The Inside Latin Jazz series continues to offer fascinating and penetrating onstage interviews with leading Latin Jazz artists. Moderated by flute soloist and Professor at Whittier College, Danilo Lozano, this is something every lover of music will not want to miss. See upcoming event dates below.

Thanks to the generous support of the BCM Foundation, tickets to the Inside Latin Jazz series are FREE. However, they are only available starting two weeks prior to each event, and are Will Call only for phone orders and Print At Home only for internet orders. There is a limit of 4 tickets per person.

April 24, 2018 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - Pedrito Martinez

This event is SOLD OUT. There may be a limited number of tickets available at the box office when it opens at 7:00 p.m. Any available tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. We will also have a wait list in case tickets are returned.

Latin Jazz 201 - Cuban music with Pedrito Martinez
Latin Jazz With No Prerequisites
Instructors: Danilo Lozano & "Pedrito" Martinez
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
8:00 PM

In this "class" with professor Danilo Lozano and Pedrito Martinez and his band, you will learn about Cuban music from one of the best. This is a class not to be missed!

Pedrito Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. Having settled in New York City in the fall of 1998, by 2000, he had been awarded the Thelonius Monk Award for Afro-Latin Hand Percussion. Pedrito has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting, and has contributed as a percussionist and vocalist to over 50 albums. Pedrito’s career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation in NYC of The Pedrito Martinez Group. The group’s Grammy-nominated first album was released October, 2013 and was chosen among NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2013 and The Boston Globe Critics Top Ten Albums of 2013. Habana Dreams, PMG’s second album, was released in June 2016. Accolades for Habana Dreams include #1 Latin Jazz Album in NPR’s Jazz Critics Top Jazz Albums for 2016 and being named anong Boston Globe World Music Albums for 2016.

“Pedrito is a genius…working with him has been a revelation to me.”
- Wynton Marsalis

“The Pedrito Martinez Group is the real thing. They had the club JUMPING! It made me feel like a teenager!" - Quincy Jones

“The Pedrito Martinez Group is writing a new chapter in Cuban music history.” - NPR All Things Considered Pedro Pablo


September 19, 2017 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - SHEILA E


Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo; musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo; and godfather Tito Puente. Growing up in the Escovedo household, musical instruments were for everyone. “Nobody cared as long as you could keep time (or have a good time),” she writes in her memoir, The Beat Of My Own Drum.

Before Sheila had language, she had rhythm. When she was 3 years old, she developed a love for playing various musical instruments, feeling the most connected to the drums and other percussion instruments. Born into an environment filled with music, with music running through her veins, Sheila found an inner beat that fueled her every move. As a young child, she’d copy the hand movements of her father as he played the drums—planting the seed for what would quickly become her life’s passion.

At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down. The famous drummer, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian, and icon is following the beat of her own drum. She considers music to be the purest form of self-expression and the one true love of her life

January 30, 2018 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - LUIS MIRANDA

Master Conguero Luis Miranda was born in New York City in 1923 to parents of Cuban & Puerto Rican heritage. He was constantly surrounded by music growing up; his father was a dear friend of bandleader Frank “Machito” Grillo & many musicians. Luis had the unique experience of being born in New York City and living until his early teenage years in Cuba which influenced his career as a percussionist in years to come. His professional career started with the band of trumpeter Jorge Lopez in the early 1940's which then led him to a groundbreaking gig with Tito Puente's first conjunto The Picadilly Boys. His band mates in this group included such future icons as Manny Oquendo, Monchito Munoz, & Charlie Palmieri. Machito saw Luis during this time and asked him to replace Carlos Vidal as the conguero for Machito & His Afro-Cubans. He stayed with Machito's band from 1948 until 1953 and is one of the creators of the congas place in Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz. Recordings during this period include the classics “Asia Minor”, “Babarabatiri”, “Gone City”, and “Tambo”.

In 1954 he moved to San Francisco to replace Mongo Santamaria in the Cal Tjader Quintet, he worked/recorded/toured with Cal til 1957. His playing can be heard on four classic Tjader albums during this period including Tjader Plays Mambo, Cal Tjader Quintet, & Latin Kick with his standout tumbao on tunes as “Cubano Chant”, “Philadelphia Mambo”, & “Lullaby Of Birdland”. Martin Cohen the founder of the LP (Latin Percussion) company saw Cal Tjader’s group in the spring of 1957 at Birdland in New York City. Luis's playing was Martin's first influence in then forming a company devoted to building, developing, & promoting percussion instruments.

Luis moved down the coast to Hollywood, California in 1958 to pursue work in the studios, as well as jazz/pop/latin opportunities with such artists as Shorty Rogers, June Christy, Jack Costanzo, & others. Luis was one of the most in-demand congueros in the Los Angeles area throughout the 1960's and an integral member of influential bands like Eddie Cano, Rene Bloch & Bobby Montez. He also continued to do recording dates in New York City such as Eddie Palmieri's classic Champagne with timeless songs as “Busca Lo Tuyo” & “Ay Que Rico”. In addition he also composed/wrote songs for other bands during this period, including “Arecibo” for The Joe Cuba Sextet from their record Estamos Haciendo Algo Bien!

Throughout the 1970's to early 2000's Luis continued to lead his own groups in the Los Angeles, Miami, & Las Vegas areas. He also played a major part of the great 2001 recording Cuban Masters/Los Originales featuring Juan Pablo Torres, Francisco Aguabella, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Jose Fajardo, & others. His discography & live credits are very expansive stretching from the 1940's to the 2000's. They include names like Tito Puente, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Cal Tjader, Chico O'Farrill, Mario Bauza, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Montez, Eddie Cano, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Roy Haynes, Mongo Santamaria, Candido, Cheo Feliciano, Jimmy Sabater, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown, Kenny Dorham, Buddy Rich, J.J. Johnson, Hank Mobley, Lucky Thompson, Rene Hernandez, Cachao, June Christy, Jack Costanzo, Nat King Cole, George Shearing, Esquivel, Bud Shank, & Shorty Rogers.

Luis Miranda is universally known to the public & acknowledged by his fellow musicians as “El Rey De La Marcha”. His timekeeping in the context of his work is impeccable for it's continuity & most importantly constant swing. His legacy is that as a conguero he has the “right mix” of jazz & Afro-Cuban feeling on the congas. He is one of the greatest timekeepers in the history of Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz on his instrument & his influence will live on forever.





September 13, 2016 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - DANIEL AMAT

Daniel Amat, Cuban pianist born in a small town of Havana called Güira de Melena. He grew up surrounded by the rhythms and harmonies of his native Cuba. From a very young age he was influenced by his father Pancho Amat, one of the most important tres players of all times, who passed him the tradition of son, trova, and rumba. While pursuing his formal studies at the National School of Music in Havana, Daniel came in contact with classical music, jazz, and the music of Latin-American composers. Years later he graduated from the National School of Music receiving a degree of classical pianist and professor. All of this allows Daniel to have a unique and authentic style where a fusion can be found between the formal elements of structure, the balance of classical music and the freedom of harmonies and styles of jazz reminding us of Oscar Peterson or Art Tatum among others. Nevertheless, his music is completely dedicated to the main genres of Cuban music such as Son, Changui, Guaguanco, and Danzon. Even though Daniel is influenced by the contemporary influences of the music of today, his style is deeply based on the roots of Cuban music thus creating a unique and authentic musical language.

