Kris Davis and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Quartet to Perform at Dizzy’s Club NYC

By 
Eugene Ahn
October 31, 2019
Press release
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The critically acclaimed pianist will lead an ensemble of top players from the institute in a performance on Monday, November 11.

Kris Davis and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Quartet
Kris Davis and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Quartet
Image by Alex Kawasaki

Kris Davis and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Quartet will perform at Dizzy’s Club NYC on Monday, November 11. Davis, associate program director of creative development at the institute, will lead an ensemble of top players from the institute in this special performance. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets for this performance are available now at jazz.org.

The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice focuses on the role that jazz plays in the larger struggle for gender justice, with a focus to recruit, teach, mentor, and advocate for musicians seeking to study jazz, with gender equity as a guiding principle. Founded by Terri Lyne Carrington, who also serves as the artistic director, the institute seeks to engage in the mission of making an important and long-lasting cultural shift in jazz and other music communities.

The group performing at Dizzy’s includes top student instrumentalists Milena Casado, flugelhorn and trumpet (Spain); Camila Cortina, piano (Cuba); Saul Ojeda, bass (Mexico); and Ivanna Cuesta Gonzalez, drums (Dominican Republic). The group will perform the music of a wide range of women composers, including Carrington, Davis, Marilyn Crispell, and others. The students will also perform a composition of their own, written expressly for this engagement.

Pianist and composer Davis was named 2017 Rising Star Pianist and 2018 Rising Star Artist in Downbeat magazine. A New York Times article remarked, “One method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis.”

“I am thrilled to be both presenting and performing with the students from the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice,” says Davis. “I am deeply impressed at the level of musicianship our students possess and look forward to presenting a challenging program of both student compositions and jazz luminaries.”

To date, Davis has released 12 recordings as a leader. Her 2016 release, Duopoly, made the New York Times, Pop Matters, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and Jazz Times best albums of 2016 lists. The recipient of the Doris Duke Impact award in 2015, Davis composed original works for the Shifting Foundation, the Jazz Gallery/Jerome Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Davis collaborates with artists such as John Zorn, Tyshawn Sorey, Ingrid Laubrock, Julian Lage, Mary Halvorson, and Terri Lyne Carrington, among others.

Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Quartet:

Milena Casado (flugelhorn, trumpet player, and composer) grew up in Spain, where she started her career studying classical music. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend Berklee, where she is currently studying with Danilo Pérez, artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, along with Joe Lovano and Ben Street, and at the Berklee Jazz and Gender Justice Institute with Terri Lyne Carrington.

Casado has performed with musicians such as Kenny Werner, John Patitucci, Melissa Aldana, Carrington, and Ralph Peterson, Jr., and others at renowned venues such as Blue Note NYC, Dizzy's Club NYC, the Jazz Standard, Washington D.C. Jazz Festival, and the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Camila Cortina (pianist, music educator, musicologist, and composer) was born in Havana, Cuba, where she studied classical piano and theoretical subjects at Amadeo Roldan Conservatoire, and later majored in musicology with summa cum laude distinction at the Higher Institute of Arts. In Cuba, she collaborated with musicians such as Joaquín Betancourt and Bobby Carcasses, and was invited several times to perform at JoJazz Festival opening concerts and the 2008 Jazz Plaza Festival.

Cortina has performed as pianist and music director of different bands across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, performing at the Bali Jazz Festival, Singjazz, Jazz by the Bay, and Borneo Jazz Festival. In 2018, she was a recipient of a full scholarship to Berklee, and relocated to Boston to further her career in jazz performance and jazz composition.

Saul Ojeda (bass) was born in Mexico City, and has performed at festivals such as Polanco Jazz Festival, Quimera Festival, Festival Internacional JazzUV, Encuentro Nacional de Jazz; and at venues including Zinco Jazz Club, Parker and Lennox, Foro Indie Rocks, San Ildefonso, and more. At age 21 he was awarded the prestigious Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Talent Scholarship, as well as additional scholarships, to attend Berklee.

Ivanna Cuesta Gonzalez (drums) was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and has performed at events such as the Dominican Jazz Festival, the musical High School Music on Stage!, Soberano Awards 2015, Santo Domingo Jazz Festival Casa De Teatro, and Stella Artois Fest. In 2015 she received a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, where she pursues a dual major in performance and contemporary writing and production.

Gonzalez has played with artists such as Leo Blanco, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, the Nando Michelin Quartet, Tia Fuller, Jane Bunette, Maqueque, and Sona Jobarteh. She studied with Neal Smith, Carrington, Francisco Mela, and more.

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