Anthony Blea (violin, flute, educator, bandleader), a San Francisco native, graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. Blea has performed with a wide array of notable groups including the San Francisco Opera, Boz Scraggs, Ray Charles, Orquesta Broadway, the Machete Ensemble, Batachanga and Charanga 76. He founded his ensemble Anthony Blea Y Su Charanga in 1996, a perennial favorite with the salsa dancers.
Arturo Riera is an active member of the Bay Area Arts and Cultural community. He is a member of the Board of Directors of San Jose Jazz since 2005, served two years as Chair and still books the Latin and Salsa Stages for the organization. In 2001 Riera became the co-founder and Managing Director of The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, a youth performance and education group with a 100% scholarship provided for all members. He produced The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble’s CD, LJYE Live at Yoshi’s, released in January 2006 and GENERACIONES released in January 2010 on the Riera Digital Entertainment label. He co-founded Latino Entertainment Partners, an event production company specializing in Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music He is a prolific writer and photographer of the Bay Area Latin jazz scene. misterlatinjazz.com
Ava Apple is a dance instructor, performer, choreographer and founder of The Latin Symbolics dance company based in San Francisco. With a background in salsa, hustle, west coast swing, theater arts and American rhythm, Ava has created a unique salsa style that has earned her numerous titles, as well as performances around the world. Ava was one of the first salsa dancers to incorporate lifts and aerials into her salsa routines, and her dance company is likewise known for their complex tricks and aerials, and has produced some of the top salsa dancers in the Bay Area. Many well-known instructors and performers started out in her classes and/or on her team – including Junior & Emily Alibi, Ciro & Maryann Martinez, Alex Lee & Chi Le, John Narvaez & Liz Rojas, and Tellina Rezzoffi.
Benny (born Bayardo) Velarde (timbales, bongo) was born in Panama City, Panama. He hit the scene in the early 1950s playing percussion as a founding member the Cal Tjader Quintet and recorded 6 albums with the Quintet. His band Benny Velarde Y Su Supercombo has rolled out cha cha chas and mambos at Bay Area clubs for over 40 years.
Carlos Caro (percussionist, educator, and composer) was born in Havana and from an early age he was drawn to Cuban music, particularly percussion. He has appeared and recorded with numerous bands in Mexico and Cuba included Clave, La Ley, Opus 13 and Paulito F.G y Su Elite. Since Mr.Caro moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996, he has been a sought after percussionist and performed with Eddie Palmieri, Anthony Blea Y Su Charanga, Avance, Mazacote, Orquesta Moderna Tradicion and Rebeca Mauleon. In 2004 he with Saul Sierra and Marco Diaz formed Vission Latina, and debuted as a composer on their first album, Kitikimba Pa’Ti. Mira A Elena, a selection from Vission Latina’s fourth album appears on Salsa De La Bahia, the two CD anthology which is a companion to The Last Mambo. carloscaro.net
Ceci Chevere (dancer, teacher) was born to a large working class family in Carmichael California and moved to the Bay Area in the mid-1940. Ms. Chevere has spent every free minute spinning across the dance floor since she snuck into Oakland’s Sweet’s Ballroom in the 1948. During the 1990’s she hosted LTV, a cable television show which highlighted Bay Area Latin dance, music and culture. For 5 years she was the salsa teacher and D.J. at Caribee, a popular Oakland salsa club. Her boundless energy and optimism prompted her grandchildren to nickname her “Granny Go-Go.”
Cesar Ascarrunz (pianist, bandleader, and producer) Bolivian born Cesar Ascarrunz was the granddaddy of the Bay Area Salsa scene. Starting in the 1960’s, everybody went to dance salsa at Cesar’s Latin Palace in San Francisco’s Mission District. Run by the colorful pianist, bandleader and mayoral candidate Cesar Ascarrunz, Cesar’s had a stellar house band of Bay Area musicians and hosted the Salsa greatest names in basement club on Green Street in San Francisco’s North Beach in 1968. He played there 10 years with a band that included Joe Henderson, Luis Gasca, Hadley Caliman, Carmelo Garcia, Julian Priester, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aguabella and, Benny Velarde and many others. Jose Feliciano even sang there. In 1977, Ascarrunz expanded his operation and moved the club to 3140 Mission St where it flourished during the golden age of salsa. The venue hosted a who’s who Afrocuban music titans. “I hosted some great bands like Tito Puente, who played 10 times, Ray Barretto, Jose Fajardo, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe and others,” Ascarrunz says. “The capacity of the place was 500 people, but I used to pack 1,000 in there.
