Five-time Grammy nominee John Santos presents a very two-night tribute to legendary Cuban bassist/composer Israel “Cachao” López and Cuban percussion master Walfredo de los Reyes, with a dream ensemble featuring Santos’ working sextet with guests Cuban jazz icon Paquito D’Rivera, percussion great Orestes Vilató, the Classical Revolution Trio and Walfredo de los Reyes will perform on Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19th at SFJAZZ Center’s Miner Auditorium.. Known for originating the fusion of Latin rhythms into Cuban music that led to the style called “mambo,” Cachao helped revolutionize Cuban music, developing the descarga Cubana (Cuban jam session) and inspiring generations of musicians. Walfredo de los Reyes is a Latin jazz treasure and one of the most influential percussionists alive, pioneering the mixture of the drum set with Latin percussion and lending his ambidextrous talents to work with Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrell and Linda Ronstadt. For Santos, these nights are an opportunity to pay tribute to a pair of his greatest musical influences with a powerhouse group of modern Cuban masters.
The John Santos Sextet features John Santos on percussion, John Calloway flute on piano, Melecio Magdaluyo on saxophones, Marco Diaz piano on trumpet, Saul Sierra on bass, adn David Flores on drums. Special guests include Paquito D’Rivera on saxophones and clarinet, Orestes Vilató on percussion, Javier Navarrette on percussion, and Walfredo de los Reyes on percussion. The Classical Revolution Trio features Anthony Blea on violin, Matthew Szumela on violin, and Erin Wang on cello.
Multi-percussionist, John Santos, is a major exponent of Afro-Latin music through innovative use of traditional forms and instruments with contemporary music. He’s been a prolific performer, composer, teacher, writer, radio programmer, and record/event producer for over 35 years, having worked with acknowledged masters such as Cachao, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Bebo Valdés, Max Roach, Eddie Palmieri, Patato Valdés, Francisco Aguabella, Steve Turre, McCoy Tyner, Batacumbele, Omar Sosa, Giovanni Hidalgo, Negro Hernandez, Eddie Marshall, and Carlos Santana. John is a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He has conducted countless workshops, lectures and clinics in the US and Europe since 1972 at institutions of all types including the Adventures in Music program of the San Francisco Symphony, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Duke, the Universities of Wisconsin at Madison and Milwaukee, the University of Michigan, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Hayward, Cal State Sonoma, Cal State Sacramento, Cal State San Jose, Tulane University of Louisiana, The Jazz School in Berkeley CA, Jazz Camp West, the Los Angeles Music Academy, College of San Mateo, and La Universidad Inter-Americana in San Germán Puerto Rico. He was the founder and director (1985-2006) of the internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble, who released nine CDs with special guests from Puerto Rico, Cuba, NY, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, mostly on John’s Machete Records label.
The winner of several Grammy Awards, NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, he performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony.
D’Rivera co-founded the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna and served as the band’s conductor for two years. In 1973, he was co-director of Irakere, a highly popular ensemble whose explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban music had never before been heard. The band toured extensively and in 1979 was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Ensemble. In 1981, while on tour in Spain, D’Rivera sought asylum in the United States embassy. Since then he has toured the world with his ensembles — the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, and the Chamber Jazz Ensemble.
D’Rivera’s numerous recordings include more than 30 solo albums. In 1988, he was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble organized by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with jazz. In 1991, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music. That same year, as part of the band Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nation Orchestra, he was featured with James Moody, Slide Hampton, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Turre, and others on the Grammy Awardwinning recording, Live at the Royal Festival Hall. (Bio adapted from: http://arts.gov/honors/jazz )
The SFJAZZ Center is located at 201 Franklin Street (at Fell) in San Francisco. Phone: 866-920-5299. For tickets and other information, visit: sfjazz.org