"We Always Swing"® Jazz Series presents

Hilaro Durán & Jane Bunnett w/ Candido Camero

Photo Credit Danilo Navas

This season’s Dr. Carlos Perez-Mesa Memorial Concert brings together three tremendously engaging artists in a small-group setting. Two, pianist Hilario Durán, the Cuban native turned Toronto transplant, and saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett, the native Torontonian, have participated in this special Jazz Series event previously – and separately – each leading their own bands. In Durán’s case his trio “hosted” the Perez-Mesa concert five years ago; as for Bunnett, she and her vivacious Spirits of Havana ensemble appeared during the 2003/2004 season. Having the two musicians share the stage is not uncommon at all; they have been doing so for more than two decades. They recently released Cuban Rhapsody (Alma), a gorgeous duo collaboration filled with classical-and-folkloric elements enveloped in their combined jazz roots. Not surprisingly, Cuban Rhapsody has been nominated for a 2012 Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of the GRAMMY®.

“On Cuban Rhapsody the [Duran-Bunnett] match proves to be a magical affair, as they offer performances that are lively yet intimate, adventurous yet lyrical.” – allmusic.com

“Bunnett’s expressive tone on soprano sax shines… From start to finish, Cuban Rhapsody has a perfect balance of elegance and virtuosity.” – Jazz Inside


For those who attended or heard about last season’s Perez-Mesa concert with Chucho Valdés, perhaps his take on his fellow countryman and pianist might encourage you to attend this event: “Hilario Durán is an unparalleled pianist, as well as being a composer and arranger of the first order…one of the greatest Cuban pianists of the 20th century.” — Chucho Valdés


Listening to a Bunnett-Durán Duo concert is enough to excite and engage audiences on its own, but for this year’s Perez-Mesa event, the musicians’ appearance will be greatly augmented by 91-year-old Candido Camero. The master and seminally influential conguero moved from his native Cuba to New York City in 1946 putting him smack in the middle of the then-bourgeoning Bebop Movement.

Almost instantly word of Candido’s arrival spread and he became a hot property, working with such premier jazz and Latin icons as: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra and the great Mario Bauza. Candido's uncanny ability to anchor bands of all sizes, from trios to orchestras – and do so with flare – earned him the respect of musicians and critics alike. Heralded as the father of the technique known as “coordinated independence,” the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master designate – stands as one of the preeminent procreators of the conga. He, more than anyone else, is the person who expanded the instrument’s presence, moving it front and center – first using two then three, finely tuned drums simultaneously. Add Candido to a Durán and Bunnett a concert and it becomes an event with exceptional possibilities.

The concert is sure to sellout quickly given that it is purposely set in the more intimate Whitmore Recital Hall, in MU’s Fine Arts Building and timed to serve as the unofficial opening of Cultural Bricolage, the Cuban-centric interdisciplinary conference that runs Nov. 11-13, 2012. The Jazz Series is pleased to collaborate with the conference that is centered on Ediciones Vigia, a collective of artists located in Matanzas, Cuba, that publishes unique, handcrafted art-object books.

Saturday, Nov 10, 2012

"Jazz in the District"

Doors: 6 p.m. | Start: 7 p.m.

“Hilario Durán is an unparalleled pianist, as well as being a composer and arranger of the first order…one of the greatest Cuban pianists of the 20th century”.

- Chucho Valdés

Hilaro Durán & Jane Bunnett w/ Candido

Hilaro Durán: Piano
Jane Bunnett: Alto saxophone, Flute
Candido Camero: Congas

Press Photos