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Jazz Arts Group of Columbus presents Latin rhythms of Ritmos Unidos - Fri. Mar. 27
(Published: February 18, 2015)

Columbus, OH - The Jazz Arts Group's Inside Track series concludes its 2014-15 season on Friday, March 27, 2015 at the historic Lincoln Theatre ballroom with the ear-bending Latin rhythms of Ritmos Unidos.

Led by seven-time Grammy nominee and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Michael Spiro, Ritmos Unidos is a high-energy ensemble comprised of Jacobs faculty and alumni that mixes Latin jazz, American funk, Brazilian pop, and other syncretic styles. With a name that loosely translates as "rhythms together," members of the ensemble include Spiro, Mike Mixtacki, Joe Galvin, Jamaal Baptiste, Pat Harbison, Nate Johnson, Joel Tucker, and Jeremy Allen in a show guaranteed to get your feet moving!

Think of the Caribbean as a vast and far-flung laboratory, with thousands of researchers constantly investigating and refining a dazzling array of African diaspora rhythms. Ritmos Unidos is a rare ensemble that draws inspiration from various corners of the region, from sacred Santería rituals of Cuba to the celebratory carnival grooves of Trinidad and Tobago. Under the direction of renowned percussionist Michael Spiro the band makes a major leap with its second, self-named album, an ambitious project centering on two extended pieces that encompass several profound rhythmic currents.

"Our intent isn't to play one style," states Spiro. "Ritmos Unidos means we're bringing many different rhythms together. It's a little bit different from what other Latin bands are doing."

After earning a Bachelor's Degree with honors in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Spiro headed north to Seattle for graduate work in ethnomusicology. But after two years an offer by Gordon to teach him batá drums brought Spiro back to the Bay Area. By 1982 he was in the thick of the Bay Area's thriving Latin music scene, playing in the seminal band Batachanga with percussionist John Santos and a teenage piano phenomenon named Rebeca Mauleón. The gig with Batachanga led to his apprenticeship with conga legend Francisco Aguabella, and in 1984 he made the first of more than two-dozen trips to Cuba.

Over the past three decades, Spiro has distinguished himself as a player, producer, educator, and bandleader. He's played a central role on a series of seminal recordings, including BataKetu, Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion, Bata-Mbira, and Grupo Ilu-Aña. As a session musician, he's played on soundtracks for major feature films and documentaries, contributed arrangements to a Tony Award-winning Broadway production (Blast!), and collaborated with a mind-boggling array of artists, including Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner, David Byrne, Cachao, Changuito, Frank Emilio Flynn, Ella Fitzgerald, David Garibaldi, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Toninho Horta, Bobby Hutcherson, Chico O'Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, and Charlie Watts.

Advance tickets are available for $20 (general admission) through the CAPA Ticket Office (614-469-0939) and through all Ticketmaster outlets. Salsa dance lessons begin at 7:30 pm with the Thiossane West African Dance Institute opening the show at 8:00 pm.

JAZZ ACADEMY COMPANION WORKSHOP: Saturday, March 28, 12:00 pm: Ritmos Unidos prides itself on spreading the aural traditions of jazz and Latin music through high-energy performances and educational outreach. From the fundamentals of "clave" - the rhythmic foundation of Latin music, to the history and development of jazz, Caribbean, and South American music, Michael Spiro and company will take you on an exciting journey into the beauty and essence of Latin jazz! Register via phone at 614-294-5200 x 107 or online at www.jazzartsgroup.org.

The Inside Track series gives music lovers from all walks of life the chance to stretch their ears and stretch themselves at the newly restored and historic Lincoln Theatre. Call 614-294-5200 or visit www.jazzartsgroup.org for more information.

The Inside Track music series is presented by State Auto and Sequent with ongoing support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, The Reinberger Foundation, and The Westin Columbus. Media support is provided by The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive, and WCBE 90.5 FM.

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America's oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world's finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG's extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

More Information: http://www.jazzartsgroup.org

Submitted By:
Jazz Arts Group of Columbus


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