El Taller Latino Americano 215 E. 99th Street, New York, NY 10029
(212) 665-9460

Past Events at El Taller: 2007

Los Famosos Desconocidos Concert Series 2007

Since 1979 El Taller Latino Americano has presented hundreds of musicians from all over the Americas with an eclectic potpourri of concerts that have included memorable double bills: Tico da Costa and Philip Glass, Leon Gieco and David Byrne, the Soldier String Quartet and Grupo Wara from Bolivia, Mercedes Sosa and Pete Seeger.

El Taller is not a club or music hall. A constant flow of New York's best musicians routinely transform this intimate salon into their performance "laboratory". Just ask Pablo Mayor, The James Begian Big Band, Lucia Pulido or Pedro Giraudo. As Valerie Naranjo tells it, "This is one of the last places in New York where business has not spoiled the music."

This year, 2007, the New York State Music Fund awarded El Taller a grant to produce and record six concerts under the title of Famosos Desconocidos; Famous Unknowns. El Taller and its founder and Artistic Director, Bernardo Palombo, proudly present David Soldier, Valerie Naranjo, Barry Olsen, Marta Gomez, Abram Alberto, Jose Valdéz, Victor Hernandez and Dan Zanes as the best representatives of the diverse musical history of El Taller.

The Famosos Desconocidos Concerts

Marta Gomez

April 28, 2007
Marta Gomez Marta Gomez's compositions evoke her native Colombia and the jazzy syncopations of the Berklee College of Music where she graduated with honors. Marta has performed with Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Totó la Momposina and Mercedes Sosa. "Marta Gomez blends her velvety voice with original heartfelt lyrics, producing a peerless South American jazz sound." – The Boston Globe


Abram Alberto - "El Llanero"

May 12, 2007
abram "El Llanero" is a Venezuelan singer, guitar and cuatro player. Abram has set to music the poetry of Pablo Neruda, Luis Llorens Torres and many other Latin American writers. His repertoire also includes traditional Boleros and Folk music from the Venezuelan plains.

David Soldier

June 18, 2007
David Soldier For the past 25 years David Soldier has directed, in the most musical way, the Department of Neurology at Columbia University and at the same time, in the most scientific way, has created a provocative collection of music. From the Thai Elephant Orchestra to the punk-chamber String Quartet, David has performed, composed and arranged a few hundred works. His current project, "The Spinozas", explores the very beginning of song as it was in Medieval Andalusia, Spain.


Mandara - Barry Olsen and Valerie Dee Naranjo

September 28, 2007 -- St. Mary's Church
Mandara Barry (trombone, piano, percussion) and Valerie (marimba, gyli, vibes, voice, percussion) have shared their artistry with reknowned musicians like Philip Glass, Paul Simon and Eddie Palmieri. When not playing with the Saturday Night Live band or Broadway's Lion King, you can catch them on rare occasions playing their own music as Mandara, their home for original compositions, a fusion of African music with inspired "Upper West Side tunes."


Dan Zanes Sing-a-long

October 5, 2007 -- Ascension School
Dan Zanes Songwriter Performer Dan Zanes, called the "Pete Seeger for the new century" by the Washington Post, won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Children's Album - "Catch that Train". With a repertoire of blues, rock and folk songs, Zanes is a popular phenomenon for adults and kids alike. It's always a party!


The Song Makers

November 10, 2007
Bernardo Palombo, Jose Valdéz and Victor Hernandez are joined by special guests for an evening of original compositions and Latin classics. Their songs are part of the repertoire of, among others, Mercedes Sosa, Lucecita Benitez, Conjunto Libre and Philip Glass.

Other 2007 Concerts

Quique Sinesi

December 2, 2007
Quique Sinesi's only performance in New York will be held at El Taller on Dec. 2nd at 8pm and we are offering a Special Holiday price of $10.00
Do not miss this wonderful opportunity!!
Quique Sinesi
Born in Argentina, Quique Sinesi's distinctive music is a mix of elements that includes Argentinean Folklore, Tango, Jazz, Classical and contemporary sounds. His compositions have been edited in France (Lemoine), Japan (Gendai), Belgium (Ediciones Latinoamericanas) and Argentina (Riccordi). He made several recordings and International "Solo" tours with different projects. He founded with Matias Gonzalez and Horacio Lopez the trio "Alfombra Magica". He has recorded the Concerto for Guitar, Bandoneon and Orchestra by Astor Piazzolla with the "Deutschland Radio Berlin Symphony orchestra" in Germany. He played with very important musicians from Argentina and Europe such as: Dino Saluzzi, Pablo Ziegler with whom he won a Latin Grammy in 2005, Marcelo Miguilevsky; Carlos Aguirre, Juan Falu, Charlie Mariano and Markus Stockhausen among many others. Este compositor e intérprete nacido en Argentina, fusiona en su música elementos del Folclore, Tango, Jazz, y música Clásica con elementos de música contemporánea. Sus obras han sido editadas recientemente en Francia (Editorial Lemoine), Japón, Bélgica y Argentina. Ha realizado numerosas grabaciones y giras internacionales como solista y también como integrante de distintos proyectos. Algunos de los músicos con los que ha colaborado y grabado son: Dino Saluzzi, Pablo Ziegler (New tango dúo) con quien gano el Grammy Latino 2005 por mejor álbum de tango, Marcelo Moguilevsky, Juan Falú, Carlos Aguirre, Charlie Mariano y Markus Stockhausen. Es fundador junto con Matías González y Horacio López del grupo "Alfombra Mágica". Ha grabado en Alemania el concierto para Guitarra, Bandoneon y Orquesta de Astor Piazzolla con la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Deutschland Radio Berlín.
For more information, check out http://www.dciberoamericanguitarfestival.org/welcome.php