Daniel has pursued his career internationally, appearing in prestigious venues thoughout Europe, Latin America. His debut CD “El piano que llevo dentro (The Piano Inside of Me)” received the 2005 Cubadisco prize in the Instrumental music category. Currently Daniel resides in Bilbao, Spain where he has been described by the critics as "one of the great pianists of universal jazz".

November 8, 2016 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - JOSE MADERA

Born in New York City, son of the famed musical arranger Jose "Pin" Madera for the Machito Orchestra, Jose Madera spent 31 years with the Tito Puente Orchestra. While there, he served as a percussionist and later went on to become a musical arranger and the musical director of the orchestra.

Jose has written many arrangements for countless commercial Latin artists and has recorded or worked with many of them as well. Some of them include: Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Chico O'farill, The Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban jazz orchestra, Celia Cruz, Tito Rodriguez, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colon, Joe Farrell, Machito, Graciela, Mario Bauza, Willie Rosario, Earl Klughand Eddie Palmieri, just to name a few. Jose has also worked and recorded with many pop, R&B and jazz artists. Some of them include Diana Ross, James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Paquito D'Rivera, George Benson and Lionel Hampton among others.

Jose has performed on over 250 recordings. He has worked on several television show soundtracks including "The Simpsons" and several motion picture soundtracks including "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," where he was the musical arranger and conductor for the Tito Puente segment of the film. Jose also taught the art of playing Latin percussion instruments at Boys Harbor in New York City for 28 years.

Madera has done and continues to do musical clinics around the country at various schools. He was the musical director of the Latin Giants of Jazz from 2001 to 2009. Jose continues his musical direction with the Mambo Legends Orchestra, a band comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, which is dedicated to performing new creative Latin and Latin jazz concepts, as well as some of the music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente.

Jose has personally re-created and re-arranged much of the music that the bands performed during the heyday of the Mambo at the Palladium Ballroom in New York City, which is considered by many critics to be the "Greatest and Most innovative Era" in the history of Latin music.

January 10, 2017 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - EDDIE RESTO

At the young age of fourteen, studying the clarinet in his junior high school orchestra made Resto realize that he could play only one squeaky octave at best and that after a year of practice and complete banishment from his family at home, he accepted that the clarinet was just not his instrument! Resto really wanted to play the bass, the instrument that Antonio “Bello” Ortiz, his grandfather played professionally, who taught him solfege and how to sight-read music at the youthful age of eight. The school band director said there were too many bassists in the orchestra, so young Resto pleaded and waited for a year until the age of fifteen, when he was finally allowed to play the bass in his junior high school orchestra. It took three months of intensive technical and physical development on the acoustic bass that allowed him to begin his professional music performance career.

Resto remembers his first music job at 15, where he was asked to perform music at a wedding. He played at the wedding, got paid very well, wore a tuxedo for the first time and ate wedding cake. He had an epiphany that day. "I get paid this much money to play the bass, dress like James Bond, but most importantly, I get to eat wedding cake too! I can do this!"

This was the start of a new life of performing, touring, teaching, recording and a film career that took him around the world at a very young age. Born and raised in Manhattan, New York, he was exposed to a multitude of cultures and ethnicities.

This helped him to develop rapidly as a versatile bassist and was immediately sought after to perform by major performers and music groups. That sweet taste of wedding cake launched him into a non-stop freelance bassist career that captured the New York City Afro-Latin music scene of the 1970s and 1980s. This genre made a huge impact to the music of that time and to the music of today as well. Edward Resto's musical specialty was, and still is Afro Latin, Jazz and Latin-Jazz music.

By the age of 17, Resto was asked to perform for the hugely popular Afro Latin jazz orchestra "The Machito Orchestra" led by Latin Jazz giant, Mario Bauza. This was a turning point in his young career as he stayed on with this orchestra for 8 months. The exposure that he received from this wonderful opportunity led him to be demanded by many other great orchestras, bands and increased his musical opportunities. It was then that he realized he was on his way to something huge in the area of Afro Latin and Jazz music.

By 19 years of age, Resto joined the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra in 1975, which had just won a Grammy for the recording of "The Sun of Latin Music". This recording opened up a new category for Latin music, as the Grammies had never before recognized or conceived Afro Latin music as a viable art form.

As a result of this Grammy award, Palmieri enjoyed his most celebrated time and traveled the world extensively. Resto stayed on with Eddie Palmieri where he performed in major music venues and world-class music festivals involving Pop, Jazz, Rock and R&B music showing the music world how amazing and powerful Afro Latin music is. Resto had immense exposure at such a young age and as a result has performed, shared the stage, recorded and toured with notable artists such as Ruben Blades, Sonny Stitt, Tito Puente, Joe Cuba, Dizzy Guillespie, Jack Dejohnette, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Mongo Santamaria, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Harlow, Tania Maria, Rufus Reid, Airto and Flora Purim, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Carlos Santana, Daniel Ponce, Hector La Voe, Bobby Capo, Jaco Pastorius, Jose Fajardo, Gonzalo Fernandez, Nestor Torres, Eddie Zervigon, Mon Rivera, Willie Colon, Manny Oquendo y Libre, Bobby Capo, Dexter Gordon, Antonio Portanet, Sabicas, John Faddis, Lew Solof, Tom Malone, La Sonora Matancera, Eddie Gomez, Hilton Ruiz, Ismael Rivera, Artie Webb, Edy Martinez, Soledad Bravo, Maria Benitez, Candido, Jorge Dalto, Max Roach, Charlie Palmieri, Cortijo, Puntilla, Pete "EI Conde" Rodriguez, La Lupe and others too numerous to mention.

Resto moved to Los Angeles in 1988 and continued to perform, tour, record and share the stage with talents such as Justo Almario, Alex Acuna, Larry Coryell, Strunz and Farah, Liz Torres, Marilyn McCoo, Luis Conte, Chick Corea, Poncho Sanchez, Rene Touzet, Don Tosti, Francisco Aguabella, Joni Mitchell, the Estrada Brothers, Patato Valdez, Cal Tjader, Kenny Burrell, Armando Perraza, Sammy Figueroa, Benny Maupin, Rita Moreno, Herbie Hancock, John Santos, Tony Bennett, Dave Pike, Bobby Shew, Shakira, Ray Armando, Dave Samuels and "the Caribbean Jazz Project", Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Kirkland, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Stanley Clarke, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Paul Rodriguez show, Candi Sosa, The Fania All Stars, Paul Simon, Lalo Guerrero and many others.