Chata Gutierrez (D.J., radio host) was born and raised in San Francisco. Since 1973, Gutierrez has hosted “Con Clave” the Bay Area’s longest running salsa music show on independent radio station KPOO 89.5 FM. Chata’s weekly broadcasts (now called “En Clave”) showcase her extensive knowledge of Latin musicology, culture and politics. Gutierrez garnered the renowned Tom Donahue Radio Award for best program in 1997. In 2001 she landed a Special Recognition Award from the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
Chuy Varela (music director, DJ, musicologist, journalist) Bay area native attended Cal State Hayward where he studied music and later mass communications, including print, TV and radio. He launched his professional career by working at the college’s cafeteria radio station with KCSM’s Clifford Brown Jr. and Keith Hines. In 1980, Chuy started work at KBBF in Santa Rosa, the first bilingual radio station in the country. From there, he went on to KPFA and became Music Director in the mid-90’s. While at KPFA, he was simultaneously working at KJAZ as a production assistant, recording engineer. When KJAZ went off the air in the mid-80’s, Chuy came to KCSM and hosted ‘Latin Jazz,” a popular Sunday afternoon program which features both vintage and contemporary Salsa and Afrocuban music. In 2000, he became KCSM’s Music Director and began co-hosting Jazz in the Afternoon with KCSM Program Director Melanie Berzon He also overseeing the incorporation of the KJAZ library and the digitization of its vinyl LPs. He is also a music writer who has contributed liner notes to many albums (including Salsa De La Bahia) and reviews to various newspapers and periodicals, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Latin Beat and JazzTimes. chuyvarela.com
David Belove (bass) a native of Kansas City, Dave moved to the Bay Area in the 1980s. Belove’s hard rocking bass has performed and recorded with a long list of Latin and mainstream Jazz artists including Benny Velarde, Pete Escovedo, Machete Ensemble, Claudia Villlela, Joe Henderson and Max Roach. Belove currently conducts music classes in Salsa Ensemble at the Berkeley’s Jazzschool. Belove continues to perform regularly Edgardo Cambon Y Su Candela and the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet.
Elena Pinderhughes (flute, saxophone, piano, vocals) Berkeley native surrounded by the Latin music since she was a baby. When it became clear that Elena was a gifted musical talent, her parents, university professors, arranged for her to study with some of the East Bay’s most talented Latin jazz, jazz, and classical musicians have taught the siblings, including Jackeline Rago, Guillermo Cespedes and Josh Jones, among others. They studied music at La Peña, were members of the Young Musicians Program practiced and performed at the Jazzschool, and had regular gigs at Cheeseboard Pizza. Both Elena and Samora played in Berkeley High’s prestigious jazz program. Elena has also studied classical flute with the San Francisco Jazz Program. She recorded numerous albums including The Transformations Suite composed and produced by her equally talented brother Samora.
