John Santos: Unidad Latina

RAICES: A Series Curated by John Santos

John Santos: Unidad Latina

Orestes Vilató, John Calloway, Bob Crawford, Anthony Blea, Saul Sierra, David Flores, José Roberto Hernandez, Manuel Constancio, Fernanda Bustamante

Saturday, December 2nd

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$26 ADV / $30 DOOR (plus fees)

All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.

John Santos
John Santos
Seven-time Grammy-nominated percussionist, US Artists Fontanals Fellow, and 2013-2014 SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director, John Santos, is one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world today.

Born in San Francisco, California, November 1, 1955, he was raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean traditions of his family, surrounded by music. The fertile musical environment of the San Francisco Bay Area shaped his career in a unique way.

John was the director of the Orquesta Tipica Cienfuegos (1976-1980) and the award-winning Orquesta Batachanga (1981-1985). He was founder and director of the internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble (1985-2006), with whom he released nine CDs with special guests from Puerto Rico, Cuba, NY, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, mostly on John’s Machete Records label that was founded in 1984 and continues today. He currently directs the highly acclaimed John Santos Sextet Latin jazz ensemble with five full-length CDs under their belt to date. Papa Mambo was released in 2007. Their second CD, Perspectiva Fragmentada, (2008) was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association (NY), and by Cubadisco (Cuban Grammys) as one of the top Latin Jazz releases of the year, and selected as one of the five top Latin Jazz CDs of 2008 by New York’s All About Jazz magazine, among many honors. Filosofía Caribeña Vol.1 (2011) received a four-and-a-half star review from Downbeat Magazine! Filosofía Caribeña Vol.2 was released in 2013. Siempre Clásico (2014) features amazing special guests Ernesto Oviedo and Orestes Vilató. John has also produced four full length CDs with his Afro-Caribbean Folklóric Ensemble, El Coro Folklórico Kindembo since 1994, two of which were Grammy-nominated. The most recent, La Esperanza (2011), garnered a four star review in Downbeat Magazine!
Orestes Vilató
Orestes Vilató
Percussionist born May 4, 1944 in Camagüey, Cuba.