This exceptional bassist holds an Associates Degree in music from Los Angeles Community College, a BM degree in Jazz studies and performance, as well as an MA degree in Afro-Latin music from California State University of Los Angeles.

He maintains a strenuous music and film/television performance schedule, is a single father of his daughter Melina Resto, and serves his community by sharing, educating and empowering young people with the gift of music performances and studies.

He is affiliated with inner city youth organizations such as the Henry Mancini Institute, the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, the Urban League of America and the Boys and Girls Club of America. Because of his extensive experience in a broad range of musical styles, he has earned a reputation as a first class bassist regardless of the setting whether it is live, recorded, film, film/television soundtrack and/or sideline. He continues to contract for the above-mentioned musical settings.

It has been said that one cannot have his cake and eat it too, but in the case of Edward Resto, the cake has been had, it keeps getting better and is mighty sweet indeed!

April 18, 2017 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - LATIN JAZZ 104

Latin Jazz 104 - CUBA L.A.
Jazz With No Prerequisites
Instructor: Danilo Lozano
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
8:00 PM

In this "class" you’ll gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Latin Jazz.

The night will feature some of Los Angeles renowned and most sought after musicians in the industry, playing tunes that have become standards in the Latin Jazz repertoire.

Your guest instructors will include:
Danilo Lozano - flute (leader)
Alberto Salas - Piano
Rene Camacho - Bass
Kevin Ricard - Congas
George Ortiz - Bongo
Victor Barrientos - Timbales
Pablo Mendez - Violin
Harry Kim - Trumpet

Open to all majors, minors or people that want to have fun. May be repeated for maximum musical pleasure. There will be no exam!

Cuba L.A. keeps the soul of Cuban music alive, fueled by the love of their heritage and the exhilaration of musical experimentation. 

Led by Danilo Lozano, flutist, a founding member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and musicologist – Cuba L.A. is a dream team of Cuban musicians living in Los Angeles. The band has grown a reputation for percussive and melodic fireworks – poly-rhythmic timbales, congas and bongos provide an unbelievable backdrop to scorching performances on trumpets, flute, piano, and strings.

Cuba L.A. evolves into a sensational, category-defying experience. Coming from Los Angeles “a cultural hub, we’re able to easily bring in so many musical sensibilities to the traditional music – Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, and dance music…it’s all here, and it’s all a part of Cuban music today,” says Lozano.

Cuba L.A. begins with traditional Cuban Music. Mixing rhythms, forms and instrumentation from different regions of Cuba, the group creates their own lush ensemble sound.

Danilo Lozano is a two-time Grammy Award-winning flautist and music professor. A founding member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Lozano is best known for his work with Latin jazz and charanga music. He has performed with some of the greatest artists in the genre, including Celia Cruz, Poncho Sanchez, Latin Side All Stars, Israel Lopez "Cachao," and was a featured artist on the soundtrack for Andy Garcia's film The Lost City. Lozano continues to perform regularly in both Los Angeles and across the country. Last summer, he was a featured artist for the Pasadena Orchestra's Clásica - las raíces de la música concert series and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho. Moreover, he is the creator and host of Inside Latin jazz at Whittier College.


September 15, 2015 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - PONCHO SANCHEZ

The imaginative rhythms of Poncho Sanchez have made him one of the most influential conga players and percussionists in Afro-Cuban jazz. In addition to recording as a soloist, Sanchez has been featured on albums by the Jazz Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Dianne Reeves, Joey DeFrancesco, and Terence Blanchard. Becoming a member of vibraphonist Caj Tjader's Band in 1975, Sanchez remained with the group until Tjader's death on May 5, 1982. By then, he had already planted the seeds for his own career as a bandleader. He recorded two solo albums -- Poncho in 1979 and Straight Ahead in 1980 -- and began performing with his own group in 1980, during Tjader's vacations. A native of Laredo, Texas, Sanchez moved to Los Angeles at the age of four, where he was deeply influenced by the music he heard in the Chicano neighborhood in which he lived. Initially a guitarist, he played with a series of junior high school and high school rhythm & blues bands. Teaching himself to play congas, he spent hours practicing to Caj Tjader, Machito, and Tito Puente records. He was also deeply influenced by the hard bop sounds of the Jazz Crusaders. After more than two decades in music, Sanchez's efforts paid off when his album, Latin Soul, received a Grammy award as Best Latin Album of 1999. Throughout the next decade, Sanchez continued to record, releasing such albums as 2000's Soul of the Conga, 2001's Latin Spirits, 2003's Out of Sight!, 2005's Do It!, 2007's Raise Your Hand, and 2009's hard bop-influenced Psychedelic Blues. In 2011, he paid tribute to the innovative Afro-Cuban recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo by teaming up with trumpeter Terence Blanchard for Chano y Dizzy! Sanchez followed it up with a concert set entitled with Live in Hollywood, with his Latin Jazz Band.

November 18, 2015 | Wednesday | 8:00 p.m. - CHARLIE OWENS

Charles Owens is a master woodwind musician who maintains professional proficiency on tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon and English horn. His skilled musicianship and rare ability to produce original sounds on all of these instruments places him in demand as a first-call studio musician, a popular nightclub/concert performer, and a jazz artist of international repute.

Owens has toured, performed and recorded with an impressive array of artists including Lorenz Alexander, Bobby Bryant, Terry Callier, John Carter, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Dave Grusin, Eddie Harris, Gladys Knight, James Newton, the Buddy Rich Band, and Barbra Streisand. He has played on numerous hit records including the Grammy Award winning Ellington album, Hot and Bothered, featuring his baritone solo on "Sophisticated Lady." Owens also tours the United States and Europe with his own group, which produced two albums on Discovery Records.

Throughout his career Owens has maintained a dedicated commitment to education. If asked what he likes most about being a musician, he immediately replies, "Teaching!... Sharing techniques and experiences with young players expedites their careers and assures that jazz will endure." In addition to private teaching, Owens, James Newton, Red Callender and John Carter co-founded the successful Wind College in 1981. For the past four years the Los Angeles Jazz Society "Jazz in Schools" Program has employed Owens as leader of an entertaining group of musicians who present free interactive jazz concerts in Los Angeles elementary schools. These concerts are designed to stimulate jazz awareness and create a future audience.

January 12, 2016 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez Jr.

Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez Jr. (1945, United States), is a Latin percussionist from New York City. At 17 years old Johnny earned a position playing bongos in the Tito Puente Orchestra. Johnny spent over 30 years with the Tito Puente Orchestra, also working with Tito Rodriguez from 1965 to 1968 and with Ray Barretto from 1970 until the end of 1972. Johnny went on to form ‘Tipica 73’ band in 1972, which he was with until 1979. Following this he went back to work with Tito Puente, playing alongside him until the time of his death in May 2000. He is currently the leader of The Mambo Legends Orchestra, which is arguably, the finest Latin Big Band in the world.








