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Review in the Boston Herald

Schedule: Boston, May 20, 2005


Tony Perez Trio

"Tony Perez could easily be the successor to Chucho Valdez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, . . . Tony has a unique inventiveness and lyricism that seems to be taking Cuban music in a fresh new direction." -JAZZNOW

Tony Perez has become one of Cuba’s most accomplished musicians to recently emerge from the island’s rich and diverse musical culture. Despite his young age, Mr. Perez has performed and recorded with the stars of the Latin American popular music scene, as well as the leading Afro-Cuban jazz ensembles from the region. In 1992, he arranged for and recorded with Isaac Delgado on the singer’s seminal "Con Ganas", a landmark recording of contemporary Cuban salsa. Later years saw him compose, arrange and perform with the legendary Fania Allstars, Celia Cruz, Jose Luis Cortes, and Giraldo Piloto’s group ‘Klimax’, who called his bandmate "one of the greatest pianists in Cuban music."

In 1998 Mr. Perez took over the piano chair in what may be the most internationally renowned Cuban group of all time, ‘Irakere’. More recently, "the amazing Havana pianist," as he has been called by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, also has taken part in the production of the all-star collaboration "La Rumba Soy Yo," a recording which just received a Grammy in the 2001 Latin Music Awards. As a leader, Mr. Perez has released two recordings, the 1998 solo-piano disc "Soneao" on Tamarindo Records, and the brand new "From Enchantment and Timba to Full Force Jazz," a sophisticated yet hard-driving collection of Latin Jazz originals released by Pimienta Records. It is available at major retailers in the U.S. through Universal distributions.

Since relocating to the U.S., Tony Perez has embarked on a musical exploration within the confines of the more intimate piano trio setting, to further the more acoustic and jazz-oriented side of his career. The Tony Perez Trio is his first stateside project and features John Lockwood on acoustic bass and Bertram Lehmann on drums. In this context, the trio delves into a combination of original material from Perez’ latest discs, and in what promises to be a distinctly Afro-Cuban perspective, presents a fresh approach to the standard jazz repertoire. The trio will be joined on some tunes by special guest Ernesto Diaz on congas and percussion.

While Mr. Lockwood is perhaps foremost known in the New England region for his regular performances with The Fringe, Laszlo Gardony, George Garzone, Joe Maneri or Billy Pierce, he has also earned an outstanding international reputation throughout his career that includes performances with legends like Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard, and Gary Burton.

Mr. Lehmann has earned high recognition as drummer for acclaimed Boston-based ensembles Mango Blue, Natraj, the Luciana Souza Quintet, and the Katie Viqueira Group. Additionally, he has performed with artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Danilo Perez, Dave Samuels, Romero Lubambo, Kenny Werner and Claudio Roditi.

Pictures and further information are available on request.

Review in the Boston Herald, 3/7/03

Perez lives up to his extensive hype


Friday, March 7, 2003

Tony Perez, at Regattabar, Cambridge, last night.

It's a rare occurrence when the buzz on an up-and-coming artist understates the reality.

Pianist Tony Perez is one of those rarities.

While it's hard to call someone up-and-coming when they've performed with many of the greats in Cuban music, the 29-year old native of Havana is only now beginning to gain the recognition he deserves on the international stage.

For several years he has been a regular around the Hub, mostly at the Green Street Grill.

Last night, he traveled to Harvard Square and quickly thawed a small but ready crowd with some of the most astounding Latin jazz playing this side of Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

In fact, it's arguable that Perez now belongs in the company of those two Cuban piano giants.

It wasn't so much what Perez played - two originals and three covers in the first set - but how shockingly distinct and imaginative he made each song sound.

This was Afro-Cuban jazz at the highest level, and in his working ensemble of bassist John Lockwood, drummer Bertram Lehmann and percussionist Ernesto Diaz he had bandmates who knew how to generate passion and excitement with a simpatico phrase or response.

Perez handled piano duties with the vaunted Cuban band Irakere in the late '90s and has performed with Isaac Delgado, David Murray and the Fania All-Stars. He understands how to make the music dance, and last night, that's what he did on every song.

His originals, Encanto and La Diferencia, each built to intense, percussive moments before pulling back into a complex web of improvisations.

Several tunes from his latest CD, ``From Enchantment'' and ``Timba'' to ``Full Force Jazz,'' conveyed the range of his ideas, with Puerto Padre taking swirling polyrhythms into a jubilant salsa-fied finale.

A gorgeous, soulful rendition of Perfidio captured yet another side of Perez. Time and time again throughout the set, the pianist steered the band into a driving percussion-fueled territory that was as much about celebration as stunning execution.

