Ready to turn your Latin JazzPowerON?

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Join us for an unforgettable afternoon…

from Eli Yamin, Managing Artistic Director

Dear JPI Friend,

While our Governor tells us we are “flattening the curve,” due to everyone’s efforts at social distancing, we are seeing more and more exciting online events from artists around the world.

This Sunday, April 26 at 4pm , you can join us for our first ever LATIN JAZZ POWER ON live streaming event. Please join me and dear friends and colleagues Annette Aguilar of Inwood and Steven Oquendo from Washington Heights as we host Latin JazzPowerON celebrating the living legacy of Latin Jazz today with a series of online appearances by some of today’s most dynamic performing artists.

You will be inspired!

Thank you for keeping JazzPowerON,


PS Today happens to be the birthday of Latin Jazz Icon TITO PUENTE ! Check out our Latin Jazz Power ON co-host Steven Oquendo at the age of 18 when he met The King of Mambo! Steven will tell us all about it on Sunday when we stream Latin Jazz Power ON.

Steven Oquendo (Age 12) meeting Tito Puente


Sunday, April 26, 2020 from 4-6 PM EST on Facebook Live and YouTube
LatinJazzPowerON is an online live-streaming event, presented by Jazz Power Initiative, a Northern Manhattan non-profit arts organization for jazz arts education and performance.

Featuring bandleader Annette Aguilar and StringBeans, and bandleader Steven Oquendo with his Latin Jazz All Stars and Rumbamena Dance Company dancer/choreographer, Ximena Salgado.
Supporters: New York City Council and Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council for the Arts, Women in Latin Jazz and the Hispanic Federation.


Artists and Bios

AP Fest
Eli Yamin, Managing Artistic Director and producer is a pianist, composer, singer, and educator who has been spreading the joy of jazz through his work for 30 years including 10 years as founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy and 17 years leading Jazz Power Initiative. For WBGO/Jazz 88 he produced Portraits in Blue with Bob Porter, Jazz From the Archives with the Institute of Jazz Studies and hosted Sunday Morning Harmony and for Sirius/XM he hosted Swing Street.
Annette A Aguilar is a Nicaraguan-American percussionist, bandleader, and educator. Originally from San Francisco’s Mission District, Annette Aguilar, formed her Latin and Brazilian Jazz group, Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans in 1992 inspired by her mentors Mongo Santamaria and Ray Barreto. Selected three times as Latin Jazz Ambassadors by the U.S. State Department in affiliation with the Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the group has toured South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar (where they performed for the president), sharing their knowledge of music from the Americas and the Caribbean.
Steven Oquendo, a Dominican Washington Heights native, is a trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator and leader of The Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra (SOLJO), a 19-piece big band captivating audiences with its unique combination of modern jazz and palladium era Afro Cuban, Latin Jazz, salsa, and mambo classics. He is Associate Conductor of the first New York All-City Latin Jazz Ensemble as well as Music Director at Pelham Preparatory Academy in the Bronx. Mentored by trumpet stars Jon Faddis and Wynton Marsalis, Oquendo has toured internationally and recorded and/or performed with a wide range of artists including: Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Juan Luis Guerra, Arturo Sandoval, The Machito Orchestra, The Tito Rodriguez Orchestra, Milly Quezada, La India, and Ray Santos.
Wilson Torres is a Dominican American percussionist who grew up in Washington Heights NYC and graduated from Manhattan School of Music. Wilson performed In The Heights on Broadway by Inwood’s own Lin-Manuel Miranda and will appear in the upcoming film adaptation.
Ruben Rodriguez, bassist, was born in New York City and grew up in East Harlem and Puerto Rico. Since getting his first big break playing with Johnny Colon in 1979, he has worked with Grover Washington Jr., Roberta Flack, Eddie Palmieri, The Fania All Stars, Machito, Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, India and Africando, and Celia Cruz.
Nicki Denner, pianist, has worked with Sheila E., Savion Glover, Doc Severinsen, KJ Denhert and Michelle Shocked. She leads her own trio and is the music director of the renowned Latin band Cocomama.
Karen Joseph, received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Philadelphia Musical Academy. As a flutist, she has performed with the who’s who of Latin music including: Eddie Palmieri, La Charanga ’76, Los Jovenes del Barrio, Charlie Rodríguez’s Conjunto featuring Johnny Pacheco and Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, and Hansel y Raul with the legendary Israel ‘Cachao’ Lopez.
Eddie Venegas is a violinist and trombonist originally from Venezuela who toured for many years with salsa star Marc Anthony. He is a founding member of Los Hacheros and has also performed with Orquesta Broadway , Pedrito Martinez, Don Omar, and Sonia de Los Santos.
Ximena Salgado is co-founder and Artistic Director of Rumbamena, dedicated to celebrating and honoring Latin rhythms and values such as joy, freedom, empathy and resilience through dance education and performance. Originally from Peru where she earned the title of National Salsa Champion soloist in 2015, Ximena’s theatrical experience includes performing in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” US Spanish Premiere at Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington DC. She also performed at Madison Square Garden with Tito Puente Jr.
Alberto Toro is a flutist, saxophonist, composer and arranger from Puerto Rico. He has worked with Bobby Sanabria; Los Pleneros de la 21; Arturo Ortiz y Siete Con Calle; Candido Camero; Luis “Perico” Ortiz Big Band; Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra, Andy Montañez; Charlie Aponte; Ismael Miranda; Roberto Roena; and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra under the direction of Oscar Hernández. In 2018, he received New York City’s prestigious Big Apple Teacher Award for his outstanding dedication and stellar work teaching band for the past 23 years.
Jose Claussell, percussionist believes that anyone born with the gift of drumming, had to be spiritually captivated by the heartbeat, throughout the developmental process in the womb. Born in Brooklyn and raised in a home where music was an essential life force, Jose performed for 25 years with Latin Jazz icon Eddie Palmieri and many other Latin Jazz masters.
Bassist Gerardo “Jerry” Madera is the son of the famed musical arranger and saxophonist Jose “Pin” Madera for the Machito Orchestra, and brother of great Latin music arranger, Jose Madera. He has performed and recorded with include Johnny Pacheco, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, Tipica 73, Joe Cuba, Hector Lavoe, The Mambo Legends Orchestra, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Adalberto Santiago, El Cano Estremera and Alfredo De La Fe.
Pianist Zaccai Curtis has performed with Donald Harrison, Cindy Blackman Santana, Eddie Palmieri, Christian Scott, Ralph Peterson, T.K. Blue, Brian Lynch, Ray Vega and Eric Person, among others. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Competition in 2003 and each year consecutively through 2006.


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