A HANKERING for a pisco sour led Daniel Susnjar (pictured) to find his life’s purpose in a New York club.
While studying music at the University of Miami in 2010, he made a brief visit to the Big Apple where he discovered Afro-Peruvian jazz and set the course of his celebrated drumming career.
“A friend said: ‘Why don’t we go out to this Afro-Peruvian jazz club that has this really nice drink called a pisco sour, a famous Peruvian cocktail’,” the Dianella muso and WAAPA teacher said.
“I didn’t know what Afro-Peruvian jazz was at that time, so we went to the club and a friend of his was playing and we had a drink and hung out and then another band played called the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet. That band blew my mind and it has changed my life.”
Susnjar introduced himself to Alegría and asked for some charts or recordings so he could learn the music.
“I started learning the music, just out of the sheer love of what I heard, and then a few months later I took another visit to NY and called Alegria as I wanted to see him play again,” Susnjar said.
“And he said: ‘Our drummer is sick and can’t make the gig – you know the music, could you play?’.
“I said: ‘Yeah, sure’ – and that was my induction into Afro Peruvian jazz performance.” WHAT:
Live Spark album launch
WHERE: Ellington Jazz Club
WHEN: April 12