"MONGORAMA" is a new, 9-piece, latin-jazz ensemble formed by KJazz radio personality Jose Rizo (host of 'Jazz on the Latin Side'), exploring the early Mongo Santamaria charanga-jazz material of the 1950's and early 60's. Conga legend Mongo Santamaria, saxophonist Chombo Silva and flautist Rolando Lozano performed an exciting latin jazz sound driven bycuban charanga rhythms and straight ahead jazz. "MONGORAMA" celebrates this music preservingthe classic charanga-jazz element , yet refreshing it with a modern perspective.
"MONGORAMA" will feature tenor saxophonist Justo Almario and flautist Danilo Lozano revisiting the explorations of saxophonist Chombo Silva and flautist Rolando Lozano (Danilo's Dad). Rounding out the ensemble will be Adonis Puentes (lead vocals), Ramon Banda (timbales), Joey De Leon (congas), Alfredo Ortiz (perc/vocals), Rene Camacho (bass), Alberto Salas or Oscar Hernandez (piano), and Dayren Santamaria (violin).
The debut self-titled "MONGORAMA" CD(on Saungu Records) CD includes special guests Hubert Laws and Poncho Sanchez, performing early Mongo Santamaria material, freshly arranged by Oscar Hernandez and Francisco Torres. Some of those early classics include "Bacoso", "Que Maravilloso", "Palo Mayombe", "Guajira at the Blackhawk", "Bluchanga", and"Las Guajiras".
José Rizo (April 27, 1956) is a disc jockey, born in Guadalajara, Mexico and grew up in Oxnard, California. He is a band leader, composer, music producer and host of Jazz on the Latin Side on radio station KKJZ. Rizo is one of the pioneers in programming Latin-jazz on jazz radio. In 2011 his band Mongorama was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, for the album Mongorama.