Perez is the real deal and he's as entertaining and original as a virtuoso gets.

*Contact Bertram Lehmann for info about the Tony Perez Quartet; calendar, recordings or for GIGS...


Tony Pérez to play in Boston - May 20, 2005, One Night Only
Christ Church Cambridge, Zero Garden Street, Harvard Square
7:30 - 11:00 PM, Music, Dancing, Dinner
For information & tickets, call 617-494-9884/923-0057/864-4109

Tony Perez will play at Zero Garden Street with a special trio accompanying him, Friday, May 20th, for the Christ Church Cambridge Cuban Gala.

The Cuban Gala has been organized to support the sister school exchange between the Amigos School of Cambridge and the Jose Mateo Fonseca School of Cienfuegos. It will also support an Episcopal youth program of Calvary Church of Luyano, Havana.

As well, Christ Church hopes to convey through its Gala the excitement, love and enchantment they felt during their visit to Havana and Cienfuegos this past October.

To that end, the festivities start at 7:30 pm, with 

* Dance Lessons with the Havana Club Group

* Mojitos and softdrinks

* Cuban buffet 

* Sale of Cuban calendars and handicrafts

And then: 

* A two set show of Tony's unique music combining latin jazz and dance, a time to put aside all worries and differences, to relax, to enjoy, and to dance up a storm

* Music starts at 9 pm

Ticket Price: $20.00
The Cuba Gala, May 20

* Zero Garden Street
* Harvard Square
* Cambridge, MA 

7:30 to 11:00 pm

For information call:

617-494-9881, 617-923-0057, or 617-864-4109

Or purchase tickets by mail 
Send checks to: Zero Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, marked "cuba fundraiser" 



Tony Perez Trio

Tony Perez – piano
John Lockwood – bass
Bertram Lehmann – drums
guest: Ernesto Diaz – percussion


6:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

Emmanuel Church, Newbury Street (near the Public Garden), Downtown Boston. Tony Perez will present his intoxicating blend of Cuban Jazz, featuring music from his current GRAMMY 2003 nominated CD release "From Enchantment and Timba . . . to Full Force Jazz."


Thursday. October 3rd @ The Regattabar, Cambridge, MA



John Lockwood (bass)
Bertram Lehmann (drums)
special guest Ernesto Diaz (percussion)

8:30 p.m.

Cuban pianist Tony Perez performed on last year's Grammy Award winning recording La Rumba Soy Yo and has appeared with legendary artists such as Isaac Delgado, Klimax, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Celia Cruz.

"From Enchantment and Timba to Full Force Jazz"....a strong, stylistically varied effort that makes it clear why (Perez) is considered one of the hottest young Afro-Cuban pianists anywhere. - Boston Herald

"Trully, the enchantment is his prodigal piano skill with impecable chops, well-tempered jazz harmonies, and a classical edge.....full force jazz is what young Perez is creating.....the sparkle of his genius is his improvisational virtuosity.....Perez is a young captain, steering with keen talent and originality through some of the freshest jazz waters in the Caribbean. - National Public Radio

$12.00 For reservations call (617) 876-7777 or visit

The Ragatta Bar is located at Harvard Square, in The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, Ma.


February 1st, 2002

Contact: Makuta Music, (617) 335-3851,

"Tony Perez Trio" debuts at the Regattabar, Tuesday March 5th.

Featuring Tony Perez – piano; John Lockwood – bass; Bertram Lehmann – drums. Special Guest: Ernesto Diaz – Percussion.

Stellar Cuban pianist Tony Perez celebrates the release of his latest CD "From Enchantment and Timba to Full Force Jazz." In his premiere U.S. performance as a leader, the recent arrival from Havana leads a new trio project with seasoned Boston veterans John Lockwood on bass and Bertram Lehmann on drums at the Regattabar in Cambridge, 1 Bennet St., inside the Charles Hotel. The show starts a 8:30 and tickets are $12. For reservations call (617) 876-7777, or go to


nice write-up

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest
San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 3-6, 2004
Jazz Times

Cuban Pianist Tony Perez closed the evening with a super, high-energy group including saxophonist Jon Ball, bassist Charles Flores and special guests: drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and the reigning conga king Giovanni Hidalgo. Perez is an exiting and impressive player and this was a rare chance to see him in his element. Bassist Oscar Stagnaro (from the Berklee School) sat in for one number and played a melodic bass guitar solo. Giovanni played fast and furious on both timbal and congas and the band pulled off the rare combination of flash and substance.



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