Edgardo Cambon (percussion, vocals, songwriter, and producer) was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and moved to the Bay Area in 1987. Cambon, largely self-taught, kicked off his professional career at age 9, singing Tangos and playing Bombo Leguero and Candombe drums, traditional Uruguayan percussion instruments. Cambon has performed and toured throughout South America, Europe and Africa and has appeared at the Havana Jazz and Benny Moré Festivals. Cambon has performed and/or recorded with artists such as “Chucho” Valdes (Irakere), Carlos Santana, Joan Baez, Claudia Gomez, Keith Terry (Crosspulse), Omar Sosa, Mark Levine, Jeff Narell, Andy Narell, Sovosó, Michael Spiro, Rebeca Mauleon, Johnny Rodriguez and Armando Peraza and many others. Cambon currently leads three salsa/Latin jazz ensembles including Candela, Latido and Montuno Swing, taking center stage playing congas and singing. musicandela.com
Francesca Rivera is an ethnomusicologist, teaching courses in PASJ, Music, Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Research areas include: genre labeling in expressive cultures, culture bearers, post-colonial nationalist movements, mestiz@/mixed-race identity formations, and alternative music pedagogies that maximize the agency of young musicians. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, M.A. from UC Berkeley, and is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley completing a dissertation about Panamanian music and community-based conjuntos de proyecciones folkloricas. She has been teaching at USF since 2005.
Historian, producer and dancer.
"As a young Puerto Rican American growing up in the Bay Area, I learned very quick from my Grandmother the importance of the consciousness from the soil... "Ritmo Para La Vida". (Rhythm For Life)
My knowledge and spirit came from two very important people in my life, Carlos Federico and Pete Escovedo. They inspired me not only with their music but their spirit. When you dance to their music, any negative emotions or experiences melted away."
Ivette Fuentes (D.J., internet radio host) was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico and moved to the Bay Area in the 1986. Known as DJ La Coqui., Ms. Fuentes’ was saturated with traditional Puerto Rican music traditions (Bomba and Plena) and the high voltage salsa of Sonora Poncena, Hector Lavoe and Willie Rosario. DJ La Coqui has worked with well know artists such as Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, Ray Barrerto and Sonora Ponceña. DJ La Coqui delights the dancers at Bay Area salsa clubs, the San Francisco International Salsa Congress and “El Dia De San Juan, an annual Puerto Rican cultural festival held in San Jose, California. DJ la Coqui has been hosting a weekly Latin music broadcast on live365.com since 2003.
John Calloway, a Bay Area native, began performing Afro-Cuban and Caribbean music as a teenager in San Francisco’s Mission district. Originally a percussionist and drum set player, he quickly branched out into woodwinds, trombone and piano, eventually focusing on the flute. John has performed around the world, and his credits as a performer/arranger include work with Israel “Cachao” lopez, Omar Sosa, Pete Escovedo, Max Roach, Chocolate Armenteros, Carlos “Patato” Valdez, Jesus Diaz and Rebeca Mauleon.. He is also a founding member of the Machete Ensemble led by John Santos, having written and arranged much of their material.
His recording credits as a performer and composer include his debut CD “Diaspora”, released in 2001, and collaborations with Jesus Diaz and QBA, Pete Escovedo, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Rebeca Mauleon, and numerous recordings with both John Santos and Omar Sosa. Several of these recordings were nominated for Grammies, including “SF Bay” (2003) with the Machete Ensemble, and Ritmo y Candela (1996) and Ritmo y Candela II (1998), which featured Cuban percussionists Changuito, Patato, Orestes Vilato and Walfredo de Los Reyes.
John teaches Afro-Cuban and Latin American music courses at San Francisco State University and the Jazz School in Berkeley. He frequently travels to Cuba as program coordinator for PlazaCuba, an arts company that offers courses in conjunction with the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba. He has also participated in prominent clinics and workshops, including the Stanford Jazz Workshop, JazzCamp West, and the Gallery 37 project located in Chicago. John holds a B.A. in music from City College of New York, an M.A. in Music Education from San Francisco State University and a doctorate in international and multi-cultural education from the University of San Francisco. johncalloway.com
John Santos (percussionist, bandleader, composer, educator) Five-time Grammy-nominated percussionist and US Artists Fontanals Fellow, John Santos, is one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world today. Born in San Francisco, John was raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean musical traditions of his family. The culturally rich artistic environment of the Mission District shaped his career and lead to his studies of Afro-Latin music in New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil and Colombia. Over the years his bands (Tipica Cienfuegos, Batahchanga, Machete Ensemble and his current quintet) embody his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music. Renowned as a composer, teacher, writer and musicologist, John has been consultant to the Smithsonian and regularly holds workshops at The Jazzschool, Museum of the African Diaspora and Jazz Camp West. johnsantos.com
José Francisco Barroso, a born in Havana, spent his childhood enveloped in Cuba’s rich artistic and spiritual environment. At a very young age Barroso was dancing the popular Cuban styles of son, casino, rueda, and rumba. As a teenager, Barroso competed and was recognized throughout Havana for his skills in the American forms of hip-hop and break dance. Literally discovered dancing on the street corner in Havana, Barroso was mentored by director of Cuba’s Compania Folklorica Raices Profundas, Juan de Dios Ramos, and rapidly began his journey and career in Afro-Cuban dance. Immersed in the dance and music tradition of his ancestors, Barroso delved ever deeper into the significance and roots of his culture. Today, director and choreographer José Francisco Barroso is regarded as among the foremost authorities on Afro-Cuban dance, music, and folklore.
