The Vernon Jazz Club will be heating up as Major Mambo and guests take the stage Saturday night.
The band will be playing hot sounds from Havana, Puerto Rico, New York and Brazil including Girl from Ipanema (Carlos Jobim), Dos Gardenias (Buena Vista Social Club), and Oye Como Va (Santana).
The audience will enjoy listening to the rhythmic grooves of salsa, mambo, cha cha cha, bolero, bossa nova, samba, and Latin jazz.
Major Mambo and guests are Luis Pablo Melgar (trombone), Chris Gallardo (conga/vocals), Stephen Buck (flute/sax), Tricia Dalgleish (piano/vocals), Darko Cuk (bass/vocals), and Trevor Salloum (Latin percussion/vocals).
Major Mambo’s music is a combination of Cuban son, salsa and Latin jazz. Their musical influences include Hector Lavoe, Oscar De Leon, Chucho Valdez, Cal Tjader, and Poncho Sanchez.
This group evolved from Ritmo Caliente, a six-piece Latin group that had performed throughout the Okanagan Valley over the last 15 years.
Originally, the group was strictly instrumental and featured many high school jazz band students that have since gone on to develop successful music careers of their own alongside more seasoned players such as Neville Bowman, Cam Ward, Ray Volk and Roy Kawano.
In the last few years, Major Mambo has added extensive vocals and harmonization and many guest performers. For over five years they have been playing regularly at Soul De Cuba Café in Kelowna and have just recently finished a series of engagements in Kelowna for Cinco De Mayo.
Salloum is a percussionist, author and teacher. He has studied music at Notre Dame University, York University, Escuela Nacional de Arte in Cuba, and the Banff Centre.
He has traveled throughout North America, Brazil, Cuba, and the Middle East, honing his skills studying with some of the great drum masters of Afro-Cuban, and Middle Eastern jazz, including Jim Blackley, Armando Peraza, Enrique Pla, and Mohammed Sadek.
He is a leader of several ensembles including Ritmo Caliente, The Trevor Salloum Group, Altarab, and Kalumba.
“I was drawn to Latin music due to the rich percussive feeling, exotic rhythms and dance,” said Salloum, who has travelled to Cuba several times and has studied music in Havana, Guantanamo and Santiago.
“After playing and studying jazz for several years I decided to form my own Latin group in the late ‘90s. It was hard to find musicians who were familiar with this style of music so the obvious choice was to find good jazz players and provide them with resources to learn the music.”
Melgar is a recent graduate of the music program at Capilano University. He is quickly becoming a first call trombone player in the Vancouver music scene.
Melgar has played with world class musicians such as Curtis Fuller, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Brad Turner, and Don Thompson. He currently leads several music groups playing in all sorts of styles from Latin to swing, to pop and reggae, and classical and funk.
Chris Gallardo is a young emerging salsero of Chilean background who will be featured singing and playing percussion with Major Mambo. He is also a gifted dancer.
After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, Buck became a full-time professional musician, playing the saxophone, clarinet, and flute in theatre orchestras throughout Canada, the U.S., Holland, France, England, and Germany.
As a solo performer, Dalgleish collaborates with many different types of musicians including violinists, singers, guitarists, and drummers. She also teaches piano in Kelowna.
Cuk is a regular member of Major Mambo. He can also be heard playing with choirs like The Celebration Singers.
Major Mambo and guests take the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup and at www.vernonjazz.ca.