Hailed by Jazz Times magazine for his “great dexterity,” and cited by critic Thomas Conrad for his musicality, New York bassist and composer Edward Perez is sought by fellow musicians for his creativity and experience in a great diversity of musical styles. In addition to his work with his own jazz quintet and his role as musical director of the afro-Peruvian band, Alcatraz, Perez’s bass lines have been the choice of a stunning array of bandleaders including jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy, latin-jazz Grammy nominees Hector Martignon and Jane Bunnett, Colombian singer Lucia Pulido, trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller of the Canadian Brass, and a host of modern jazz musicians including Martin Bejerano, Anat Cohen, Javier Vercher, Misha Piatigorsky, and Gilad Hekselman.
Perez’s unique sound as a composer traces back to the combination of his grounding in modern jazz and straight ahead combined with insight on percussion and traditional afro-latin music gleaned from his two years in Lima as well as his experience with latin jazz heavyweights of New York City. His second album as a bandleader, featuring his own compositions as played by Eli Degibri, Misha Piatigorsky, Willard Dyson, Arturo Stable, and guests Sofia Koutsovitis and Morris Cañete, will be realesed in late spring 2008. Perez also directs Alcatraz, an afro-Peruvian band that has released a self-titled album and has performed throughout the northeastern US.
As a sideman and bassist, Perez has performed in virtually all of New York’s most venerated jazz venues (including the Blue Note, Lincoln Center, Jazz Standard, Iridium, Dizzy's, Jazz Gallery, Zinc Bar, Smalls, Smoke, Fat Cat, Tonic, 55 Bar, and Nuyorican Poets Café) and he has toured throughout Europe and South America, including appearances in major jazz festivals such as Vitoria, Moers, and Palau de la Musica (Valencia), as well as world music festivals such as Stimmen and Rudolstadt. In addition to the aforementioned bandleaders, Perez has shared the stage or recorded with such contemporary jazz luminaries as Seamus Blake, Lionel Loueke, Miguel Zenón, Ari Hoenig, and Perico Sambeat.
Perez began studying bass and piano early, and by age 13, he was a member of the symphony orchestra of his hometown in southern Texas. Two years later, he left to study music at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where he graduated as valedictorian, played in the school’s award winning big band (Downbeat Magazine 1994), and received recognition from the NFAA for jazz performance. Perez later studied applied mathematics at Harvard University, graduating cum laude. In his collegiate years, he simultaneously got an education in jazz by playing frequently in Boston’s nightspots, including a stretch as the house bassist at Wally's Jazz Cafe, repeatedly the winner of Best of Boston magazine's award for best jazz club.