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Pianist/composer Danilo Peréz celebrates the historical diversity of his Panamanian heritage with a firm touch and an epic reach – the album title marks the 500th anniversary of Vasco Núñez de Balboa founding the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, and there is a three-part “Canal Suite”. As compositions unfold through multiple moods and influences, Peréz marshals classical strings and music from the indigenous Guna people, Panamanian percussion and flights of upscale modern jazz featuring Wayne Shorter’s rhythm section among the core personnel.