Monday, September 29, 2008

"Mambo Caliente" will heat up Nashville Jazz Orchestra October 9 at Vanderbilt

Guest artists Oscar Hernandez, Marc Quinones, Bobby Allende, Gordon Goodwin, Dalia Garcia, Lalo Davila, Glen Caruba, others

From the Nashville Jazz Orchestra:
The Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University will host "MAMBO CALIENTE", a night of explosive New York style Latino Jazz by the NASHVILLE JAZZ ORCHESTRA in the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2007, at 8:00 pm.

The concert will feature New York pianist and arranger OSCAR HERNANDEZ playing compositions made famous by his classic Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Mr. Hernandez and NJO will be joined by Pearl Percussion artists MARC QUINONES and BOBBY ALLENDE, who will also play Latin style arrangements by Gordon Goodwin, and others.

NJO Director Jim Williamson will also welcome special guests DALIA GARCIA, LALO DAVILA, and GLEN CARUBA on vocals and percussion. Pearl Drums USA and American Airlines are co-sponsors for this event. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, VU faculty & staff, seniors 65 & over, students with ID, and $5 for VU Students. Tickets will be available at the Ingram Center box office the night of the performance.


OSCAR HERNANDEZ is a major figure in Salsa and Latin Jazz music as a pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and producer. His current band, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra has been nominated twice for Grammies, and won for their CD "Across 110th Street". Born in Manhattan in 1954, he got his musical start in a South Bronx boys club and was captivated by the piano style of Eddie Palmieri and the salsa revolution of the 60’s. His talent quickly matured and by the early 1980's, Oscar was responsible for charting the musical course of the Rubén Blades Band, now known as Seis Del Solar. He produced such artists as Willie Colón, Daniel Ponce, Rafael Dejesus, Eddie Torres, Phil Hernandez, and Steve Kroon, etc. His recording and performing credits include world renowned artists like Latin music king Tito Puente, Salsa Music Queen Celia Cruz, Latin Pop Star Julio Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Willie Colon, Ray Barreto, Johnny Pacheco, Ismael Miranda, Pete"Conde" Rodríquez, Oscar De'leon, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, jazz artists Earl Klugh and Dave Valentin, and the bands "Libre" and "Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino". More recently, Oscar has been Musical Director, Arranger, and Conductor for several Broadway musicals, including “The Capeman,” by pop-rock icon Paul Simon. He is currently working on a Broadway production of "The Mambo Kings". Oscar has scored several films, and as pianist/arranger/producer his commercial client list includes the hit show “Sex and the City”, Dunkin Donuts, Waldbaums, General Motors, and many others.

For the last five years his Spanish Harlem Orchestra has expressed his passion for the sound of the great Afro-Cuban jazz bands of the 1940's and 50's. Their classic sound has won awards and acclaim as one of best salsa orchestras in the world.

MARC QUINONES is currently the featured percussionist with the legendary Allman Brothers Band.

Born in The Bronx, New York, he began playing drums and congas at the age of three and was playing professionally at the age of nine. He played timbale with Latin stars like Tito Puente and was an original member of Los Rumberitos. After high school, he spent the next five years in salsa master Willie Colón's band, playing every percussion instrument and becoming musical director of the band for two years. He then spent two years playing with popular vocalist Rubén Blades as well as playing on and touring for David Byrne's Latin music Rei Momo project. In 1989 Quiñones joined the jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra for two years. In 1991, he was recruited to join The Allman Brothers Band where he plays alongside set drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson. In between tours, Quinones plays with various salsa bands, including the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and works as a session musician for albums, television soundtracks, and commercials.

