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Live Shows

Watch this space for Janine's 2017 performance Schedule.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Live Webcast TV Performance Worldwide

Comedy by Sam Adams, special guest

Afro-Caribbean Jazz by Janine Santana Latin Jazz

Sooooo inexpensive! Watch from anywhere!

Get tickets HERE

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 7PM


Dazzle Jazz

930 Lincoln Street  

Denver, CO

Click here for tickets


FRIDAY AUGUST 12, 8:30 P.M. - 12:00 A.M.



San Jose, CA


First night of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and we get to be a part of it! Featuring Murray: piano, Masaru Koga: woodwinds, Aaron Germain: bass and Dan Foltz: drums
Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: 233 West Santa Clara St.. Venue phone: 408-286-1000.



August 26th and 27th, 2016

 With Eugenie Jones

Baur's Listening Lounge 
1512 Curtis St.
Denver, CO 80202

Eugenie will be accompanied by Andy Weyl-piano, Mark Simon-bass, and Dan Hogan-drums with special guest: Janine Santana on congas....

...Don't miss this unique performer from the Northwest when she alights in town...I can't wait for these dates at Baur's Listening Lounge ... Just can't arrive fast enough!





May 21, 2016

Janine Santana Latin Jazz

Historic Five Points Jazz Festival, Denver, CO

25th to 29th streets along Welton St.

Plaza stage




May 21, 2016

Janine Santana Latin Jazz 

4PM MST at the Five Points Plaza Stage

Welton Street, in Historic Five Points, Denver, Colorado.

Copies of Soft as Granite will be available before and after the performance, or purchase here.

    Thank you for supporting the music!

January 30, 2016

 with the Mi Casa All-Stars Band. Supporting 

 Mi Casa is among Colorado’s oldest and largest Latino-serving nonprofit organizations. Since 1976, Mi Casa has been dedicated to advancing the economic success of Latino and working families in the Denver Metro area.

Tickets and info available HERE. 

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Review of Jose' Rizo's MONGORAMA


MONGORAMA : “José Rizo’s MONGORAMA” (Saungú 3)

By Janine Santana, August 2011

Mongo Santamaria, born in Cuba and the grandson of an African slave, was a ground-breaking conguero and arranger. His arrival in New York during the 1940s placed him in the center of the developing bebop movement. The marriage of jazz and Afro-Cuban music also occurred during this period, and Santamaria’s rich cultural heritage and knowledge of Afro-Caribbean rhythms forged a path into new territory. After working with Tito Puente and Cal Tjader, Santamaria recorded several classic albums as a leader, including the jazz-infused charanga albums Mongo! and Mighty Mongo before the multi-genre hit Watermelon Man made him a household name around the world.

“Mongorama” is a new tribute to Santamaria produced by José Rizo, Oscar Hernandez, Danilo Lozano and Justo Almario. Rizo, the creator of the radio series, “Jazz on the Latin Side”, wanted to document the music of Santamaria’s career using current technology. Most of musicians on the recording are alumni of Santamaria’s groups, and some, like guest artist Poncho Sanchez, were long-time associates of the master conguero. Danilo Lozano, whose father Rolando was Santamaria’s flautist, carries his father’s legacy through another generation. The line-up of tunes is very tasty, although with the vast richness of Afro-Cuban palettes in Mongo’s early recording career, we can only hope that this is only the first of many recording projects by Rizo and the Mongorama collaboration as this CD barely scratches the surface.

The opening tune Bacoso contains a soaring and elegant solo by guest artist Hubert Laws and expressive solos by Daren Santamaria on violin and Joey De Leon on congas. Asi Es La Vida is a delightful tribute containing a signature solo by Poncho Sanchez that recalls the flavor of his mentor. Las Guajiras is a Santamaria tune revisited with love, containing a fine coro section, and tight, expressive flute work by Danilo Lozano.  Bluchanga adventurously plays on transitions and combinations utilized in traditional charanga and jazz with finesse and skill. Oscar Hernandez’s piano licks add exactly the right touch at precisely the right moments.

No Molestes Mas is a fun treatment of a long-time favorite pachanga by Gilbert Lopez and Ray Barretto. I prefer a hypnotic and danceable groove when playing this tune, and I wish Mongorama would have played it at a meter about halfway between the original and the present version. And while I admire the beautiful, romantic voice of Adonis Puentes, I’d enjoy hearing him give a rawer, story-telling treatment to this tune. Palo Mayombe will move the listener to dance. With beautifully syncopated moments, this version is very tight, with driving piano work by Alberto Salas and cleverly invented saxophone solos. Siempre En Ti is rich and romantic like a tapestry. Here is vocalist Adonis Puentes’ niche. I only hope the listener has a romantic partner close by to dance with!

Que Maravilloso is nicely paced, has a good drive and an interesting chord progression. The piano solo by Oscar Hernandez is reminiscent of Ruben Gonzales’ piano work and beautifully supports the solos that follow. Expressive sax work by Justo Almario transitions the listener into the urban, sultry and romantic Cruzan revealing an extraordinary use of dynamics.

The recording closes with a fun, rousing version of Tin Marin, with bass, timbales and flute solos in a fun, driving Descarga style that does not allow the listener to hold still. Behind it all is Mongo’s unique  “African Beat”. It is grounding beauty of Latin jazz in all of its forms. This recording is clean and clear, revealing voicings and balance that do justice to this music in a respectful way.