Barroso has been honored with numerous awards and grants including the Isadora Duncan Dance Award (2006), California Arts Council Artist-In-Residence Grant (1995-2001)and ACTA Living Cultures Grant Program (2006) and numerous others. Barroso has held residency positions at several universities and colleges such as Stanford University, California State University Sacramento, San Jose State University, Humboldt State University, San Francisco State University, New College of San Francisco, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Laney College, and Mills College and continues teaching extremely popular classes for children and adults, in arts centers, private studios, community centers, and public schools. Barroso continues to expand and exhibit his already impressive knowledge of Yoruba traditional practices by studying and collaborating with numerous Cuban and African masters of drum, dance and culture. obakoso.org
Jose Ruiz (D.J., radio host), born in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, has immersed himself in music for over 40 years. Since he arrived in the Bay Area in the 1980’s, Ruiz has a popular host for long running programs like “Ritmos De Las America” on KPFA 94.1. FM. He has been a sought after D.J. for a long list of Bay Area’s Salsa and Latin Jazzs (e.g. Kimball’s Carnival, Mr. E’s,El Rio, The Seahorse). In 2011 Ruiz came on board as co-host (with Chata Gutierrez) for “En Clave” the Bay Area’s longest running salsa music show on KPOO 89.5 FM. Ruiz’s extensive knowledge and reverence for tonalities and textures from the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and beyond make him a vibrant music ambassador and educator.
Karl Perazzo (timbales, bongo, vocals), San Francisco native still remembers dreaming of playing with his idol Santana. “I used to play with the band when I was younger,” he jokes, “but then the needle broke. Perazzo has been playing percussion since he was two years old and his considerable talent landed him gigs with Cal Tjader, Malo, Ray Obiedo, Prince and Andy Narell. In 1991 when Perazzo hooked up with Santana to play timbales and currently records and tours with them. . Perazzo has also performed and recorded with Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie, Phish, The United Nations Orchestra and John Lee Hooker. Perazzo also teaches percussion and has starred in Latin Percussion’s popular instructional video From Afro-Cuban to Rock, which breaks down the complex musical rhythms of Cuban percussion. In 1994, Perazzo teamed with his cousin Armando Alvarez and co-leader Armando Cordoba to launched Avance, a 13 piece salsa band. In 2005 Perazzo and co-leader Michael Spiro formed Karabali, a group dedicated to performing danceable, “old school” salsa. Bringing to the Bay Area for the first time the traditional NY conjunto sound, popularized by Johnny Pacheco, Conjunto Clasico and Conjunto Libre.
Kat Parra, a long time resident of San Jose, CA , is gifted vocalist and composer. Since she quit her job as a graphic designer at Cisco Systems, Inc. to pursue her passion for music and she’s never looked back. Since then the award-winning composer has released four critically acclaimed CDs, has performed in Amsterdam, Brazil and Mexico as well as top-tier venues throughout the United States, earned the designation “Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2010 and 2008” by Latin Jazz Corner, and received a 2008 nomination for “Latin Jazz Album of the Year” from the Jazz Journalists Association.
