IT's HERE!!!! The Fundraising for Janine's new project has begun!
Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:13PM
Janine Santana

Click HERE to visit our crowdfunding campaign link.

I am STOKED beyond all reason...with the numerous challenges over the past few year (Huge Fire, Floods, etc etc) We can at long last bring to you the promise we made after Soft as Granite: I very fine recording with the All-Stars in Latin and Jazz music!

I personally invite you to be a part of it...please consider a contribution via the above link, or if you have questions you can contact me directly HERE

It has been a long time coming...


Update on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:41PM by Registered CommenterJanine Santana

HOLA, Latin Jazz Lovers! Every day I will post a featured update / blurb on our project. Here is the first installment: 

Introducing our beloved bassist! A young man who is the tastiest of bass players in our genre and as a jazz player:


Luques Curtis


Luques Curtis was born August 17,1983 in Hartford, CT. After having formal training on piano andpercussion, he found himself wanting to play the bass. Luques studied at the Greater Hartford Academyof Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, PaulBrown, and others. After high school, he planned to pursue his music career by going to college inBoston. With his talent and hard work he earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College OfMusic. There he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi. While in Boston, he was also able to workwith great musicians such as Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, andFrancisco Mela. Luques was also working with his brother Zaccai, and formed a group called Insight.

Now living in New York City Luques has been performing nationally and internationally with artists suchas, Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Gary Burton, Stefon Harris,Donald Harrison, Etienne Charles, Albert Rivera, Elio Villafranca, Francisco Mela, and others. He hasrecently released an album with his brother called "Blood,Spirit,Land,Water,Freedom" on Truth

Revolution Records. Luques was also part of Brian Lynch's Grammy winning CD "Simpatico". You canhear him on Gary Burton's CD "Next Generations"; Dave Valentin's "Come Fly With Me"; Sean Jones'"Roots","Kaleidoscope",and "The Search Within"; Christian Scott's CD "Rewind That",and "Anthem";Albert Rivera's CD "Re-Introduction"; Etienne Charles' CD "Folklore".

Update on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 1:25PM by Registered CommenterJanine Santana

I can't even begin to express how excited and happy I am to have this cat on board! For our second full day of campaigning, I want to introduce you to my Producer, Pianist and an inspiring force in our music in general:


A driving force behind many of the hits by Latin artists for well over two decades, artist/producer Ricky Gonzalez defines the word “versatile”. The young veteran moves fluidly between genres, always exploring new ways to bring together the worlds of traditional and contemporary music. In recent years, he enjoyed a new kind of fulfillment when he produced Tito Nieves’ blockbuster hit “I Like It Like That”. It wasn’t so much that the single from the album of the same name went ‘gold’ on the Latino charts. More importantly, major mainstream corporations like Burger King, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC network) and, most recently, Verizon adopted the stylish beat and catchy lyrics to use in their national promotional campaign.A first-call pianist and multi-instrumentalist on the NY session scene, Ricky can be hear on hundreds of recordings. Currently, as the touring keyboardist/vocalist with Jennifer Lopez, Ricky crosses seamlessly between dance, pop and Latin genres. He can also be seen on tour with Latin superstar Marc Anthony, covering keyboard and vocal duties –a position he’s held for over 15 years.

With other artists, he has been a feature at the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, as well as all major venues in the U.S. He has performed in the White House for former President Bill Clinton, as well as th Inaugural Ball and several presentations for President Barrack Obama. A short lis of other artists he has performed or recorded with: Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Gilberto Santa Rosa, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Juan Luis Guerra Spyro Gyra, Vanessa Williams, Dave Valentin, Willie Colon, the Fania All-Stars Mongo Santamaria, hip-hop artist Fat Joe, Spanish rock group Mecano and many many more. In 2010, he was hired as a orchestrator/arranger for Diana Ross international tour.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Ricky Gonzalez has been a musician all his life playing drums by age three and consequently teaching himself piano at age thirteen. The young prodigy began touring with Latin-jazz legend Ray Barretto’s band as pianist at age of sixteen. Almost immediately, his arrangements and playing style became a key ingredient in the band’s updated sound.

Thank You, Ricky!



