org/ and http://www.wdiyfm.org/ for more information.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.