Daily News

Grammy-winning Pianist to Be Featured Artist for 25th HCC Jazz Festival

HOLYOKE — Hot off a win for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, pianist, composer, and band leader Luis Perdomo will be the featured guest artist at the 25th annual Holyoke Community College (HCC) Jazz Festival on March 1-2.

The two-day festival opens on Friday, March 1 with an 8 p.m. concert with Perdomo performing with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra under the direction of David Sporny on the stage of the Leslie Phillips Theater in the HCC Fine & Performing Arts building. The Friday night concert is free for HCC students, faculty, and staff, and $10 for the general public.

“Luis is a great musician, a great teacher, and a great guy,” festival organizer and HCC Music Professor Bob Ferrier said. “I know him from the Jazz in July program at UMass, where we teach together. He just won a Grammy for the number-one Latin jazz album, so that’s special. We’re very happy to have him here at HCC for our 25th-anniversary festival.”

The festival will continue on Saturday, March 2 in the Leslie Phillips Theater with jazz combo performances. Jazz clinics, workshops, and jam sessions will be held throughout the day in the HCC Recital Hall (FPA building, Room 137). Perdomo will conduct two music clinics, one at 11 a.m. and another at 1 p.m. A concluding concert will be held in the theater Saturday afternoon featuring Perdomo with HCC students and festival faculty.

In addition to his work as a performer, Perdomo is a composer, bandleader, and teacher. He began performing in his native Venezuela as a teenager and now makes his home in New York City. He is also an associate professor of Music at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

A prolific sideman, he has appeared on more than 200 records, playing with the likes of artists such as David Sanchez and David Gilmore as well as recording seven albums as a bandleader. He was a member of Ravi Coltrane’s Quartet for 10 years and is a founding member of the Miguel Zenon Quartet.

This year, Perdomo and Zenon, a Puerto Rican saxophone player, received the Grammy award for Best Latin Jazz Album for their 2023 release, El Arte del Bolero Vol. 2.

The Amherst Jazz Orchestra, led by trombonist David Sporny, has been a mainstay of the HCC Jazz Festival since the first one in 1998. The HCC Jazz Festival has been held every year except for 2020 and 2021, when it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.