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Latin: Latin Jazz Latin: Cuban
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Los Gatos

by Los Gatos

Afrocuban, latin jazz, and salsa Los Gatos is a group that plays Latin Jazz and traditional Latin music. The group is comprised of members from Cuba, Chile, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and New Orleans.
Genre: Latin: Latin Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Los Amigos del Corazon / Friends of the Heart
3:33 $0.99
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2. In the Dark / En la Oscuridad
5:08 $0.99
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3. La Vida Musical / The Musical Life
5:04 $0.99
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4. Los Lunes Locos / Crazy Mondays
4:55 $0.99
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5. Skating / Patinando
2:28 $0.99
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6. Los Gatos / The Cats
11:25 $0.99
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7. Christmas is Coming / Navidad está por venir
2:49 $0.99
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8. Cosita Bonita
4:21 $0.99
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9. Por Fin / At Last
3:12 $0.99
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10. Trabajando por el Jefe / Working for the Boss
3:05 $0.99
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11. Los Gatos Reprise
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Fusing traditional jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms to make music that is exotic, hypnotic, and primal, yet sophisticated.

Los Gatos is a group that plays Latin Jazz and traditional Latin music. The group is comprised of members from Cuba, Chile, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and New Orleans. Live performances sometimes include dancer Sandra Meythaler of Ecuador.

Within Latin music, this CD demonstrates a wide array of styles and influences.

The New self-titled CD by Los Gatos is a must-listen!
_____
This Latin jazz project has developed with the musical influence of musicians from different regions coming together to form Los Gatos. The members of Los Gatos have played with Latin Jazz Project, Latin Heat, and Solazo. Their performances take the listener on a trip to distant lands. They draw on a repertoire including traditional African rhythms, Carribbean influences and traditional song forms.

This group seamlessly melds this with traditional jazz, being one of the original American-born music idioms.
_____ Vladimir Espinosa - percussion / vocals
Vladimir is a musician and dancer originally from the city of Havana, Cuba. His specialties include Latin and Afro-Cuban styles. He graduated from the ENA (Escuela National del Arte) in Cuba in 1985.

He has worked, performed, taught, and choreographed for many companies such as: Caribe–o (Cuba), National Folklorico de Cuba, Koral y Esmeralda (Ecuador), and more. As a performer Vladimir has traveled extensively throughout the US, Europe, Central and South America. In 1994 he served as the Artistic Director during ceremonies in conjunction with the election of the Queen of Ecuador, in Quito. Vladimir has played and toured with many musical groups such as Pueblo Nuevo (Ecuador) and Havana Express (Cuba).
_____ Jeff Hofmann - Upright and electric bass
Coming from a varied background of styles, Jeff brings a driving, hypnotic pulse to the group. He has toured throughout the country with different groups, and is currently a much sought after studio session bassist in central and southwestern Virginia. Jeff studied music at Roanoke College with Alan Weinstein of the Kandinsky Trio.

Jeff has presented music education programs with classical trios and music programs geared towards introducing new instruments and music to children.

Jeff has been instrumental in cultivating ethnic diverse music in Southwest Virginia and trying to make it more readily available to more and more varying audiences.
_____
David Sandoval - percussion / vocals
David is a percussionist born into a family of musicians. He was raised in Santurce, Puerto Rico and played in several local salsa bands. He played with such greats as Jose Justo Canales, Nacho Sanabria and Bobby Valentin. His styles include Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, merengue & salsa beats. His stepfather, Ray Coen is a well-known pianist/arranger/composer, and afforded him the opportunity to learn from such musical talents as Roy Rosario, Papo Pepin, Roberto Rohena & Rafael Cortijo.

David strives to foster ethnic diversity using his talents as a percussionist to cross racial and ethnical barriers. His diverse percussion skills bring a highly spirited flavor to the already-spicy rhythm section of Los Gatos. The melody can be as smooth as sugar cane, or as fiery as sazon!
_____
Lenny Marcus - piano/flute
Lenny Marcus worked for many years in New Orleans and south Louisiana. While there, Lenny had the opportunity to study with world-renowned jazz educator Alvin Batiste at Southern University, as well as the legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, among others. However, perhaps his greatest influences came from the strong left-handed, blues-oriented pianist Ray Bryant, to whom Lenny grew up listening. He also brings in a unique style, providing fresh innovative, traditional jazz improvisational solos on piano and flute. This melded with with the Cuban flavor of the montunos adds a wonderfully diverse layer to Los Gatos.
_____
Francisco Aranda - percussion / vocals
Francisco Aranda (Pancho) was born in Santiago, Chile. Growing up among musicians Pancho inherited his father's passion for music from an early age. Pepe Aranda, his father, was a very famous musician in Santiago, Chile. It was his father that first put a musical interest in Pancho's life.

His family moved to Ecuador where he continued polishing his musical skills. Francisco's musical focus was on Latin music of Central America and the Caribbean.

He was trained by well-known percussionist Vladimir Espinosa. Francisco learned to play the drums, congas, claves, and timbales. As a timbale virtuoso, he learned Afro-Cuban rhythms. Francisco devoted much of his life to studying different styles, rhythms, instruments and also the artistic cultural expressions of Latin music.

In 2001, his career took another turn as a percussionist when he became part of the band Solazo, a remarkable Latin group in the eastern United States. While with Solazo, Francisco performed in important festivals around the country such as: MerleFest-NC, Leaf Festival-NC, FloydFest-VA, and SOB-NY.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career, Francisco has rapidly gained a reputation as a talented artist that brings an important contribution to this unique and energetic new Latin jazz project called Los Gatos.
_____
Chris Magee - trumpet
Trumpeter Chris Magee is a native of Harrisonburg, Virginia and resides in Roanoke. He received the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in trumpet performance from James Madison University and received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Chris was staff trumpeter and arranger at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida from 1984 to 1987, and he has played lead trumpet with such artists as The Four Tops, The Temptations, The O'Jays, Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus, Marv Stamm, Chris Vadala and Bill Watrous and Bobby Shew. Chris taught music full-time in colleges in Mississippi and Iowa from 1990 to 1998.

Currently, Chris is principal trumpet with the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra in Lexington, and he performs around Virginia with Los Gatos and with Brass 5, a Yamaha Artist Group in Roanoke. He teaches at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and teaches trumpet, and at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, where he is Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet.

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Reviews


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jay perez

outstanding group the music is out of this world.
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Michael Bongard, "The Latin Train", Ottawa, Canada

"A vital new ensemble on the Latin-jazz scene"
Virginia is undoubtedly far down the ranks of major centers in the production of Latin music: one thinks, rather, of New York, Miami, Los Angeles. But Virginia has a special secret these larger cities don't share: it's home to Los Gatos, an interesting, vital new ensemble on the American Latin-jazz scene. Their self-titled 2006 release comprises eleven mostly instrumental numbers that showcase the band's versatility in both performance and composition. Guest vocalist Sammy Cardona lends a hint of danceable "sabor" to the more salsified tunes while the jazzier instrumentals--including the 11-minute Afro-Cuban tour-de-force title track, which features several members on traditional bata drums--attest to these artists' subtle but confident command of their individual instruments, from flute to flugelhorn, piano to percussion. Look out, Big Apple! Watch it, L.A.! Virginia is now in the vanguard and Los Gatos--the band and the cd--are a welcome addition to today's Latin-music scene.
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