April 5, 2016 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - LATIN JAZZ 103

Latin Jazz 103 - "The Evolution of Cuban Music: An exploration of the history of Cuban Music through the 20th Century"
Jazz With No Prerequisites
Instructor: Danilo Lozano
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
8:00 PM

In this "class" you’ll gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Latin Jazz - the mixture of jazz with rhythms from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa - creating an infectious and danceable style of music now popular around the world. This evening’s class will focus on a few of the important Latin Jazz compositions that started the genre. You will learn about the music and why it’s significant, as well as about the artists that created it.

The night will feature some of Los Angeles renowned and most sought after musicians in the industry, playing tunes that have become standards in the Latin Jazz repertoire.

There will be no exam!

Open to all majors, minors or people that want to have fun. May be repeated for maximum musical pleasure.

Your guest instructors will include:

Jorge "Sawa" Perez - Bass
Inocente Alvarez - Timbal
Carlos Alvarez - Congas
Luis Conte - Bongo
James Zavaleta - Vocals
Janet Dacal - Vocals
Alberto Salas - piano
Danilo Lozano - Flute


September 23, 2014 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - CALIXTO OVIEDO

Calixto Oviedo was born on October 14, 1955 in the Havana barrio of La Vibora. His father ran the laundry of the Hotel Nacional, but his passion was playing the tres and improvising décimas. Calixto’s earliest musical memories were at the age of two or three, waiting in front of the television, toy violin in hand, to play along with performances of his favorite band, Orquesta Aragón. It was at the advanced age of four, however, that it became clear to the young prodigy that his true calling was to play the drums. The toy violin was discarded in favor of a plastic bucket, several cans, and a frying pan, all of which he played with drumsticks fashioned from coat hangers.

Recognizing his son’s unusual talent, Eusebio Oviedo began to bring his five‐year‐old son along to the hotel where he was able to sneak backstage at the Cabaret Parisién to hear the house band. Quite a house band it was, featuring the likes of Rubén González and Jorge Varona. Calixto refers to the Cabaret Parisién as “my university”.

At age seven, Calixto fell in love – with a toy drumset he had spotted in the window of a shop. It seemed destined to be an unrequited love, however, as the 55 peso price tag placed it well out of reach for his working class family. But one afternoon, strolling past the Radio Progreso building, Calixto was stunned to find a 50‐peso bill lying on the sidewalk. His incredulous father took the bill to the Hotel to determine if it was counterfeit, but like its discoverer, it was very much the real deal, and Calixto soon acquired his first set of traps. He still has the toy drumset today in the family home in Havana.

Calixto’s development was so fast and furious that at the age of eight, urged on by friends and neighbors, his mother took him to the conservatory to take an aptitude test. Incredibly, the bureaucrat who examined him concluded that he had no aptitude for percussion whatsoever. He was offered admittance to the conservatory, but he would have to play violin or piano. To the horror of his mother, Calixto refused. He was going to be a drummer and no one was going to tell him otherwise. After he told the story to his mentors at the Cabaret Parisién, González and the others sent him, armed with their letter of recommendation, to Gonzalo Roig, the director of the national concert band. Roig placed him behind a set of timpani and asked him to play cáscara and then an improvised solo. Roig was so impressed that he pulled the necessary strings to arrange for Calixto’s entrance to the conservatory – as a percussionist.

Thus Calixto’s formal education began at eight, but by this point his nightclub woodshedding had already turned him into a formidable player. He had memorized the band’s entire show and when they let him sit in (now 9 years old) he played all the way to the end of the set.

Four years later, Calixto had worked his way up to the two best percussion instructors in the country – Fausto García and Domingo Aragú. As always, he listened astutely to all of the current music, quickly identifying the ideal role model, José Luis “Changuito” Quintana, whom he first heard as a conguero with Felipe Dulzaides, and later, of course, on drumset with Los Van Van in 1970.

Calixto’s first major group was formed in 1972 with future Van Van trombonist and arranger Hugo Morejón, future NG La Banda trumpeter José Miguel “El Greco” Crego, bassist Omar Hernández, singer Orestes Roque and conguero Santiago Gainza (pictured here on the left). It was Calixto who came up with the band’s name, Acheré.

In 1977, Calixto began his mandatory stint in the army, but by this time he was in such demand that Pacho Alonso pulled sufficient governmental strings to allow Calixto to be a soldier by day and Pacho’s drummer by night.

Calixto recorded about five albums with Pacho, including El Guayabero, and after the legendary singer’s death in 1982, Calixto stayed on for another year with Pachito Alonso, who had taken over for his father. While at carnaval in Santiago de Cuba, Calixto was reunited with his old schoolmate Adalberto Álvarez who was in the process of leaving Son 14 in order to form his own band in Havana, Adalberto Álvarez y su Son. Joining Calixto in the group was his old compay Hugo Morejón.

Adalberto Álvarez y su Son was one of the leading groups of the 1980s and Calixto’s driving groove and unique sizzling hihat were a big part of their appeal.

November 18, 2014 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - RAMON STAGNARO

Originally from Lima, Peru, Ramon began playing the guitar at a very early age, studying music on his own and listening to Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, George Benson and many other great guitarists from those years.

His first instrumental band named “Los Frutos” had a short but very successful life. After that, “Elemental Music Group” ( “EMG” ) was his next band along with his brother Oscar on bass, playing covers of the moment and some rock & roll music including Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, etc.

A very well known local rock band by the name of “Telegraph Avenue” asked Ramon to join them. This band got to be a very important band in the musical history of the 60's and 70's in Peru. At the same time, his band “EMG” was hired by Maestro Domingo Rulo to participate as a “music for the youth” band playing in different important social events in the city.

Pretty soon he made his entrance into the recording scene, participating in sessions for local artists and for television commercials, etc. He also played for the best orchestras in the city such as Carlo Berscia, Pepe Pellon, Santiago Silva and Rulli Rendo.

In the mid 70’s, his first jazz band was formed with his brother Oscar on bass, Miguel “Chino” Figueroa on keyboards and “Pocho” Purizaga on drums named “Lima Contemporanea”. This was a jazz band and surely the most important in his music career in Peru. It was his first approach to jazz music. The band was very successful and it had a large audience and many followers.

In 1981 he moved to the U.S.A. He spent a year in Boston and then he moved to Los Angeles which became his home city till these days. He started from the bottom in Los Angeles and slowly he started to be noticed by the local musicians, playing with many bands and backing up singers. He soon began playing gigs, and working his way up into the recording scene. He met the well known Peruvian drummer, Alex Acuna who really helped in boosting Ramon's career.