Vilató started his pro career at age twelve with Belisario López's charanga, followed by stints with José Fajardo ('62-5), Johnny Pacheco (eight months) and Ray Barretto ('65-72); he also performed with Machito, Tito Puente, Fania All Stars, Mike Martínez's Latin Dimensions and others. In 1972 five of original lineup split from Ray Barretto band at height of its popularity: Adalberto Santiago, lead singer; Orestes Vilató, Johnny 'Dandy' Rodríguez, René López, and Dave Pérez formed Tipica 73.
Musical differences about 'stretching out' or staying típico split the band: Vilató, Santiago, Mannozzi, González left '76 to form Los Kimbos; Vilató later revealed that he and the other defectors had became dissatisfied with Dandy's financial management and Típica's failure to match the highly paid incomes of other mid-'70s salsa acts. Los Kimbos was a gutsy club band on eponymous LP '76, Mannozzi switching to piano and with trumpeter and musical director Roberto Rodríguez (d '88) from Barretto's band; on second LP they were The Big Kimbos with Adalberto Santiago '77, whereupon Santiago went solo and the band split into "Nelson González And His Band" (debuting on eponymous LP '77 on TR) and "Vilató y Los Kimbos", which released two further albums: Hoy y Mañana '78 and Aquacero Ne Me Moja '79. Disenchanted with Cotique, Vilató relocated to San Francisco '80 to work with Carlos Santana until 1988, thereafter he organised a gigging band called Los Kimbos 90 in 1990.
John Calloway
John Calloway
Dr. John Calloway is a nationally recognized flautist/multi-instrumentalist/composer and arranger who has had a long and productive career as both a professional musician and an arts educator. Known for his prolific work in Latin jazz, jazz and Cuban popular music, John has performed and toured with musicians such as Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Max Roach, Jovino Santos Neto, Omar Sosa, Charles Musselwhite, and Pete Escovedo. As an arranger and composer, John has written for several GRAMMY nominated recording projects with the Machete Ensemble and Rhythm at the Crossroads, as well as for feature films, including the HBO movie “Hemingway & Gelhorn.”
Bob Crawford
Bob Crawford
Bob Crawford was born in Long Beach California, and raised in the Bay Area with his 12 brothers and sisters. Primarily self taught, he started playing in bands with his saxophone playing twin brother during their college years. After graduating, Bob gained experience in various Bay Area ensembles, playing jazz, funk, Latin and Brazilian music. In 2001 he was offered the keyboard chair in Michael Franti’s band Spearhead. Bob logged multiple tours throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan. Bob also recorded on several of Spearhead’s albums and appeared on a number of international TV programs with the band. Also with Spearhead, Bob found himself performing with a who’s who of international stars, including Tre Anastasio, Me’Shell NDegeOcello, Chuck D, Ani DiFranco, Jack Johnson, Robert Randolph, Woody Harrleson, Mixmaster Mike, as well as members of Ozomatli, Zap Mama, and Galactic.
Bob took a break from extensive touring to spend time with his family, and to pursue his own musical vision. Now residing in the East Bay, Bob continues to perform and record with a variety of artists, including Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia, Mazacote, Boca De Rio, Greg Errico (Sly and the Family Stone), Ray Obeido, Pete Escovedo, Lee Oskar (War), Lenny Williams and Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), Pedrito Calvo (Los Van Van) Richard Bean (Malo), The New York Gypsy Allstars, as well as members of El Chicano, Santana, Tierra, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and many more.
Recently, Bob has served as the musical director for the Latin Kings Allstar band, which features members from Tower of Power, Malo, and The Whispers. He has worked with the fantastic Alayo Dance Company and the Stagebridge Theatre Group. He has also worked for two years with the San Francisco Symphony’s “Adventures in Music” program, bringing music to every public elementary school in San Francisco. Bob also leads his own piano trio, and is founding member of the latin jazz-funk band Machina Sol.
Anthony Blea
Anthony Blea
Anthony Blea was born and raised in San Francisco. Started playing the violin at age eight in public Schools and was accepted to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at age eleven as a full scholarship student. Anthony went on to receive a Bachelors Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Raphael Bronstein and his Masters Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory where he majored in String Quartet performance. Having played with Afro-Cuban bands here in San Francisco and New York City Anthony continues to play a wide variety of music in the Bay Area and internationally. He has played and recorded with Artists such as and including, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Ray Charles, S.F. Opera Orchestra, John Santos Ensemble, Jazz Mafia, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Charanga 76, Orquesta Broadway and many more. Anthony also is a professor of Music at the San Francisco City College where he teaches Orchestra, Violin and Community Choir.
Saul Sierra
Saul Sierra
Saul Sierra Born and raised in Mexico City, where he started playing professionally in 1990. He moved to Boston Mass. in 1995 and attended the Berklee College of Music where he graduated in the summer of 1999, with a major in Performance. Some of his teachers included Oscar Stagnaro, Rich Appleman, Daniel Morris, and Jim Stinnet. He received the US Scholarship tour award and the Outstanding Performer award at Berklee.

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since the fall of 1999, Saúl has performed, toured or recorded with Nestor Torres, Jimmy Bosh, Eddie Montalvo, Johny Rodríguez, Orestes Vilató, Bobi Céspedes, Antonio Sánchez, Miles Peña, John Santos, Jesús Díaz, Rebeca Mauleón, Mark Levine, Greg Landau, Mike Spiro, Jackeline Rago, Chuchito Valdez, Alexander Livinali, Wayne Wallace, Aquiles Baez, Marco Granados, Anthony Blea, Doug Beavers, and María Márquez, among others.

For the past 10 years Saúl has been a member of some of the leading bands in the Bay Area, including The John Santos Quintet/Sextet, Bobi Cespedes’ band, Dr. Loco’s Rocking Jalapeño Band, El Tren Trío, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, The Snake Trío, Jesús Díaz y su QBA, The Bay Area Afro-Cuban All Stars, The Venezuelan Music Project, Corazón Sur, and Sababa band.