Alberto Villa-Lobos

August 2 and August 30, 2007
Villa-Lobos Alberto, Ernesto and Luis are the Villa-Lobos Brothers, a vibrant band of multi-colored melodies and rhythms. Classically trained violinists and composers, they were born and raised in the Caribbean state of Veracruz, Mexico and they soon developed their own style of fiddling, called "fast chatting" violin.

Villa-Lobos The Villa-Lobos Brothers are back after a long period of studies in New York, Belgium and Germany respectively. Their Carnegie Hall concert this past December with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company was a sold-out success and their appearance at the 2006 Latin Grammys in New York further consolidated the group's versatile nature.

Singer-songwriters and innate champions of the folkloric music of Mexico and the Veracruz-Huasteca Region, this time around they will come together as an auditory counterpart to Alberto's debut exhibition: Murals, Music and Masks of Mexico August 2nd and 30th 2007 at El Taller Latino Americano. Since many of Alberto's works are directly related or inspired by traditional Huasteca music, the Villa-Lobos Brothers have decided to offer two free concerts; at the opening and closing of the exhibition.

Listen to a recorded interview with Alberto Villa-Lobos on "La Que Buena" 92.7 FM, Sunday July 22nd.

Krakraba Lobi with Valerie Naranjo and Barry Olsen

March 20, 2007
Valerie NaranjoKakraba Lobi is considered to be the one of the great African musicians of his time. He has gained international acclaim as being the first to take the gyil (a complex and obscure West African marimba) from his village folk tradition to the international classic concert stage as a solo and chamber music medium. Kakraba is from the Lobi nation, known for their musical abilities, and was born into a family of gyil players/makers in Kalba Saru, in Ghana's upper-west. He moved to Accra in his early 20s, where he began his performing career doing broadcasts for "Radio Ghana". From 1962 until 1987, he was a full-time member of the staff at the University of Ghana's Institute of African Studies, and is currently an advising member. Kakraba was one of the musicians in Ghana's first National Dance Company and has since taught at universities and colleges throughout the Americas and Europe, and has performed in many countries, including the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, England, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Malawi, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo. His repertoire and technique have been studied by ethnomusicologists from around the world, and his original music has been performed by leading artists on various instruments worldwide.

Valerie Dee Naranjo has been the percussionist on the NBC television Show "Saturday Night Live" for over eleven years and is an arranger and performer for Broadway's "The Lion King". Known for her pioneering efforts in West African keyboard percussion, Valerie (with Barry) was honored with a First Place Award at Ghana's Kobine festival in 1996, the only to date non-West Africans to do so. Valerie has also studied with many other master percussionists in 8 African countries, and has performed with such artists as Tori Amos, Airto Moriera, Glen Velez, David Byrne, Zakir Hussein, Milton Cardona, The Philip Glass Ensemble, and The Paul Winter Consort. For the past 23 years she has co-led with Barry Olsen "Mandara" a quintet of instrumentalist-vocalists from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds. She was named "World Music Percussionist of the Year 2005" by Drum! reader's poll, and has performed on six continents, including nine African countries. She endorses Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Pearl/Adams (Latin and Concert Percussion), and Vic Firth drumsticks and mallets.

Barry Olsen is a native New Yorker who began his career in the late 70's playing trombone in that city's Latin dance music scene. Over the years he has performed with almost all the major artists in this field, including Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Hector Lavoe,Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, and La India. He recently completed two Rhythm Road Jazz Ambassadors tours of four East African countries, playing piano, trombone and percussion. He has also worked with Paul Simon, David Byrne, The Paul Winter Consort, Charlie Persip and many others. Barry is the regular pianist for the Latin-Jazz group Syotos, led by trombonist Chris Washburne, and is featured on their recordings "Nuyorican Nights.," "The Other Side" and "Paradise in Trouble". On marimba and percussion he is frequently heard in the orchestra of the Broadway hit "The Lion King." Since 1988 he has been performing Lobi and Dagara music, playing the drums known as kuar and gangaa, which accompany the gyil.