Ramon has worked with many great producers such as David Foster, Humberto Gatica, KC Porter, Mark Portman, Jorge Calandrelli, Juan Carlos Calderon, Trevor Horn, Randy Jackson, Walter Affanasief, and many others. He's also recorded for many great artists such as Gino Vanelli, Seal, Celine Dion, Al Jarreau, Andrea Bocelli, Roberto Carlos, Diana Ross, Ricky Martin, Neil Diamond, Paul Anka, Enrique Iglesias, Placido Domingo, Vikky Carr, Josh Groban, Alejandro Sanz, Kenny G, Patti LaBelle, Shakira, Nelly Furtado, Cristina Aguilera, Boyz II Men, The Manhattran Transfer, Michael Buble, Johnny Mathis, Yanni and many others. He's also on various movie tracks like “Legend of Zorro”, “Contact”,“Sex and the City”, etc. He also participated in the recordings of many Grammy winners records throughout His life. He also was a teacher at the Musicians Institute of Music for a while in the 90’s. He toured with artists like Yanni, Diane Reeves, Herb Alpert, Vikky Carr, Andrea Bocelli, Alex Acuna and the Unknowns, etc.

Ramon is actually married to His beautiful Angelica who’s support has been unconditional and one of the best things that happened in His life. Ramon is working on his first solo project that will be announced as soon as it is ready.

January 13, 2015 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - ARTIE WEBB

Flautist and Latin music legend Artie Webb was born in Philadelphia, PA, and studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy with John Wummer (former soloist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). In 1972, he moved to New York City to play with ‘The Adventures of Soul’ at the Ali Baba Club on 59th St. and First Ave. Shortly after moving to New York, he was hired by Ray Barretto on the spot to become the youngest member of his band. While in New York, he performed and recorded with artist such as Tito Puente, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Pharoah Sanders, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Fania All Stars and Eddie Palmieri.

In 1986, Artie moved to Los Angeles to continue his career. He currently performs with Johnny Polanco Y Su Conjunto Amistad in the Los Angeles area.



April 7, 2015 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - LATIN JAZZ 102

Latin Jazz 102 - NO FEE REQUIRED
Jazz With No Prerequisites
Instructor: Danilo Lozano
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
8:00 PM

In this "class" you’ll gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Latin Jazz - the mixture of jazz with rhythms from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa - creating an infectious and danceable style of music now popular around the world. This evening’s class will focus on a few of the important Latin Jazz compositions that started the genre. You will learn about the music and why it’s significant, as well as about the artists that created it.

The night will feature some of Los Angeles renowned and most sought after musicians in the industry, playing tunes that have become standards in the Latin Jazz repertoire.

There will be no exam!

Open to all majors, minors or people that want to have fun. May be repeated for maximum musical pleasure.

Your guest instructors will be:

Charlie Owens - Tenor Sax
Brian Swartz - Trumpet
Jorge "Sawa" Perez - Bass
Jimmy Branly - Drums and Percussion
Michael Oday - Congas/Percussion
Alberto Salas - Piano/Keyboard

Charlie Owens

Owens has toured, performed and recorded with an impressive array of artists including Lorenz Alexander, Bobby Bryant, Terry Callier, John Carter, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Dave Grusin, Eddie Harris, Gladys Knight, James Newton, the Buddy Rich Band, and Barbra Streisand. He has played on numerous hit records including the Grammy Award winning Ellington album, Hot and Bothered, featuring his baritone solo on "Sophisticated Lady." Owens also tours the United States and Europe with his own group, which produced two albums on Discovery Records.

Throughout his career Owens has maintained a dedicated commitment to education. If asked what he likes most about being a musician, he immediately replies, "Teaching!... Sharing techniques and experiences with young players expedites their careers and assures that jazz will endure." In addition to private teaching, Owens, James Newton, Red Callender and John Carter co-founded the successful Wind College in 1981. For the past four years the Los Angeles Jazz Society "Jazz in Schools" Program has employed Owens as leader of an entertaining group of musicians who present free interactive jazz concerts in Los Angeles elementary schools. These concerts are designed to stimulate jazz awareness and create a future audience.

Brian Swartz

Jazz trumpeter Brian Swartz is a diverse musician with a wide range of influences. He has performed or recorded with Michael Bublé, Patti Labelle, The Dixie Chicks, Natalie Cole, Tom Harrell, Brad Mehldau, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Kim Richmond’s Concert Jazz Orchestra, Taylor Eigsti, Raya Yarbrough, The O’Jays, Bob Florence, Scott Healy’s Tentet, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, Francisco Aguabella, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and many more. He is also a founding member of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective, an organization whose mission is the promotion of original jazz in Los Angeles and abroad.

Brian Swartz has also recorded three CD’s of his own ensembles: "There’s Only Me" (Noir Records 2000), "Live at the Jazz Bakery" (Summit Records 2005) and "Three" (Summit Records 2006). As an arranger, he has had commissions from the Ron Jones Influence Orchestra, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, John Beasley’s Monk’estra, and has been a staff arranger for the ABC TV show, "Duets".

Jimmy Branly

Jimmy Branly was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in a rich musical environment of Cuban flavors. He began his studies at the Conservatory of Music in Havana Adolfo Guzman and ENA (National School of Art). At the young age of 9, his father introduced him to rock music including the band, Deep Purple. It was Deep Purple’s 1972 album "Made in Japan" that captivated Jimmy and drew him into the world of music.

Being introduced to this style of music was of special import since Rock was not a significant genre in Cuba. Jimmy was also exposed to other rock groups like Rush, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles building upon Jimmy’s desire to transcribe these artists. He expanded his interests when he began listening to jazz greats like John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett to name a few.

Jimmy’s professional career began at the young age of 15 where he met Hernan Lopez-Nussa from the Afro-Cuban jazz septet “Afrocuba” who could hear that Jimmy was someone he wanted to play with. Jimmy started playing with the original band “Cuarto Espacio” that combined the styles of fusion, rock, and Cuban music. Jimmy actually didn’t start playing Cuban music in Cuba until 1996 with Issac Delgado.

From there, Jimmy moved to NG La Banda. Jimmy continued to evolve in his approach to playing the drums when he worked with Gonzalo Rubalcaba who taught him to play with the more sensitive range of the instrument. Jimmy decided to move to California after being exposed to the rich range of social and musical opportunities that the United States has to offer.

Jimmy moved to the United States in 1998 and joined many groups and artists including: Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Rebeca Mauleon, Francisco Aguabella, Brandon Fields, Alan Pascua, Lyle Mays, Otmaro Ruiz, Abraham Laboriel, Michael Nezmith, Sheila E, Alex Acuna, Celia Cruz, Strunz & Farah, Luis Conte, Justo Almario, Andy Narell, Carol Welsman, Jimmy Haslip, Russel Ferrante, Harr Shearer, Oscar Hernandez, Bobie Valentin, Laura Harrison, Franky Negron, Don Grusin, Omar Sosa, Ken Pleplowski, Tom Scott, John Patitucci, Doc Severinsen, Bryan Linch, Carlitos Del Puerto, The LA Latin Jazz All Stars, Poncho Sanchez, Giovany Idalgo, Bill Cunliffe, Ramon Stagnaro, Playing For Change, Arturo Sandoval, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan, Bob Sheppard, David Garfield.

