ALBUQUERQUE – The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is pleased to announce a concert by Gabriel Alegría’s Afro-Peruvian Sextet on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 8 pm.  The NHCC is located at 1701 4th Street SW on the corner of 4th Street and Avenida César Chávez.  Tickets are $15, $20, $25 and can be purchased at Ticektmaster outlets, or in person at the NHCC box office.  Prior to the concert the Center’s restaurant La Fonda del Bosque will be open for dinner from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  Reservations can be made by calling 505-247-9480.  The Center’s art museum will also have extended hours that evening from 5 pm to 7:30 pm.  

Gabriel Alegría, one of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Peru, was born into an artistic family in Lima in 1970.  His grandfather, Ciro, was Peru’s most famous novelist, and his father, Alonso, is the country’s most highly acclaimed playwright.  Alegría combines his experience playing jazz as it developed in the United States with a passionate interest in, and careful study of, the black music of coastal Peru.  By exploring and incorporating the common African roots found in both styles, he has developed a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz concept in which the rich legacy of coastal Peru can be heard in a contemporary jazz context.  In all of Alegría’s work, a cross-cultural exchange between the Americas is always present, carefully defining Afro-Peruvian jazz as the newest musical voice to come from Latin America.

During the course of a career that has spanned the globe, Alegría has appeared in concert and/or on recordings with Maria Schneider, Plácido Domingo, Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, Natalie Cole, The Peruvian National Symphony, Bill Watrous, John Tomas, Russ Ferrante, and Alex Acuña.  Most recently, he completed the groundbreaking “Tour Peru,” a new model in touring that included 40 fans who accompanied the Afro-Peruvian Sextet throughout the country.  He has also performed concerts for the United Nations and various diplomatic missions from around the world, and in 2005 conducted and recorded Didier Lockwood’s Afro-Peruvian jazz opera Libertad, commissioned by Radio France and Opera Montpellier.  The Afro-Peruvian Sextet has appeared in over 300 concerts and master classes throughout North America.

Alegría is the founder and artistic director of Jazz Perú Internacional (JPI), the premier jazz arts and cultural exchange organization in his homeland, which allows numerous artists, students, and music fans to tour internationally, as well as producer of the annual Festival Internacional Jazz Perú.  Currently Associate Director of Jazz Studies at New York University, he earned a doctorate 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.  

The National Hispanic Cultural is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Hispanic culture at the state, national and international levels.  NHCC is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.