February 9th 2024 @ 7:00 pm
Alkebulan Cultural Center
1435 N. Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
Students w/ ID $5.00
Children 12 and Under Free
About the Performers
Featuring The Rickey Woodard Funk Band
Rickey Woodard, Saxophone
Elaine Gibbs, Singer
Rahn Coleman, Piano
Kevin O'Neal, Bass
Lyndon Rochelle, Drums
Barbara Laronga, Trumpet
Host and Spoken Word Artist
Vibrant Rhythms of Latin Music feature the scintillating sounds of Salsa, Merengue, Samba and Bossa Nova. This program provides a musical experience that showcases the richness and variety of Latin American culture. A diverse range of sounds and rhythms characterized by their syncopation, percussive elements, and the use of various instrumentation, reflecting the regions and traditions of Latin America.
About the Performers
ROBERTITO “Rob” MELENDEZ, Percussion
Robertito Melendez was born in New York City, of Puerto Rican descent. He had the great opportunity to learn percussion at the Ile Ife Percussion School in Philadelphia and studied all Latin percussion and Caribbean rhythms. “My future goals consist of the following: to have a community-based workshop/studio for percussion learning; to continue traveling the world sharing rhythms and cultural sounds with various artists and students; and to study and perform at the National Afro-Cuban Conservatory in Cuba.” Robb “has collaborated with many Latin Jazz artists – Pancho Sancez, SOS Latin Jazz Band, Bobby Matos, Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band, and Bill Laster. He’s also formed numerous partnerships with other musicians across different Latin genres – Francisco Aguabella Salsa Orchestra, Miquel Cruz Afro-Cuban Group, Johnny Polanco y Su Conjunto La Amistad, Nocy, Brazilian flamenco jazz, Orchestra Macondo Salsa Band, Teddy Riveria and his Puerto Rican Orchestra, Tavio Figueroa and La Sopresa Salsa Band, Orchestra Versatil Charanga Group, Melocochita Salsa Orchestra, Afro-Taino Ensemble, Willy Cadena Cumbia and Salsa Band, and Conjunto Costa Azul Orchestra. Robb rounds out his musical interest while working with artists La Ultima Charanga Band, Johnny Martinez Band, Rudy Regalado Orchestra Chevere Latin Jazz Salsa, Karen Hernandez Jazz Quartet and Jump with Joey Ska Band. Throughout his career, Robb has not only been an accomplished musician, but also a passionate teacher, consistently striving share his expertise with future generations of musicians.
ROCIO MARRON, Singer, Violinist, Violist
Rocio Marron is a violinist, violist, who has ventured into the world of singing and songwriting. After falling in love with music as a young girl and attending the Colburn School for the performing arts in High School, Rocio studied performance violin at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Rocio has made a name for herself as being one of Los Angeles’ exceptional improvising violinists. This versatile artist has played in styles ranging from Country to Mariachi. She learned to improvise in her early years through the rock and country bands that she played with in college, and later went on to become one of the most sought-after violinists in the Latin music scene. In the Summer of 2017 composer Germaine Franco asked Rocio to perform solo violin on “Proud Corazón” in the Disney Pixar film “Coco.” Rocio has toured with Los Lobos and Quetzal; performed with Rihanna, Alessia Cara, and Cuban bass legend Cachao; recorded with Raphael Saadiq and GRAMMY® Nominated Caravana Cubana, among others. She is a violinist, string arranger and writer on the 2013 GRAMMY® Award-winning album “Imaginaries” by Quetzal. Rocio has recorded for several major motion pictures including “Encanto” and Jordan Peele’s “Us”. She has performed on television programs such as, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday Night Live. She was invited to record in the 2013 Maroon 5 music video for their single "Daylight" as a featured musician from Playing for Change. Rocio can be seen performing with Entre Mujeres, which is a collaboration of women making music across borders. Rocio is a current Adjunct Faculty Member of California Lutheran University. She is a former faculty member of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music where she taught violin, viola and guitar.
GIL TOWER, Flutist, Singer
Gil Tower, specializes in a variety of Latin music styles. For the past 25 years, Gil has worked for prestige entertainment agencies in Los Angeles as a flutist, arranger, and singer in the Latin genre. His repertoire includes Spanish Rock, Latin Pop, Boleros, Salsa, Bachata, Cumbias, Reggaeton, Latin Jazz, and traditional Cuban music. He has performed with the following notable artists: Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Oscar de León, Talía, Álvaro Torres, Luis Henrique, Dr. Dre and many more. Gil has sung at the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, for the Kennedy family, Sidney Poitier, Glodean White, Cuban festivals, Puerto Rican festivals, and the Long Beach Festival. He has also performed at international festivals with my Latin Jazz project in Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, at the Montana Flat Head festival and many more.
CARLOS ORDIANO, Pianist
Carlos Ordiano (Music Director, Piano) is a pianist and composer for the last 25 years. Born and raised in Southern California he has played in diverse music groups. From solo piano to big band. Currently touring with La Santa Cecilia he has branched out to writing for La Marisoul's debut album with a Latin big band sound called La Marisoul and the Love Notes. Carlos's arrangements can also be heard with independent artist, Estani Frizzell, whose album, “Droughts in the Ocean” relied heavily on Carlos. Ordiano is an alum from Santa Ana community college, and received his Bachelor’s in Jazz piano from California State Long Beach.
BRIAN J WRIGHT, Bassist
Bassist Brian J Wright is a Grammy nominated musician native to Southern California. Proficient on string bass, electric upright bass and electric bass guitar, he has been working and performing since 1998. He is well versed in many genres of music, including jazz, Latin, rock and pop, performing with many ensembles in Southern California. He has performed
and/or recorded with a variety of artists including; Llew Matthews, Ron Kobayashi, renowned jazz composer and educator Joey Sellers, Ron Stout (Grammy awardee), Benn Clatworthy, Steve Cotter, Francisco Aguabella, Poncho Sanchez, Mongorama, Calixto Oviedo, Yalil Guerera, Danilo Lozano, Mark Massey, Justo Almario, Ramon Banda and many others. Brian has performed for a number of television productions including Criminal Minds (2016), Beyond Borders (2016) and Jane The Virgin (2016). Among the many venues in which he has performed are the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Nokia Theatre, Shrine Auditorium, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. Earning a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Performance on upright bass at Whittier College in 2001, he received a Masters of Arts in Music in Jazz Performance at Fullerton College in 2018.
SPECIAL GUEST: TANGO EARTH
Carlos Barrionuevo & Mayte Valdes, Performers, Actors, Dancers, Choreographers, Storytellers
Carlos & Mayte became partners in 2007 and started working for some of the most prestigious tango shows of Buenos Aires. In 2008 they relocated to United States to continue performing for different shows including the Broadway show Forever Tango. In 2013 starred their first short film "Nina del Tango" which received a nomination for Best Short Film after being an official selection of eleven international film festivals, including two Oscar qualifying, they both received a nomination for best actress and actor at the "Silent River film festival".
In 2022 they were featured in the documentary series "Gusty" hosted and produced by Hillary Clinton. Currently In pre production for a horror vampier nIm Dog As the lead roles 2023 European tour as the lead couple with the Broadway show " Forever Tango". The couple is currently working on diverse projects both for the screen and theatre.