Alberto Salas

GRAMMY award winning ALBERTO SALAS brings his unique flair as a producer / arranger / keyboardist and percussionist to any Afro-Cuban rhythm or mainstream pop tune of which he may be part. Applying his extensive knowledge of Cuban techniques, he can simplify or intensify intricate "world beat" rhythms to fit into today's sounds of Pop, Rock, R&B, HipHop, Jazz, or any combination thereof. Born in Los Angeles, Salas began playing piano at the age of six and percussion in 1994. Completely self -taught, today he finds himself sharing the stage and touring with such legendary artists as Santana, Mana, Los Lobos, Bebe Winans, Poncho Sanchez, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, The Mavericks, Raul Malo, Rick Treviño, Los Super Seven, Andrae Crouch, the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Heather Headley, Christina Aguilera, the City of Angels Orchestra, among others.

Alberto has also appeared on TV and film on shows like Latin GRAMMY Awards, The Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien and recently on the film Chef and Cubamerican, a documentary for PBS.


September 24, 2013 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - Lázaro Galarraga

A native of Havana, Cuba, Maestro Galarraga was a founding member of the distinguished Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba and the Folkloric Ballet of Cuba. For over 60 years he has been a drummer, dancer and singer in the afro-cuban folkloric and religious tradition. He has recorded and performed with Herbie Hancock, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, Placido Domingo and many others. He played at the 1996 Atlantic City Olympics and has appeared at the White House before President George H. W. Bush, Sr.






November 26, 2013 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - Nelson Gonzáles

Born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Nelson González is distinguished for his mastery of the Cuban Tres guitar. This traditional instrument is indispensable to the interpretation of 'Son', the most popular form of Cuban dance music.

His love of Afro-Caribbean music developed at an early age and was nurtured in New York City, where he immigrated at the age of 12. During the 1960's many of today's acclaimed and virtuoso Latin musicians convened regularly at the home of Andy and Jerry Gonzalez to participate in weekly 'jam sessions'. Nelson joined these young and notable musicians that included talents such as Dave Valentin, Hilton Ruiz, Oscar Hernandez, Milton Cardona, Nicki Marrero, Tommy Lopez, Jr., Eladio Perez, Charlie Santiago, Papo Vasquez, Orestes Vilato, and the powerful voices of Adalberto Santiago, Willie Garcia, Justo Betancourt and Virgilio Marti. It was during this period that Nelson explored his interest in the Tres.

Nelson's attraction to the Cuban Tres was initially driven by its reputation as a formidable challenge to achieve technical mastery. The Tres guitar is comprised of three sets of double strings and is known for the degree of technical difficulty it imposes in order to generate a full chord from a limited number of strings. His first Tres was borrowed from Andy Gonzalez and it marked the beginning of his journey with an instrument that represents the richness and tradition of Cuban folklore.

Essential to his development was Rene Lopez, musicologist and leading authority on Cuban music. Through him, Nelson learned the fundamentals and history of Cuban music. He used the recordings of Arsenio Rodriguez and 'El Nino’ Rivera, two masters of the Tres guitar and pioneers of the Cuban 'son', to guide his training. Their genius and the 'descarga' of Israel Lopez Cachao strongly influenced Nelson's music style and skill in incorporating the Tres to the rhythm of the drums. Insipired by the paucity of Tres players in Latin America and the Caribbean, Nelson vowed to preserve tradition through his dedication to this instrument and is regarded by Cachao as the ambassador of the Tres.

His first opportunity as a performer in the Latin music scene was in 1971 as a member of the Justo Betancourt Band. He later played with Orq. Harlow during which time he developed a close friendship with Ismael Miranda that later served to create Orq. Revelacion and soloist for the band. During the 1970's, Nelson recorded with all of the top Latin bands including Charanga Tipica Ideal and two international recordings with African Charanga groups. He was invited to join Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino and in 1972 joined Tipica ’73 for four years. After its dissolution he served as a founding member of Los Kimbos with Adalberto Santiago. He formed his own band in 1976, Nelson González and his Band and recorded two albums, with one produced by the TR (Tito Rodriguez) Record label. Nelson tours with Eddie Palmieri, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, La India, and the Conga Kings.

Nelson was prominently featured on the following Grammy Award Winning albums: Cachao Master Sessions I ,Cachao Master Sessions II, Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra, Gloria Estefan's Alma Caribena, Rubin Blades' Mundo, Bebo Valdez's El Arte Del Sabor, and Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri's Masterpiece.

His other accomplishments include: participation in the World Music Festival sponsored by the Smithsonian Music Institute; winner of the 'Best Salsa Band In Latin America' Award for Tipica '73 at the Primer Festival Mundial de Salsa in 1976; winner of the 1977, 1978 and 1979 'Best Tres Player of the Year' Award from Latin NY Magazine; joined Latin Percussion, Inc., to record a percussion instructional album, co-directed two albums with the master of the drum, Carlos “Patato”Valdez, and instructed various "percussion clinics; participation in the inauguration ceremony of President Carter; invitation from the Fania All Stars to record the famous 'Habana Jam' in Cuba; nomination of his CD, Son Mundano(1997) by the 'Tu Musica' Awards for best production of the Year; performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards MusicCares Person of the Year tribute to Paul Simon.

He has made numerous television appearances, including: the 2000 Grammy Awards; "Saturday Night Live,” with Kenny Vance; the "Dick Cavett Show"; the "Mike Douglas Show" with Tipica '73; the "David Letterman Show," with Gloria Estefan and Cachao; the "Sunday Night Show" with Paul Simon; the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," appearing with Andy Garcia and Cachao; the Rosie ODonnell Show with Marc Anthony; and Marc Anthony Live on HBO. Nelson was in Los Angeles, and was scheduled to perform with Marc Anthony on the ill-fated 2001 Latin Grammys. Nelson is featured, along with many music legends, in the film Cachao: Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos, by Andy Garcia.

January 21, 2014 | Tuesday | 8:00 p.m. - Orestes Vilató

Born in Camagüey, Cuba in 1944, multi-percussionist Orestes Vilató is one of the most influential figures in the world of Latin percussion. His unique style on the Cuban timbales is one of the most emulated in the genre, and his artistry has graced the stage and recording studios with a Who’s Who of musical legends, from Aretha Franklin to Carlos Santana.

As a pioneer of the East Coast Salsa phenomenon, Vilató played a seminal role with such musical institutions and artists as the Fania All Stars, Ray Barretto, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco and many others. After 25 years in New York, Orestes found new musical opportunities in Northern California as a member of the Santana band, forging a road into the Latin Rock genre, and as a result, his virtuoso percussion work would become a main fixture with numerous national and international artists, covering a range of styles from authentic Cuban music to Latin jazz, Salsa, Rock and beyond

In 1995, Orestes earned a Grammy nomination for the groundbreaking album Ritmo y Candela alongside fellow Cuban percussion legends Carlos “Patato” Valdez and José Luis Quintana “Changuito,” and has graced the Grammy-winning albums of Cuban bassist/composer and original Mambo King Israel “Cachao” López. Since relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981, Orestes maintains his place as one of the most in-demand percussionists on the planet.