BOBBY ALLENDE leads the Afro-Cuban jazz band called "Ocho Y Mas", which also features Quinones. Their latest CD is “Juega Billar”. Born and raised in New York City, Bobby's foundation in Afro-Cuban percussion began at the age of three. His performances with Buddy Rich at age 7, with Julio Iglesias at age 10, and with Tito Puente lead to the youth band Los Rumberitos that toured as Puente's opening act. Bobby moved on to work with other Latin musicians such as Hector Lavoe, Jose Alberto "El Canario", RMM All Stars and Ruben Blades among others. Later, he became the Musical Director for Willie Colon, Marc Anthony and La India. He also worked with many jazz and rock artists like David Byrne, Grover Washington, Jr., and Spyro Gyra, and was in the orchestra of Paul Simon's Broadway musical "The Capeman." He is currently the percussionist for Marc Anthony's Salsa band and Pop band, Musical Director for Tito Nieves, and a member of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

From Nashville, Pearl Recording Artists LALO DAVILA and GLEN CARUBA will also be featured on percussion. Davila is co-leader and vocalist of Music City's popular Latin jazz band, "Orkesta Eme Pe", Director of Percussion Studies at MTSU, and leader of the MTSU Salsa Band and Percussion Ensemble. Caruba is a percussionist and teacher, author of several books and DVDs, and has worked with Jimmy Buffet, Barry Manilow, the Mavericks, and "Orkesta Eme Pe".;

DALIA GARCIA, from Madrid, Spain, is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress. After being crowned Miss South Carolina, she toured for 8 years with Julio Iglesias, performing in 8 of his videos, and appeared in the movie "Lycanthrope". Her singing and songwriting has dominated several charts on, and she appears across the US with Al Delory & Salsa En Nashville, and others.


This October 9 concert of Latin Jazz is a follow up to the NJO’s highly successful “Cuban Fire” concert of last season. By bringing world-renowned pianist and composer Oscar Hernandez to Nashville, NJO is giving Music City audiences the chance to experience two important facets of Latin music. One is a unique style of two-handed piano playing that is heard in all Afro-Cuban music. Traditional Latin bands don’t use drumsets, so the piano, using heavy syncopated chording, sets the rhythm of a tune and drives the band, large or small. The second is the classic style of Afro-Cuban jazz created by Latino musicians living in the US in the 1940’s. The music began as a marriage of African percussion, Cuban dance rhythms, and American big band jazz arranging. In 1930 Cuban trumpeter/arranger Mario Bauza moved to New York, joined the Chick Webb Orchestra in 1933, and the Cab Calloway Orchestra in 1938, also bringing in Dizzy Gillespie. In 1941, Bauza put together a new band for his brother-in-law Machito. The concept was to combine big band swing instrumentation with Afro-Cuban percussion for a powerful unique sound that would get them work in jazz clubs as well as Latino dance rooms. With hit records like “Tanga”, and the addition of young timbalero Tito Puente, the band and the sound was a hit, creating enormous popularity for Mambo (created by Cuban bass legend Cachao) and Latin Jazz. Manhattan’s Palladium Ballroom became the center of this new scene and top Latin artists like Machito and Puente played there for years. Helped by Bauza, Gillespie added the Afro-Cuban sound to his big band in 1945, popularizing Latin music among jazz fans as well. With the addition of rock elements in the 60’s and disco in the 70’s, the style became known as SALSA, which now includes many different Latin dance rhythms. On Oct. 9, Mr. Hernandez brings this tradition to the NJO, playing several of his Spanish Harlem Orchestra arrangements, and some for a smaller group, recorded by Seis Del Solar. Contemporary Latin jazz will be represented by recent charts from Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and

The Oct. 9 "SALSA CALIENTE” concert is the first event in the NJO's 2008/2009 concert season as "Artist in Residence" at Blair School of Music. Founded in 1996, the NJO is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating big band jazz. With 17 of Nashville's top session and jazz players, they play clubs and jazz festivals, often with guest artists like Randy Brecker, Lou Marini, Donald Brown, Bob Kurnow, Wycliff Gordon, and David "Fathead" Newman. Later concerts in the series include Dec. 10 – "Winter Concert" with Annie Sellick, Matt Belsante, and Blair Big Band; Feb. 26 – “NJO presents Mandy Barnett”; and April 23 – NJO's “Fourth Annual Jazz Writer's Night”. Currently, the NJO is also featured one Sunday a month at Nashville's Limelight performance venue. Their current CDs are Live at B.B. King's featuring Annie Sellick, Legacy – First Annual Jazz Writers Night, and …and Points South – Second Annual Jazz Writers Night.
Photo of Nashville Jazz Orchestra courtesy of Nashville Jazz Orchestra

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