LEWISTON – A trio led by pianist-composer Danilo Pérez, whom The New York Times called “one of the best things that happened to jazz around the turn of the millennium,” will open the 2008-09 Bates College Concert Series Thursday, Sept. 11.

Featuring a lively blend of jazz, Latin and classical music, the college’s flagship series of musical events will also present Pablo Aslan’s Avantango, a noted tango revival troupe; the Assad Brothers, renowned guitarists; and Germany’s Auryn Quartet, in a two-evening stand that begins the group’s multiyear presentation of the complete Beethoven string quartets at Bates.

All four performances will take place at 8 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Tickets are $10 general admission, $4 for students and seniors; they are available at www.batestickets.com and by calling 786-6135. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

Panamanian musician Pérez ranks among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. In just over a decade, his distinctive Pan-American jazz – blending the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music – has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences.

Pérez has toured with Wynton Marsalis and is a member of the Wayne Shorter Quartet. Since the early ’90s, he has received Grammy nominations for recordings like “Motherland,” which was also a three-time winner of “Best Jazz Album” in the Boston Music Awards. Learn more at www.daniloperez.com.

Here’s more on other performers in the upcoming concert series:

Pablo Aslan’s Avantango, Sept. 26: Led by bassist Aslan, this troupe of Argentine natives residing in New York City comprises six musicians and four dancers, plus a guest singer. Mixing the legendary music of Astor Piazzolla with contemporary themes and rhythms, the ensemble reclaims the tango as a living tradition, while incorporating jazz improvisation and turning historic cliches upside down.

A New York Daily News critic wrote that Avantango “uncovered a colorful, bristling range of musical possibilities … harnessing jazz improvisation to take off in some suggestive, fascinating musical directions.” Avantango members have toured with such artists as Shakira, Yo Yo Ma and Julio Iglesias, and has appeared on the National Geographic television special “Tango!” narrated by Robert Duvall. Learn more at www.avantango.com.

The Assad Brothers, Jan. 31: Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad have set new standards of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Equally at home in South American, European Baroque and contemporary art music, the duo has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Fernando Suarez Paz, Paquito D’Rivera, Gidon Kremer, Dawn Upshaw and the Turtle Island String Quartet.

Auryn String Quartet, Feb. 5-6: Recently celebrating 26 years of continuous membership, this quartet based in Cologne, Germany, reflects a “European tradition that blends elegance of sound with seamless phrasing and clarity of detail,” in the words of a writer for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer.

Having presented the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets in Germany, Italy and Washington, D.C., the quartet begins a three-year Beethoven cycle for Bates, offering two concerts per season. Learn more at www.aurynquartet.com.


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