In addition to singing fluently in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Kat has the rare ability to sing in the dying language of Ladino, or Judeo-Espanyol, which enables her to interpret Sephardic music (Music of the Spanish Jews) faithfully. Her musical offerings embrace a diverse array of harmonies--from classical music, salsa music, afro-cuban, middle-eastern, afro-peruvian and all the way to the ancient sounds of Sephardic music. katparra.com
Louie Romero (percussionist, bandleader, and educator) has appeared on five gold records and two platinum records. Born in Brooklyn, he began playing percussion at the age of seven, inspired by his father and his parents’ extensive record collection. Louie began appearing on the New York salsa scene in the 1960s. His professional career took off when in 1967; famous trombonist and bandleader Willie Colón asked Louie to join his band. Since then Louie has played with Fania orchestras and shared the stage with Latin music and jazz icons like Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades and Paquito D’Rivera. After moving to the Bay Area in the 1980s and Louie formed his own group Mazacote in 1994, which quickly gained a reputation as one of San Francisco’s finest salsa bands. His album Timbalero released in 2006 showcases his musicianship and Mazacote’s energy. mazacote.com
Luis Medina (D.J. radio host, producer, M.C.), raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, Medina is the music director at KPFA Pacifica Radio 98.5 FM. His weekly radio program Con Sabor. Medina keeps the listeners pumped up with a lively mix of salsa, Latin jazz, Afro Cuban and Afro Caribbean music. As a sought after M.C., Medina has worked with the San Francisco Carnival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Spring Season and the Stern Grove Festival. His awards include the 1999 Espiritu De La Musica Latina award and the Lifetime Achievement award for radio excellence presented at the 2002 San Francisco Salsa Congress. Medina was a featured interviewer in the music documentary Cachao – Uno Mas produced by Andy Garcia.
Marco Diaz (composer, trumpet, piano). Marco Diaz was born and raised in San Francisco. His formal music training in both piano and trumpet began at the age of 14 when he earned a scholarship into the Community Music Center’s Young Musician Program and began playing professionally at the age of 17 throughout the Bay Area with various Latin jazz, salsa, and reggae and R&B bands. Today Marco is an accomplished recording musician who has shared the stage with Grammy Award winning artist, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Jimmy Bosch, Pete “el Conde” Rodriguez, Anthony Blea, co-leads his own group Vission Latina, an Afro-Caribbean dance band, and is co-owner of a record producing company. He is an integral member of the John Santos sextet and Bobi Cespedes group that perform and conduct master classes at University and community settings throughout the country. Marco has participated in the SF Symphony AIM program from 2000 – 2013 and has been on faculty at Jazz Camp West. Recently, Marco completed seven full length recordings, ranging from electronica to Mexican folk, and is soon to release his first solo album. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Minor in Economics. Marco is also fluent in Spanish.
Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, recording artist, and educator, known specifically for his work in the Latin music field. He has performed on hundreds of records, co-produced several instructional videos and produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre with numerous groups, including Orquesta Batachanga, Grupo Bata-Ketu, and Grupo Ilu-Aña.
Michael is currently a Professor of Music at Indiana University, where he has developed the curricula in both the Percussion and Jazz Departments for teaching Latin American music and culture. He has been a faculty member or artist-in-residence at universities world wide, including the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, Banff Center of the Arts, the Rotterdam Conservatory, In 2008 he launched two ground-breaking educational websites – www.congamasterclass.com, and www.sambamasterclass.com, both of which offer complete and comprehensive instruction on the internet of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian music and culture. Michael authored "The Conga Drummer's Guidebook" a text specifically designed for intermediate to advanced conga drummers. These educational tools have made him one of the major worldwide players in current instruction of Latin American percussion.
