Born: 1962 Primary Instrument: Piano
Edsel Gomez - pianist
Edsel Gomez is today one of the premier Latin Jazz pianists in the world.
Born in Puerto Rico in 1962, he began piano studies at age five. He grew up in a musical environment that allowed him to master afro-caribbean rhythms in depth, working since childhood with an incredible array of Latin music idols such as Marvin Santiago, Celia Cruz, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Santitos Colon, Cheo Feliciano, Roberto Roena, Willie Colon, Ismael Rivera Jr., Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Olga Guillot, Lola Flores, Marco Antonio Muñiz, among many others.
He gained a Bachelor of Music Degree at Berklee College of Music with a Count Basie Award for outstanding musicianship in 1985 while expanding his performance credits working with such renowned jazz artists as Gary Burton, Claudio Roditi, Bill Pierce, Don Byron, Chick Corea and Jerry Gonzalez among many others.
Relocated to Brazil from 1986 to 1996 he studied extensively Brazilian Music and worked accompanying such renown artists as Cauby Peixoto, Wilson Simonal, Paulinho da Viola, Amelinha, Caetano Veloso, Joao Bosco, Lucinha Lins, Angela Maria and Trombonist Raul de Souza, recording de Souza’s “The Other Side of the Moon.”
Within the Brazilian landscape he worked as a Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor/Musical Director of Broadway-like shows, educator, and producer and managed his own recording studio/production company. Within a short time, most Brazilian musicians considered him “one of ours.” Gomez’s personal approach to fusing jazz, Latin and Brazilian music gives him a unique personality and musical voice.
Since relocating to New York in 1997, he has been featured in saxophonist David Sanchez’s albums, “Obsesion,” ”Melaza,” “Travesia,” and a fourth, “Coral” which won the Latin Grammy; (with the Prague Radio Symphony Orch) Clarinetist Don Byron’s “Tuskeegee Experiments,” (‘94) “Music for Six Musicians” and “You are Number Six;”Richard Bona’s “Scenes from my life,” and “Reverence” (Sony/Columbia) and has toured extensively around the world.
Edsel works around the world as Dee Dee Bridgewater’s pianist/arranger, along with new proyects that include Jack DeJohnette’s “Latin Project,” featuring Giovanni Hidalgo, Don Byron, Luisito Quintero and Jerome Harris; Conrad Herwig’s Latin side of Miles, “Another Kind of Blue-Live at the Blue Note,” and “The Latin Side of Coltrane,” featuring Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin, Brian Lynch, Richie Flores, Mario Rivera, Robbie Ammeen and John Benitez, and a collaboration with Vocalist Janis Siegel.
Edsel has released an album dedicated to the music of Chico Buarque “Celebrating Chico Buarque de Hollanda,” (‘99) and recorded a new album, “Cubist Music,” (Zoho Music, 2006) produced by Don Byron, featuring Edsel’s original compositions reflecting his own improvisational concept based on Cubist Art, performed by a stellar group comprised of clarinetist Don Byron, saxophonists David Sanchez, Steve Wilson, Greg Tardy, and Miguel Zenon, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Bruce Cox. This record has been very well received and is reviewed here @allaboutjazz.