Born: March 9 Primary Instrument: Piano
MARTIN BEJERANO ~~ piano
Martin Bejerano, a native of Miami, Florida, has been active as a professional musician since the age of fifteen, when he began his performance career playing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue concerto with the Mexican-American Bi-National Symphony while still in high school. A graduate of the esteemed New World School of the Art, he received a full scholarship to attend Florida State University, where he studied classical piano with Leonidas Lipovetsky, and jazz piano, composition, and arranging with Bill Peterson, whom he cites as one of his most important influences. He then went on to receive a Master’s degree from the University of Miami, also under full scholarship. During this time, Martin won third place in the nation in the prestigious 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, was chosen to attend the famed Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony, and had several compositions published in Ignacio Berroa's Groovin' in Clave instructional drum book.
In the summer of 2000, Bejerano decided a move to New York City was in order to further develop his career. The move turned out to be a good one, and, in less than a year, he was asked to join the quartet of legendary jazz drummer and Grammy award-winning artist Roy Haynes. The group has since gone on to perform across the world to high critical praise and accolades. The 2004 recording, Fountain of Youth, was nominated for a 2004 Grammy award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album--Martin’s first recording on a major label. In January 2002, Martin also joined internationally acclaimed guitarist Russell Malone’s quartet, contributing to Malone's last three recordings on MAXJAZZ, Playground (2004), Live At Jazz Standard Volume One (2006), and Live At Jazz Standard Volume Two (2007). Bejerano continues to tour and record with both these groups.
Martin continually astonishes audiences across the world, employing a serious technical command of the piano, a highly modern harmonic and rhythmic concept, and a commitment to lyricism and musicality, creating a truly expressive approach to improvising. Drawing on a multitude of musical genres, Bejerano has created a unique style that has the inherent quality of always continuing to evolve.
Having performed with esteemed artists as Roy Haynes, Russell Malone, Kenny Garrett, James Moody, Lonnie Plaxico, Jimmy Heath, Ignacio Berroa, Mingus Big Band, Marcus Printup, Marcus Strickland, and even trading choruses with the legendary Chick Corea, one can easily gain a sense of Bejerano’s formidable talent on the keyboard. Martin has performed at most of the major jazz festivals, clubs and venues around the world, and is proud to have toured with “Jazz Reach,” a non-profit organization that presents multimedia concerts for school children across the country, educating them on the history of jazz music as an American art form.
In 2006, producer and Reservoir record label owner Mark Feldman heard Martin perform at the Kingston Jazz Festival, approached him after the show, and soon after offered to produce Martin’s debut CD as a leader. Recorded and engineered by acclaimed engineer Jim Anderson at Avatar studios in NYC, Martin’s debut CD Evolution/Revolution was released in May 2007 to high critical praise. It quickly shot up to number nine on the Jazz Week Jazz Album Chart, which lists the top 50 jazz albums based on airplay.
Currently Martin resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Sherleen, performing, arranging, recording, and touring the U.S. and abroad. He is featured on several recent recordings, including Evolution/Revolution, Roy Haynes’s Fountain of Youth (2004), Russell Malone’s Playground (2004), Live at Jazz Standard Volume One (2006), Live At Jazz Standard Volume Two 2007), and Lonnie Plaxico Group’s Live at Jazz Standard.
AS A LEADER
Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC October 22, 2006.
Personnel: Martin Bejerano, piano; Edward Perez, bass; Ludwig Afonso, drums.
Tracks: 1) Blues Evolution (Bejerano) 6:09; 20 Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Sherman) 6:00; 3) Cubano Arrepentido (Bejerano) 6:53; 4) You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye, Depaul) 6:55; 5) Solar (Davis) 7:00; 6) Truth & Illusions (Bejerano) 5:29; 7) Bouncing With Bud (Powell) 5:49; 8) Monk’s Dream (Monk) 4:38; 9) Blues Revolution (Bejerano) 6:39.
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