A founding member of Vission Latina, the band that he co-leads with Carlos Caro, percussionist extraordinaire, and Marco Díaz, virtuoso multi-instrumentalist ( piano/trumpet ), Saúl keeps himself busy performing, composing, arranging and teaching in the world class musical community of the San Francisco Bay Area.
David Flores
David Flores
Raised in the Bay Area, David Flores began his musical journey at age three when he began playing his first set of drums. The son of a bass player, David was born into the rhythm section while sitting behind his father’s bass rig and his uncle’s drum set. This profound introduction into the world of live music would carve a life-long path for this tireless student, performer, and educator.

David is adept at playing Jazz, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Brazilian, Hip-Hop, Afro-Cuban, and Orchestral compositions. Although he is a drum set player at heart, David is also a skilled hand-percussionist. David has had the honor of working with local and international trailblazers including: Lauryn Hill, Donna Summer, Randy Brecker Armando Peraza, Pete Escovedo, Orestes Vilato, Jesus Diaz, John Santos, Michael Spiro, Jerry Gonzales, Paquito De Rivera, Steve Turre, Greg Landau, Bobbi Céspedes, Mark Levine, Ray Vega, Larry Harlow, Charlie Musselwhite, Rebecca Mauleon-Santana, Mickey Hart, Melvin Seals, Rusty Zinn, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and Ska Cubano.
José Roberto Hernandez
José Roberto Hernandez
Jose Roberto Hernandez Is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, producer, musical educator, and ethnomusicologist. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where he resides, he is one of the most respected exponents of folkloric music.

Born in the city of Cardenas, Tabasco, Mexico, his musical career begins in Tabasco and continues in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico City, and the United States. Surrounded by master folklorists, he roots his career in traditional music, and discovers that this is his greatest passion. This transforms him into a collector and performer of native and traditional instruments, and, always thirsting to discover and learn about other cultures, he becomes an investigator of customs and traditions in dance and music.

His devotion, creativity, and professionallism in the genre of traditional music have earned him the recognition of great musicians from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina.

He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contempoarary music and has earned much respect as a musician, singer, composer, and producer.

Jose Roberto has worked and recorded with renowned masters and prestigious institutions like: Orestes Vilato, John Santos, Jesus Diaz, Bobi Cespedes, Marina Lavalle, Lalo Izquierdo, Kat Parra, Edgardo Gambon, Carlos Caro, David Pinto, Felipe Pumarada, Gigio Parodi, Fernando Nataren, Leonel Diaz, Tito Manrique, Miguel Ballumbrosio, Omar Ledezma Jr. Braulio Barrera, Fernanda Bustamante, Ana Nitmar,Martha Toledo, Hebert Rasgado, Eddy Navia, Guido Moscoso, Jose Luis Reynolds, Miguel Sisniegas, Manuel Constancio Jr, Ernesto Oviedo, Pedro Rosales, Lali Mejia, Peta Robles, Daniel Zamalloa, Miguel Martinez, Silvestre Martinez, Andres Flores, Rosa los Santos, Greg Landau, Roberto Chiofalo, Julio Perez, Miguel Govea, Gabriela Shiroma, Zenon Barron, Tahmoures Pournazeri, Los Cenzontles, Macon Georgia Symphony's, Oakland California Symphony's, San Francisco California Symphony's, World Art West.
Manuel Constancio
Manuel Constancio
A family tradition of musicianship and the demand for Latin music, naturally led Manuel and Joe Constancio to the formation of the Folk Latin Ensemble “Sabrosito."



Centered within the traditions of Folk Mexican, Tex-Mex, and other styles of Latin music, Sabrosito’s tasty arrangements and very distinctive voicing of the instruments entertain all ages and cultures.



Sabrosito's repertoire includes the exciting rhythms of the Cumbia, Ranchera, Bolero, Cha-Cha and Huapango. The essence of this ensemble is fun-fun-fun, fun playing the music, fun with the audience and fun in their performance.