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This 28 year old East Coast ensemble “has joined the pantheon of great latin jazz groups” says the 52nd Street Review. Veteran members have performed, recorded and toured extensively with jazz and Latin greats of the past and future: Lionel Hampton, Monguito Santamaria, Manny Oquendo, Miles Davis sideman Gary Thomas, Avishai Cohen’s International Vamp Band and Lonnie Plaxico to name a few. Each of their four recordings on the prestigious PALMETTO record label, are produced by Latin jazz luminary, Andy Gonzalez of FORT APACHE BAND fame. Their latest release ‘Radio Mundo’, played to raves from DOWNBEAT, JAZZ TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, LATIN BEAT and the LA PRESS. These recordings are heard everywhere on SiriusXM radio and other satellite and conventional radio stations around the world.
This legendary ten-piece ensemble features members that live and perform in Washington DC and Baltimore. They have performed all over the US – in the west including a week’s stint at the JAZZ BAKERY in LA, and Midwest, and continue to frequent jazz and dance clubs around the eastern seaboard including the BLUE NOTE in Manhattan and BIRDLAND ‘the jazz corner of the world’. Chosen as the best Latin Music Group by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) 15 times. They have appeared at major jazz festivals including the San Jose AAT Jazz Fest in California and Lake George Jazz weekend in upstate New York and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.
After performing together and sharing the stage with Latin greats like Tito Puente, the group caught the attention of Andy Gonzalez – considered to be one of Latin jazz’s greatest bassists. Andy has produced and is a featured guest on each of their recordings. ‘MAMACITA’, their second CD, was a breakthrough success receiving generous amounts of airplay on jazz and Latin stations around the country. One month in 1998 ‘MAMACITA’ made top ten on radio stations in LA, San Francisco, Puerto Rico and Miami simultaneously according to polls in LATIN BEAT magazine. PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL honored the group by selecting ‘MAMACITA’ as one of the ten best recordings of 1997. Their third release, ‘ESPIRITISTA’ was chosen by WBGO in New York City as one of the ten best Latin records of 1999. Their 2001 release ‘RADIO MUNDO’ has received outstanding critical acclaim and was selected as one of the year’s ten best CD’s by JAZZIZ Magazine.
The band continues to forge its own synthesis of jazz and instrumental Latin dance music described as “a style of their own making”. Meanwhile they continue to make what LATIN BEAT magazine has called ‘the finest dancing and listening music possible’.