Renowned drummer, percussionist and educator Jorge Perez-Albela is excited to announce the release of The Time is Now, Out July 10th. Noted for his skilled work as a sideman with such artists as Maria Schneider, Bert Seager, Danilo Perez, Sofia Rei and Sissy Castrogiovanni, Perez-Albela offers audiences his first foray as a bandleader. This spirited amalgam of the percussionist’s jazz influences and his South American roots includes rhythms from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Africa and India. The Time is Now features vocalist Jorge’s spouse Sissy Castrogiovanni, pianist Tim Ray, bassist Jesse Williams, guest artists saxophonist Lihi Haruvi, vocalist Santiago Paredes, trumpeter Phil Grenadier alongside Jorge on drum set, Peruvian cajon, percussion and vocals. The album was been recorded and mixed by Grammy winning sound engineer Rob Griffin.
The ten tracks that make up The Time is Now reflect an array of musical traditions and are tied together by a jazz sensibility. Inspired by the saying “Music unites us. Music connects us to truth”, Jorge spreads that message with music that sees no border and is rife with emotion.
The album begins with a track entitled “The Mirror”. “This track is a journey from duality to communion, reflecting upon the idea that we’re trapped in a world of conflicting opposites. We demonize the other and sanctify ourselves, without realizing, we’re all part of the same. The song invites us to connect from the heart, embracing our commonalities and seeking the best in one another,” said Perez-Albela, reflecting on the origins of the album. The piece begins with the rhythmic musings of Pérez-Albela, ushering in Sissy Castrogiovanni’s fervent, passionate voice. Pianist Tim Ray improvises, demonstrating his stunning lyrical melodic invention.
“A Mis Padres” is a tribute to Jorge’s parents. The lyric “I want to be the light in you” refers to the reflection of love between parents and children. The lyrics honor Jorge’s parents legacy, their lifelong search for truth, growth and trust in one’s calling. Beginning with a stripped down bass, cajon and vocals trio and expanding to a full-ensemble piece, the track demonstrates the group’s stellar dynamic sensibilities. The track also features wonderful solos by pianist Tim Ray and bassist Jesse Williams and demonstrates the power behind Sissy Castrogiovanni’s impassioned vocals.
The repeated ostinato figure and fiery vocals from Sissy go far in creating the moody atmosphere of “El Reto”. Jorge wrote “El Reto” during a particularly challenging portion of his life. Themes of isolation, despair, and hope intersect. At the beginning, the lyrics evoke the fear of a challenge, perceived as insurmountable. But as the song progresses, lies hope and the conviction that everything passes. “Your belly announces the dawn” is a metaphor for rebirth.The chorus, a powerhouse of courage and hope, carries the message that we are not alone. When we trust the process and embrace others’ loving support, we can get through the toughest times.
“Hope (The Time Is Now)”, the album’s final track, encapsulates the energy of the full release. The lyrics “Hear your heart, my heart, our hearts, the time is now” are an invitation to live in accordance with our wise inner selves. The track is as much of an admission of hope as it is a call to action to never silence our inner voices; to live and to share your talents, passion and vision.
More About the Artist:
Born in Lima, Peru, Jorge Pérez-Albela began playing drums at age 16. He comes from a long line of musicians and educators that includes Isidoro Purizaga, Rafael “Pocho” Purizaga and Kike Purizaga. In the early 1990’s Jorge kept a busy schedule performing with Latin Grammy-winning singers Gian Marco and Eva Ayllón. Perez-Albela began his studies in Afro-Peruvian music and it’s staple percussion instrument, the cajón around this time.
In 1994, following his passion for jazz, Pérez-Albela relocated to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music; later he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute and obtained his Masters Degree in jazz performance.
Jorge has performed or recorded with Grammy-winning artists including Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez and Ruben Blades, as well world renown George Garzone, Avishai Cohen, Sofia Rei, Claudia Acuna, Tania Libertad, Mili Bermejo, Joey Blake, Sissy Castrogiovanni, Tal Gamlieli, Roni Eytan, Daniel Blake, Grace Kelly, Jason Palmer, Tim Ray, Geoffrey Keezer, Bert Seager, Jarrett Cherner, Kevin Harris, Marco Pignataro, Juan Medrano “Cotito”, Claudio Ragazzi, Eric Kurimski, Bruce Bartlett, Yuri Juarez, John Lockwood, Rufus Reid, Eddie Gomez, and Jorge Roeder.