Colombian-born pianist/composer Gabriel Guerrero fearlessly navigates the breadth of modern music, imbuing his performances with rhythmic and harmonic influences from South America to the avant-garde and the rich expanses of jazz. Guerrero elevates his music with a deeper understanding of his roots, adding his own aesthetic and emotional weight to every phrase. Speaking of the drive, direction and roots of music rather than style, Gabriel moved from his native rhythms, contemporary improvisation and the avant-garde to the traditions of Be-Bop and Jazz.
In 2023 Gabriel Guerrero releases “Equilibrio” on the Origin Records Label. The record showcases Guerrero’s refinement as a composer/arranger/producer with ten originals; the music was influenced in part by the journey of personal growth and self-discovery, incorporating experiences from moments such as “Present Moment”, “Permanent Diversion”, and “Belong”. The album features New York-based QUΔΠTUM band with Seth Trachy/sax, Will Slater/bass and Felix Lecaros/drums. This recording was made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts’ “New Work Grant”.
In the year 2020 amid, the lockdown, Guerrero released the video/single “Eternal Wind” which was recorded remotely, featuring Argentinean bassist Marcelo Torres and drummer Rudy Royston. In 2021, during the pandemic, Guerrero was invited to be a presenter with the Queens Public Library in New York, providing a monthly live streaming solo piano concerts via the library’s Instagram profile.
Guerrero’s 2012 debut album on Surca Music, features seven original songs and two arrangements. Musicians on the album include the Gabriel Guerrero Trio featuring Jorge Roeder-bass, Eric Doob-drums, plus other line ups including Jerry Bergonzi-sax, Bruce Gertz-bass, among others. The album draws from Colombian rhythms such as Porro, Bullerengue, as well as contemporary jazz songs showcasing Guerrero’s strong intellect and versatility on his writing and arranging. As a sideman Gabriel can be heard on “Power of Love” the debut record by Herbie Hancock’s long time drummer Gene Jackson’s Trio NuYorx released on Whirlwind Recordings in 2018 as well as four Bruce Gertz Quintet recordings featuring Jerry Bergonzi, and “Panama Suite” (Artist Share 2008) by the Danilo Perez Big Band featuring Danilo Perez on electric piano and Gabriel on acoustic piano plus a 19-piece big band.
Guerrero has performed/recorded with Dave Holland, Paquito D’ Rivera, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove, George Garzone, Mike Mainieri, Esperanza Spalding, Adam Nusbaum, Gene Jackson, Dafnis Prieto, John Riley, Mike Clark, Bob Moses, Anthony Branker, Gregg Bissonette, Jamey Haddad. He has also put together various musical projects such as SURCA, a multi-cultural quartet dedicated to expanding on South American rhythms and avant-garde jazz.
In Colombia, Gabriel studied classical piano from age five before moving to New York in 1998 to study at Hunter College winning the Concerto/Aria Competition performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K444 with the Hunter Symphony Orchestra. In year 2000 Gabriel won a scholarship to study at The New England Conservatory of Music earning both a Bachelors and a Masters degree studying with Danilo Perez, Steve Lacy, Fred Hersch, Jerry Bergonzi, and Charlie Banacos. Other teachers include Ran Blake, James Moody, Rufus Reid, and George Russell.
Gabriel made several TV appearances on Colombian TV since an early age through his teens performing both solo and with his band. Gabriel has participated in Jazz festivals in Europe, Colombia, and USA such as Ploiesti Jazz Festival (Romania) Angel City Jazz Festival, Red Hook Jazz Festival, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Lily Pad Piano Festival, IAJE Jazz Convention, KoSA Festival, Ravinia Festival, UIS International Piano Festival, Jazz al Parque, and performed in important venues such as Birdland Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery, Smalls Jazz Club, Regattabar, Scullers Jazz Club, Hard Rock Cafe, ShapeShifter Lab, Greenwich House Inc, as well as taught clinics at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and Universities in Colombia such as EAFIT University, Universidad Industrial de Santander among others.
Gabriel is deeply attracted to the idea of unpredictability and surprise in jazz, which he feels is absolutely critical to artistic expression. Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi appreciates this adventurous quality in Gabriel’s playing. ” Gabriel Guerrero brings fresh ideas to his music, he says, When I think he is going left he goes right and when I think he is going right he goes left. He always surprises me, which I love. He brings his Latin Culture to the music in his own inventive way. He is a real improviser.”