Update on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:06AM by Registered CommenterJanine Santana

The featured artist appearing with me again, featured more strongly this time as contributor of more arrangements and as music director is my favorite timbalero and a dear friend: introducing one of the most elegant players I've had the joy to work with: 

Jose’ Madera


Born in New York City, son of Jose' "Pin" Madera, who was the first arranger for the Machito Orchestra, Jose' spent 31 years with the Tito Puente Orchestra. While there, he served as a percussionist and later went on to become a musical arranger and the musical director of the Orchestra. He has written many arrangements for countless commercial Latin artists and has recorded or worked with many of them as well. Some of them include: Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Chico O'farill, The Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban jazz orchestra, Celia Cruz, Tito Rodriguez, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colon, Joe Farrell, Machito, Graciela,
Mario Bauza, Willie Rosario, Earl Klughand Eddie Palmieri, just to name a few. Jose has also worked and recorded with many pop, R&B and jazz artists. Some of them include Diana Ross, James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Paquito D'Rivera, George Benson and Lionel Hampton among others. Mr. Madera has performed on over 250 recordings. 
He has worked on several television show soundtracks, the most recent being: "The Simpsons" and several motion picture soundtracks, the most recent being "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," where he was the musical arranger and conductor for the Tito Puente segment of the film. Jose also taught the art of playing Latin percussion instruments at BOYS HARBOR in New York City for 28 years. He is currently a Latin Percussion Company endorser/artist and has done and continues to do musical clinics around the country at various schools. He was the musical director of the Latin Giants of Jazz from 2001 to 2009. 
Jose' continues his musical direction with the Mambo Legends Orchestra, a band comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, which is dedicated to performing new creative Latin and Latin jazz concepts, as well as some of the music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente. Mr. Madera has personally recreated and re-arranged much of the music that those bands performed during the heyday of the mambo at the Palladium Ballroom in New York City, considered by many critics to be the "Greatest and most innovative Era" in the history of Latin music.
It is my great honor to have you on board, Jose' Madera! 


Update on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 11:47AM by Registered CommenterJanine Santana

A dear friend, fine composer and most interesting fellow, today's featured artist for Janine's Next Latin Jazz project is:

David Amram

Composer, Conductor & Multi-Instrumentalist

David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written many scores

for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in The Grass and The

Manchurian Candidate; two operas, including the groundbreaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient;

and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac. He

is also the author of three books, Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac, a

memoir, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat published in the fall of 2007 by Paradigm Publishers.

A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles,

percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as an inventive, funny

improvisational lyricist. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, (who chose him as The New York

Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966), Dizzy Gillespie, Langston Hughes, Dustin Hoffman,

Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton,

Johnny Depp and Tito Puente.

Amram's most recent orchestral works include Giants of the Night, (commissioned and premiered by

flutist Sir James Galway in 2002); Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie, (commissioned by

the Woody Guthrie Foundation in 2007); and Three Songs: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (written

for and premiered by pianist John Namkamatsu in 2009). He was also chosen as the 2008 Democratic

National Convention's "Composer In Residence For Public Events." In 2010 Amram is working on a new

orchestral piece and new book. He will also be the subject of a new documentary film about his life,

which will include a filming and recording of his 1968 comic opera 12th Night and several of his other


© 2012 - David Amram - All Rights Reserved

Update on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 12:00PM by Registered CommenterJanine Santana

He is contributing creative arrangement ideas, inspiration and a lifetime of experience and knowledge in our beloved Latin Jazz!

Introducing today's featured creative force and artist on our project: 

Herman Rodriguez-Bajandas


Mr. Rodriguez-Bajandas is a published and recorded ASCAP songwriter whose songs have been recorded by major Latin artists on major labels. His publishing companies have had recent placements on Film and Television and covers on various recent major label releases.


He is President and co-owner of Nuevo Mundo Entertainment, LLC, partly-financed by TMIF, and others of a small Latin label/music publishing concern, and President of a start-up Latin multi-media gateway mobile/internet entertainment site currently under construction Fonico.Mobi.

He also continues to serve as a non-paid Latin Music Outreach Consultant fordigital performing-rights organization SoundExchange in Washington D. C.

Mr. Rodriguez-Bajandas was previously with SoundExchange, SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores yEditores (Spain’s PRO/Mechanical Rights Society), RMM Records & Video Corp./Universal, Billboard,Tropical Budda, Asefra Records, Coco Records, and Fania. He consults or has consulted for a number of established and start-up Internet,digital, mobile, music and entertainment-related businesses, organizations, and artists, includingpreviously or currently: GKN Securities, T.H. Lee Group for Warner Music Group, Gifford Securities,Tannen Media Investment Fund, Resnick Media Investment Fund, DeLatino, Billboard Regional Mexican Summit Advisory Board, InterOp Technologies, Game Over Apparel, L’Arome, and others.

He is the owner of one of the largest privately-owned collections of rare Latin music memorabilia in the world through his Latin Music History Foundation. Mr. Rodriguez-Bajandas is a voting and/or professional member of NARAS, LARAS, ASCAP, BMI, SHOF, HFA, NMPA, AIMP, NATAS, AES, Hudson Union Society, The Spanish Institute.

MUCHAS GRACIAS for  bringing your creative input and talents to this project, Herman…We love ya!!!!!!



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