A native Miamian with Cuban roots, Martin Bejerano had become a professional pianist by the age of 15, performing George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" with a symphony orchestra, while attending the acclaimed New World School of the Arts in Miami. Along with jazz, he studied classical piano with Leonidas Lipovetsky at Florida State University, then earned a master’s degree from the University of Miami. In 1999, Martin finished third in the prestigious Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and qualified to attend the famed Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony. Then he got seriously busy.
Ten years ago, at the prodding of renowned drummer Ignacio Berroa, Martin Bejerano joined that near-obligatory jazz musician’s migration to New York to see just where he stood with his talent. Venerable drummer Roy Haynes selected him to join his new Fountain of Youth band where Martin flourishes to this day as he tours the globe with this legendary figure. Martin also joined guitarist Russell Malone’s quartet, and continues to tour and record with both groups as he strives to carve out a solo career with his own trio. He recorded an exceptional debut CD, Evolution/Revolution (2007, Reservoir) that was reviewed on the South Florida JAZZ website. His trio features Edward Perez on bass and Ludwig Afonso on drums.
Martin astonishes audiences across the world with his extraordinary piano technique. But more importantly, he couples a highly modern harmonic and rhythmic concept with his overarching commitment to lyricism and musicality, creating a truly expressive approach to improvisation. Bejerano has created a unique style that continues to evolve. While apparently influenced by Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and perhaps Brad Mehldau, his concept is original, not derivative, the kiss of death for a maturing talent. He has held his own on the bandstand with Kenny Garrett, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, and also young lions like Marcus Printup and Marcus Strickland, and has not been intimidated; but in fact he has thrived and grown.
South Florida JAZZ is very proud to present this concert during which Martin Bejerano and his trio will premier Potential Energy Suite, a composition commissioned by Chamber Music America for a 2010 grant awarded to Martin by that organization. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provide funding of the CMA grants.
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by a grant from the Broward County Board of County