A pianist with astounding technique and boundless imagination, Alex Mercado is acclaimed for his ability to write striking compositions and create vibrant sonic landscapes that have resonated with critics and audiences alike in his native Mexico. On Symbiosis, his second trio recording after 2012’s The Watcher, Alex takes us on a journey through a vibrant musical world full of engaging melodies and the dynamic improvisations that typify the finest in contemporary modern jazz. Featuring Antonio Sanchez & Scott Colley, and being selected as one of Downbeat Magazine Editors’ Picks for 2014, the album will introduce jazz aficionados outside Mexico to a virtuoso instrumentalist without peer in his homeland where he is the “1st Call” pianist of choice for Magos Herrera, Sachal Vasandani, Bryan Lynch, Camila Meza and other visiting artists. Alex’s career highlights to date include being commissioned in 2010 to arrange and perform as the featured soloist in the orchestral opening to Sir Elton John’s concert at Chichen Itza with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra; participating in 2011 as an arranger/composer on singer Magos Herrera’s album Mexico Azul, recorded in NYC with John Patitucci, Adam Rogers, Tim Hagans and Luis Perdomo; and being chosen in 2012 by the Mexican government to inaugurate with a solo piano concert the iconic City Of The Books, one of Mexico City’s most important and historic landmarks.
I had the honor of speaking with Mr. Mercado ahead of his show on September 27th at Cafe Coda in Madison, Wisconsin. We spoke about the trio he has playing his music off of his four recordings. We dive mind first into how the music transcends entertainment and becomes a spiritual thing, each note taking on a different personality…. a rebirth, when different musicians join him, especially in a live setting. I found myself spellbound at times listening to Alex describe the nuances of a song’s journey, and how the energy that we create together, artists and listener, can create an adjustment to our spirit.
The trio for the evening of 9/27 in Madison is as follows:
Alex Mercado – Piano
Bob DeBoo – Bass
Rodrigo Villanueva – Drums