As a young boy in Cuba, Orestes was encouraged by his father to pursue his passion for music, turning his first instrument — a guitar — upside-down and playing it like a drum. After receiving his first bongos, a young Orestes immersed himself in studying the music of his homeland, inspired by the many greats he heard on the radio as well as in person.

During the 1950s, the Vilató family moved to New York, and soon Orestes began playing his first timbales. As a teen he honed his skills alongside many pioneers of the Cuban and Jazz music scenes, including Chico O´Farrill, Belisario López, José Fajardo, Lionel Hampton and others. His legacy as founding member of the Fania All Stars would place him at the center of the Salsa explosion of the 1970s, where Orestes would participate in the various seminal recordings and performances of the genre.

After a stint with the acclaimed Ray Barretto and Típica ´73 orchestras, Orestes formed his own group - Los Kimbos - alongside legendary singer Adalberto Santiago, recording four albums as a leader while remaining one of the most in-demand percussionists on the circuit. His many recordings with diverse artists and musical genres reflect his ever-reaching craft and musicianship, and his unique style soon became well known throughout the globe.

During his twenty five years as a New York City resident, Orestes participated in multiple recordings with fellow Latin music giants including The Fania All Stars (including appearances on film and television), Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, Rubén Blades, Carlos Patato Valdez, Cheo Feliciano, La Lupe, Joe Cuba, Rolando La Serie and many others.

Over the decades Orestes would expand his musical tapestry, particularly through the high visibility of his nine year-stint with the Santana Band, lending his percussion sound to recordings and performances by Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Linda Ronstadt, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Dave Valentin and Paco De Lucia, among others. He has made numerous appearances as a guest artist at such renowned festivals as the Heineken Jazz Festival (Puerto Rico), San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey and San José Jazz festivals, and has been the recipient of several tributes and awards.

In addition, Orestes continues to share his musical talent as a clinician for several prestigious music institutions such as Stanford University, UCLA, The Berklee College of Music and the University of Anchorage. He has also recorded on the soundtracks for several highly acclaimed films, including The Mambo Kings, Our Latin Thing and Dance With Me.

Considered one of the most influential timbales players north of Cuba, Orestes Vilató maintains one foot in the rich tradition of his homeland, and the other in the vast exploration of musical fusion in North America and beyond.

April 17, 2014 | Thursday | 8:00 p.m. - LATIN JAZZ 101

Latin Jazz 101 - NO FEE REQUIRED
Jazz With No Prerequisites
Instructor: Danilo Lozano
Thursday, April 17, 2014
8:00 PM

In this "class" you’ll gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Latin Jazz - the mixture of jazz with rhythms from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa - creating an infectious and danceable style of music now popular around the world.

The night will feature some of Los Angeles renowned and most sought after musicians in the industry, playing tunes that have become standards in the Latin Jazz repertoire. Guest instructors will include: Alberto Salas, Jorge Sawa, Justo Almario, Ramon Banda, and others to be announced.

There will be no exam!

Open to all majors, minors or people that want to have fun. May be repeated for maximum musical pleasure.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 8:00 p.m. - Javier Zalba Suarez

Javier Zalba Suarez is a successful and recognized Cuban-born flutist, clarinetist, and saxophone player. He has built an illustrious career and repertoire around the world with sophisticated timbres and technical execution of the family of saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. Javier enjoys an active performing career that covers different styles of music ranging from Classical, Jazz, Latin Jazz, to popular Cuban music.

A classically trained artist Javier Zalba graduated from the Cuban National School of Arts (ENA) as a clarinetist in 1976 and as a flautist from the Professional Studies School, Ignacio Cervantes in 1984. He began his professional career as a clarinet teacher at the ENA in 1978. In the same year, he took part in the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna.

In 1984, he was invited to take part in Irakere, one of Cuba’s best-known Latin Jazz bands led by Chucho Valdés. Enjoying a successful career as a flute, clarinetist and saxophone player, he joined Bobby Carcasses’ ensemble Afrojazz in 1991, the orchestra of the Tropicana Cabaret, and the group Oru which was directed by guitarist Sergio Vitier. In 1997, he became a member of the group Cubanismo, directed by trumpet player Jesus Alemany. In the same year, he partnered with pianist Roberto Fonseca and created his own Latin Jazz ensemble called, Temperamento. It was in 2000 when he joined the legendary Buena Vista Social Club Orchestra with singer, Ibrahim Ferrer and pianist, Ruben Gonzalez performing in some of the most prestigious venues and music festivals around the world.

The internationally embraced and respected artist, Javier has been invited several times as a member and soloist by the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and many others chamber ensembles. 

As a soloist, he has recorded two albums entitled, Homenaje (Serendib Classic) in 1995, and his most recent Bariton-cha (Colibri). As a musician, his contributions have expanded outside the musical genre and into the literary world through his books, Technique for the Saxophone being published by Abdala in Havana, Cuba, and his upcoming books, Sax Soneando and Flute Soneando will be published by Advance Music, a German company.

Javier Zalba Suarez is currently a professor at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatoire and has conducted several Cuban Music workshops in Barranquilla, Colombia (2000); Copenhagen Rhythmic Conservatoire, Denmark (2003); Liceo de Barcelona (El Aula), Spain (2004); Guildhall School of Music and Drama, England (2004 & 2006) and Montreaux as part of the Jazz Festival, Switzerland (2005) and Vandoren House, Paris (2010).

Today Javier continues to be a top Latin Jazz world performer. His versatility, flair, combined with his domination and mastering of woodwind instruments allows him to create authentic and timeless musical passages for people around the globe. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 8:00 p.m. - The Banda Brothers

Respect. Admiration. In the highly demanding field of music, they're awarded to only a choice few…to outstanding creative forces like Ramon and Tony Banda. They are best known to audiences the world over for the 30 plus years of solid, uncompromising work they spent as the backbone and anchors of one of the worlds most celebrated music ensembles, the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band…Tony on bass, Ramon on drums & timbales.

There was much music in the family home and surrounding neighborhood. By 1961 the brothers were performing on a regular basis all across Southern California, thus receiving invaluable "on the bandstand" experience at an unusually young age. It was during these formative years that the brother's love and appreciation for a wide variety of musical styles developed, especially Jazz / Latin / Rhythm & Blues. The brothers have participated in countless world tours, music festivals and recording sessions with a long list of world renown artist including Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Celia Cruz, Ray Charles, Snooky Young, Carmen McRae, Mongo Santamaria, Joey DeFrancesco, Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne,  Stanley Turrentine, Joe Pesci, Jimmy Smith, Francisco Aguabella, Jazz Crusaders, Eddie Harris and the list goes on.