Review of Silvano Monasterios' Unconditional




Silvano Monasterios

Savant  SCD2111

Produced by: Silvano Monasterios and Richard Serotta

Executive Producer: Joe Fields

Silvano Monasterios reaped the benefit of a valuable education. Born in Caracas, Monasterios studied classical piano at José Lamas Conservatory, learned the traditional rhythms associated with sambas of South America, and studied jazz at home with his father.  This combination has integrated and developed Monasterios into a superb composer and performer. After winning a scholarship award for best soloist at the Miami Jazz Festival, he moved to the United States to attend Miami-Dade College. He has several jazz honors both here and in Venezuela, and has recorded with Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D’Rivera. “Unconditional” is his fourth release as leader, and his first recording for the Savant label. Here he utilizes the talents of his Fourth World Ensemble featuring Troy Roberts on saxophones, Jon Dadurka on bass, Rodolfo Zuñiga on drums and José Gregorio Hernández on percussion.

The whole CD is one evolving story, a suite as in albums of old. It expresses Monasterios’ personal history and relationships in a variety of moods. With the first few tunes inspired by and dedicated to family and youthful personal influences (including his dog), the second half expands into visual and aural influences richly expressed through Monasterios’ unique composition and piano style. “Farmacia del Angel” is a tribute to his father, Silvano, and features a combination of cultural rhythms in samba and Venezuelan meringue. Laid over these traditional sounds are tasty piano licks which reflect the influences of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. “Monsier Petit Noir”, named for Monasterios’ dog, is a playful romp that is executed with internal and external adventure by Roberts. The call and response sections in this composition are indeed reminiscent of an afternoon in the park with a beloved dog! “A Song For Jacques”, presented in two parts, memorializes Jacques Braunstein, a jazz radio show host who influenced Monasterios in his youth. It begins with a grieving, sad bowing of the bass that is a stark contrast to the previous track, but the sadness evolves into grooves and pitches that are joyful and comforting. Part two pulsates and flies with percussive piano work supporting the tenor sax. I wished for a high voice, which never came, but I felt relief when I heard the entrance of a soprano sax on the next tune, “Sno Peas” which also contains beautiful bass work by guest artist Gabriel Vivas. What makes this version so tasty as compared to a previously recorded version by Bill Evans is the inclusion of the Venezuelan rhythm “gaita zuliana” which moves the piece with a new flavor. “Forgotten Gods” is inspired by the visuals of Mayan gods seen by Monasterios in the Mayan Riviera. It is a driving composition which features the walking bass of Dadurka and the drums of Zuñiga. The title tune is a change of pace, an original ballad that reveals a romantic theme. The CD closes out with a funky piece, “Black Saint” which mixes electric piano in a low, cool conversation with Roberts’ sax, eloquently supported by the bass and percussion. This tune uses a version of the chimbangle rhythm of the feast of black San Benito from Monasterios’ native Venezuela. At the close of the recording, it feels one has had a peek into the life journey so far of this developing musician.


Review of Gonzalo Rubalcaba's FE/Faith 


FE / FAITH      

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

5Pasion 5P-005

Produced by Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Executive Producer: Gary Galimidi


Gonzalo Rubalcaba considers himself a blessed man. His first recording on his new label, 5Pasion, is a solo piano recording dedicated to the Creator. Like John Coltrane before him, Rubalcaba draws on his passion for composition and exceptional musicianship to create a devotion with music. The result demonstrates a new maturity in his work. It is heightened with a clean recording and Rubalcaba’s masterful knowledge of his instrument.


The chordal beginnings that begin the tunes Derivado 1, 2 and 3, which are placed at strategic points in the album, act like musical amens. The second and eighth tracks are tributes to Cuba’s Santeria faith, and there three tunes for Rubalcaba’s children Joan, Joao and Yolanda Anas. Two versions of Dizzy Gillespie’s Con Alma (With Soul), two versions of Blue in Green by Miles Davis and Bill Evans, and two improvisations based on John Coltrane’s work complete the theme.


In the second track, “Maferefun Iya Lodde Me” Rubalcaba evokes the musical idea usually spoken by three Bata drummers in the Santeria religious ceremony. His use of space and his judicious use of dissonance create a powerful acknowledgement of God and reveals his sense of awe. In “Improvisation 2”, Rubalcabra invokes Coltrane, using ideas from “Giant Steps” and injecting his own twists, turns and joy into the piece. I found myself staring at my own piano, wondering if any of the 88 keys had not been used in this track!  The first interpretation of Gillespie’s “Con Alma” has a strongly European sounding influence, specifically reminding me of Thelonious Monk’s Paris recordings. His attack is sensual, phrased creatively and charming. In “Preludio Corto # 2” (Tu Amor era Falso), Rubalcabra creates a memorial to Cuban composer Alejandro Garcia Caturla. The tune lilts and teases, builds tension and ends without a strong resolution.  The conclusion is symbolic of Caturla’s life, which ended abruptly when he was murdered at the age of 34. The two interpretations of “Blue in Green” are re-imagined versions of the original recordings of its co-composers, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. Rubalcaba’s first version makes great use of minimalist expression that fills all the space of the composition completely. The second version of “Blue in Green” begins with a strong sense of space, building in strength and flow with each carefully thought out measure expertly attacked. This is a far more melancholy beginning to the piece, but that yields to introspection by the end of the arrangement. “Con Alma II” is escorted in and out via flourishes in the lowest registers of the piano, framing it with a sense of play, yet the main body of the arrangement moves into a mature and elegant fluidity, carried forward with Rubalcaba’s signature sense of dissonance and broken rhythms. “Improvisation I”, is again successful in invoking the spirit and memory of Coltrane. Rubalcaba’s fingers fly through the scale ideas with ease, finesse and authority, as Coltrane’s did over the saxophone. It ends happily, with a sense of satisfaction. All three tunes dedicated to Rubalcaba’s children are joyful, leaving a different impression of each child’s personality…and may leave the listener breathless! A solo piano album is only as good as its instrument, and piano technician Karl M. Roeder has certainly made Rubalcaba’s Yamaha CFIII sound pristine and pure.

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