Michael is a seven time Grammy nominee, whose recording and performing credits include such diverse artists as David Byrne, Dori Caymmi, Changuito, Richard Egues, Frank Emilio Flynn, Ella Fitzgerald, David Garibaldi, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ray Holman, Toninho Horta, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. John, Mark Levine, Machete Ensemble, Bobby McFerrin, Andy Narell, Ray Obiedo, Chico O'Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, Carlos Santana, Grace Slick, Omar Sosa, Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner and Charlie. michaelspiro.com
Murray Low is a veteran pianist of the Bay Area jazz scene and has been playing, composing, arranging, recording and teaching professionally for over thirty years. His fluency in all forms of jazz and its blending with other idioms has led to his multi-faceted career spanning a wide variety of musical contexts.
Murray is best known for his contributions to Latin jazz, salsa and Afro-Cuban musical landscape. In his twenty-two years of involvement he has established himself as one of the premier pianists in that genre, being nominated as 2008 Pianist of the Year by the Latin Jazz Corner and for a Grammy in 2004 as part of the Machete Ensemble. He has been the regular pianist/collaborator with several top Bay Area ensembles including Wayne Wallace’s Quintet, John Calloway’s Diaspora, Jesus Diaz y su QBA, Pete Escovedo Orchestra, and John Santos’ Machete Ensemble. He has also collaborated with Latin Jazz giants Ray Vega, Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Nestor Torres, and Andrea Brachfeld. Murray is also actively involved in many Murray is also actively sought out as a first-rate accompanist, particularly for vocalists. He is the musical director for world jazz vocalists Kat Parra and Alexa Weber Morales. He has successfully collaborated with several notable singers, including Kitty Margolis, Judy Wexler, Ellen Robinson, Jamie Davis, Lichi Fuentes and Anna Estradafirst-call Bay Area projects in other jazz idioms including “straight ahead”, fusion and free-form styles.
As an educator, Murray currently teaches Jazz Piano and Ensemble performance at Stanford University, taught Jazz Theory and Improvisation at U.C. Santa Cruz from 2007- 2009, and was Artist-In-Residence for the renowned Kuumbwa Jazz Center for 2008-2009. He has been a guest lecturer and clinician at several colleges, universities, and high schools throughout California. He also teaches privately and is an active consultant for several musicians in the area, and previously held positions at U.C. Berkeley and the Jazzschool.
Pete Escovedo (percussionist). Pete Escovedo is the patriarch of Bay Area Latin jazz with a career that now extends over 60 years. His legacy in Oakland spans the pioneer Mambo Sessions at the California Hotel with Carlos Federico, The Escovedo Bros. Latin jazz Sextet with his brothers, Coke and Phil, the Latin jazz rock ensemble, Azteca, and his collaborations with his immensely talented family that include daughter Sheila, and sons, Juan and Peter Michael. peteescovedo.com
Rebeca Mauleon (musician, bandleader, composer, GRAMMY-nominated producer, author, and educator) grew up in the Bay Area music during the 1970’s and has carved a distinct niche as one of the most multi-faceted artists on the world music scene. She brings her more than 30 years of experience as a composer, performer and educator to her current position as director of education for SFJAZZ. She has recorded with Grammy-winning legends including Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Joe Henderson and Mickey Hart. Mauleón’s solo releases Round Trip, Latin Fire and Descarga en California have garnered international critical acclaimed. Her diverse compositional projects have ranged from symphonic works and Afro-Cuban jazz to music for film, television and computer software companies. In 2008 she was honored by the San Francisco Jazz Festival with its Beacon Award for artistic excellence and dedication to the community. In 2009 Rebeca received a Latin Grammy Nomination for her production of Orestes Vilató’s It’s About Time. She authored of the critically acclaimed Salsa Guidebook and 101 Montunos, and is also musicological consultant to National Geographic, Time Life and regular contributor to several top industry magazines, including JazzTimes, Keyboard, Grammy Gateway, Modern Drummer, Mix en Español and Bass Player. In 2011 Mauleon was appointed as Director of Education at SFJAZZ, and is a tenured professor of Latin American music, composition and Latin jazz piano, as well as an internationally sought-after as a lecturer and clinician on the subject of Latin American and Afro-Caribbean music history and performance. rebecamauleon.com
Roger Glenn This New York City born and raised Latin jazz master got his start listening to his father, Tyree Glenn, play trombone and vibraphone with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. Roger was later able to perform with his father to perfect the skills necessary to create his own sound that makes him a great solo artist. Now living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Roger spends part of his time performing on the West Coast and the rest of his time concertizing in Europe. Roger’s flute playing is featured on the Grammy Award-winning Cal Tjader CD La Onda Va Bien, as well as many notable CDs by Donald Byrd, Peaches and Herb, Bobby Hutcherson, and Mongo Santamaria.