Playing with an energy and conviction that is soulful, relaxed and intensely swinging, Tony & Ramon sign all of their art that way, but never more so than when they now head up their own group "The Banda Brothers". Formed in 1996, the group has a unique talent for bringing insight and imagination to original material as well as covered classics, providing the perfect balance of accessibility and invention. Their debut CD “Acting Up!” was released on the WJ3 Label.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 8:00 p.m. - Alex Acuña

Born in Pativilca, Peru, 100 miles north of Lima, Alex Acuña was born into a musical family that inspired him and helped shape him as a musician. His father and five brothers were all musicians. Alex taught himself how to play the drums from the age of four. By the time Alex turned ten, he was already playing in local bands. As a teenager, he moved to Lima and became one of Peru's most accomplished session drummers, performing on many recording projects for artists, as well as film and television productions.

In Lima, Alex also earned a glowing reputation for his live performances. So much so, that at the age of eighteen, Alex was chosen by the great Latin band leader, Perez Prado, to join his big band. It was with the Prado band that Alex first traveled to the United States. In 1967, Alex moved to Puerto Rico to work as a studio musician and play locally. During this period, he also studied for three years at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, playing as a classical percussionist with the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the famed Spanish cellist master Pablo Casals.

Alex moved to Las Vegas in 1974, where he played with such greats as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross. Between 1975 and 1977, he made part of jazz history when he became both drummer and percussionist for one of the most innovative and pioneering jazz groups of our time, Weather Report. He first performed as percussionist (October 1975 to April 1976), and later as drummer (April 1976 to October 1977). He recorded two albums with the group: "Black Market" (1976) and the highly successful "Heavy Weather" (1977), which included the famous tracks "Birdland" and "Havona." "Heavy Weather" became the first jazz-fusion album to sell a million copies.

Alex next moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1978 where he quickly earned the position of a valued session drummer and percussionist for recordings, television and motion pictures. His countless album credits include such diverse artist as U2, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Sergio Mendes, Yellow Jackets, Chic Corea, Julio Iglesias, Koinonia, Juan Gabriel, Luis Miguel, Placido Domingo, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and many more. Alex has also performed live with the likes of Al Jarreau, Roberta Flack, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Gipsy Kings, Paco de Lucia, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Christina Aguilera and Tito Puente, to name a few. Additionally, Alex has recorded film scores under the direction of Dave Grusin, Alan Silvestri, Michele Legrand, Bill Conti, Michele Colombier, Marvin Hamlish, Maurice Jarre, Mark Isham, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Lalo Schiffrin and others. He became the recipient of many awards and honors including the Emeritus MVP award from NARAS (National Academy of Recording for the Arts and Sciences) and winner of the "Best Latin/Brazilian Percussionist" of Modern Drummer's Readers Poll for five consecutive years.

Alex's South American and Caribbean roots and understanding of contemporary and classical music make him a complete and skilled master musician. In 2000, Alex Acuña y Su Acuarela De Tambores received a Grammy nomination for "Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album" for "Rhythms for a New Millennium". This solo album included varying styles of Latin, South American and African percussion. The nomination confirmed Alex's vast knowledge and expertise of percussion rhythms. Zan Stewart of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Alex Acuña is the epitome of the world music percussionist, to whom no style is a stranger". In addition, Alex has composed music for various artists and produced "Thinking of You" by Alex Acuña and the Unknowns, "Rumberos Poetry" by Tolú and "Aliyah" by Kay Silberling. This year will also see the release of Tolú's "Bongo de Van Gogh," the Unknowns follow-up album, and several projects for NIDO Entertainment.

Alex is widely known as an educator, gifted teacher and clinician of drums and percussion. He has recorded four solo instructional videos and provides seminars at universities such as UC Los Angeles, Berklee School of Music in Boston and other top international schools of music. DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Gon Bops Percussion, Gibraltar, Vic Firth, Evans and Shure microphones all sponsor Alex. He is also credited with the design of Zildjian's "Azuka" line of cymbals, signature Vic Firth sticks and the caddy stick bag, the Alex Acuña signature line of congas, bongos, timbales, cajons, and bells from Gon Bops Percussion.

Innovation, energy and pure heart characterize Alex's playing. It is easy to see why Alex Acuña is one of the most sought after musicians of our time. Alex recognizes his music as a gift from the Lord and gives all the glory to God!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 8:00 p.m. - Rolando Lozano

Lozano, Rolando (José Calazán Lozano). Flutist. Cienfuegos, las Villas. August 27, 1931. Lozano studied with his father Lorenzo Lozano and at the Academia de Música de Cienfuegos. He started his artistic career in 1942 as a flutist for the Moderna orchestra in his birth city and later joined the Estrella de Cienfuegos and the Banda Municipal where he played the clarinet and saxophone. In 1950, he began working as a flutist for the Aragón orchestra substituting Efrain Loyola; in 1954 he joined the América de Ninón Mondéjar orchestra with which, he traveled to Mexico. He later moved to Chicago where he joined the Nuevo Ritmo orchestra formed by - flute: Rolando Lozano; violin: Elizardo Aroche and Felix Legarreta (Pupi); piano: Rene Hernandez; double bass: Victor Venegas; conga: Armando Sanchez; timbal: Nicolas Martinez (Cuco); guiro: Rudy Calzado and singers: Lionel Braveti and Pellin Rodriguez – with which group he performed at the Palladium in New York.

Lozano later joined the charanga band La Sabrosa by the percussionist Ramon Santamaria (Mongo), and performed with them in the Village Gate in New York. He later recorded with the vibraphonist Cal Tjader, the timpanist Tito Puente and the pianist George Shearing. After relocating in Los Angeles, California, he played in the René Block Big Band with Jaime Calderon, with Los Internacionales and the Típica Antillana, in addition to creating the musical arrangements for these orchestras and salsa groups. His style of playing the flute is similar to Antonio Arcaño to the point that other flutists consider him to be his successor. To this regard he has said, “Arcaño has a very sweet and complete sound. His style is very classic and romantic and brings out the magical qualities from the flute, which always inspired me and caused me to admire his style so much. Rolando Lozano appears in the films: Del chachachá al mambo, Música de siempre, Las viudas del chachachá, Club de señoritas and Qué rico vacilón.

2011-2012: Abraham Laboriel  (11/1/11), Aruan Ortiz (1/10/12), Mongorama (2/21/12)

2010-2011: Jack Constanzo (11/17/10), Pat Rodriguez (1/19/11), Daniel Amat (4/19/11)

2009-2010: Rebeca Mauleon (11/19/09), Oscar Hernandez (2/16/10), Pete Escovedo (4/15/10)

2008-2009: Justo Almario (11/13/08)





Presented by the Whittier College Music Dept., Emerson Bran Management and the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts.
Inside Latin Jazz is an educational outreach series featuring interviews with leading Latin Jazz artists,
and is made possible by the generous support of the BCM Foundation.


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