Today, he works with many different musicians, including Steve Miller, John Handy, Ray Obiedo, Jamie Davis, James Carter, Poncho Sanchez, Lavay Smith, Leon Joyce, Jr. and Pete Escovedo, Cesar’s Latin All-Stars and the Roger Glenn Latin Jazz Ensemble. He is an extremely versatile musician and can plays sax, flute, vibes, clarinet, oboe, and many Latin hand percussion instruments. He has performed at venues all over the world, and has gained the respect of many musicians, critics, and audiences alike.
Saul Sierra (bass, vocals, composer, and educator) was born and raised in Mexico City and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Since he came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999, Mr. Sierra has performed, toured or recorded with who’s who of Latin music heavy weights including Nestor Torres, Jimmy Bosch, Orestes Vilato, John Santos, Jesus Diaz and Maria Marquez. Since 2003, has been a member of some the Bay’s leading ensembles including the John Santos Quintet, Anthony Blea Y Su Charanga, Jesus Diaz y su QBA and The Snake Trio. He is a founding member of Vission Latina with Marco Diaz and Carlos Caro and maintains a busy schedule teaching, composing, arranging and performing. saulsierra.com
Selma Abinader (dancer, teacher) a native of Carmichael, West Virginia moved to the Bay Area in the 1989 and enjoys dancing Lindy Hop, tango and salsa. She is also the founder of Selma Abinader & Associates (SAA) a consultation firm which has assisted government agencies, education and funding institutions and non-profit groups for over 25 years.
Sylvia Ramirez is a web producer and social media professional and co-founder of the Latin Jazz Youth ensemble(LJYE). Sylvia is the co-founder and co-director of the LJYE. Her extensive role with the LJYE includes writing and managing internal and external multimedia communications including CD graphics and liner notes; edit and curate all website content; overseeing all media relations, managing social media marketing, and coordinate the groups performances and events. She also works at Riera Digital as a consultant on web content, social media marketing, and multimedia content integration for clients. She has also served as web producer for the News at KRON 4 TV. She is avid supporter of Latin Jazz music performance and education for all ages.
Steve Friedman (dancer) is a native of Los Angeles and sought after hairstylist. He is a skilled dancer who enjoys Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing and salsa.
Wayne Wallace (trombone, keyboards, vocals, bandleader, composer, producer, educator), a San Francisco native, is a five-time GRAMMY-nominee. He is an accomplished arranger, educator, and composer of numerous compositions for film and television.Mr. Wallace has performed, recorded and studied with a stellar array of masters of Afro-Latin and jazz idioms such as Aretha Franklin, Bobby Hutchison, Earth Wind and Fire, Pete Escovedo, Santana, Julian Priester, Conjunto Libre, Whitney Houston,Tito Puente, Steve Turre, John Lee Hooker, Con-funk-shun, Francisco Aguabella, Manny Oquendo and Libre, Max Roach, and Orestes Vilató. Mr. Wallace is widely respected as a teacher and historian and is currently an instructor at San Jose State University, Stanford University and the Jazzschool in Berkeley. In 2006, Wallace launched Patois Records, his own record label and has released nine different recordings and produced Salsa De La Bahia a groundbreaking anthology of Afro-Cuban Music from San Francisco Bay Area Salsa and Latin Jazz Bands. Mr. Wallace composed three new songs for this two-CD with which is a companion piece to The Last Mambo, and features Latin music giants Orestes Vilató, John Santos, Jesus Diaz, John Calloway, and Benny Velarde. walacomusic.com