Kakraba Valerie and Barry began performing together in 1997, and have released three CDs combining Kakraba's solo performances with trio works : Song of Legaa (Lyrichord, 2000); Song of Niira (Mandara Music 2001); and Da Yillena - Wood that Sings (Mandara Music 2002). Together they compiled and published the transcription and recorded series "West African Music for the Marimba Soloist" transcriptions of Kakraba's music onto chromatic marimba.

Their Taller performance initiates their 5th East Coast tour.

This concert is sponsored in part by Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments and Avedis Zildjian Co.


April 7, 2007
Los ChangosJulio A. Santillán - guitar / compositions / voice
Mauro Satalino - percussion
Nuno Antunes - clarinet

To describe the music of the Julio Santillán Trio, you would have to learn different languages: the language of classical music that had a strong impact in the development of the composer; the language of tango and folkloric music of his native Argentina and the language of jazz, that is evident in the new generations of composers-improvisers. But that not even understanding these worlds you would be able to describe the magic hidden behind this fine ensemble of musicians. Those three styles, so different from each other, find in Julio Santillán Trio a point of connection, a door to unlimited musical possibilities.

The Boston Herald described Julio's music as "A striking combination of jazz sensibility applied to argentinean folk rhythms."; and Time Out New York magazine wrote "Santillán meld styles from down south into a fresh distinctly jazz sound."

The trio (guitar-voice, clarinet and percussion), is Julio's new project, a continuation of Los Changos, the band that he led for almost 10 years. The repertoire of the ensemble is original music based on south american rhythms like chacarera, zamba, tango, vidala, milonga, huayno and candombe.

Julio A. Santillán is a New York-based composer and guitarist originally from Tucumán, Argentina. His compositions combine elements from his home land folk music, jazz improvisation and classical music. He received the prestigious "Meet the Composer/Van Lier Fellowship Award" in 2004, the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, and the Arif Mardin Award. He has recorded four CDs with his own compositions: Desde el Norte (2001), Anit Negra (2003), Ñann (2005) and El Bosque de la Memoria (2007).

For more information, check out their web site at


June 22, 2007
Tibagui Tibagui Trio, a group developed in New York by guitarist and composer Alejandro Flórez, started out as a project to perform the subtle, expressive music written for the Colombian guitar trio. The ensemble of bandola (relative of the mandolin), tiple (resembling the Cuban tres) and guitar has been for many decades the standard of the music in the Andes of Colombia. Bambuco, guabina, pasillo, danza and marcha are some of the danceable grooves played for many years in the country's mountainous regions. The music of Tibagui is directly related to this rich legacy made up of Indigenous, African and European elements.

Tibagui is now redefining the musical heritage. In its expanded version, the group features the three guitars alongside the sophisticated sounds of clarinet, flute, double bass and percussion. The group performs an all-original repertoire made up of refined compositions, most of which include improvisation as a fundamental element. The band members, well-versed in jazz and different Latin American genres, bring together their experiences to tell an exciting story of tradition and innovation.

Tabagui is:

    Alejandro Flórez - bandola
    Sebastián Cruz - tiple
    Nilko Andreas Guarín - guitar
    Sam Sadigursky - flute and clarinet
    Pedro Giraudo - bass
    Franco Pinna - drums and percussion

For booking information, contact:

Alejandro Flórez

The Aleksi Glick Quartet

June 23, 2007
The Aleksi Glick Quartet is:

Keenan McCracken - piano
He is an 18 year old student currently at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. He is currently studying with canadian pianist Jeff Johnston. Keenan has also studied with New York pianist Eric Reed and is currently a Harlem resident looking to become a proffessional musician in the city.
Aleksi Glick - guitar
He is an 18 year old Jazz musician living in New york city. He will be attending the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore next year on a scholership. He is currentley studying with guitar great Vic Juris and gigging around the metropolitan area with fellow young aspiring Jazz musicians.
Ben Rose - drums
He is a 17 year old Drummer living in New Jersey. He Studies with Tim Horner and will be attending the Thornton School of Music next year at USC. He along with guitarist Aleksi Glick was admitted into NJPACs Jazz for Teens program where the two of them studied with alltime great Jazz musicians such as Don Braden and Dion Parsons.
Rex Surany - bass
He Will be attending The Curtis Institute of Music Next Year.

"With this quartet Taller is starting a new category of performances that is justly called "Future Classics". In the same way that many "Famous Unknowns" have used our auditorium as a musical laboratory, there is a tradition of virtuoso young musicians making their Broadway premiere here. Aleksi and Keenan are known figures to Taller's music fans. Keenan used to study Spanish here, his impromptu piano concerts were the highlight of those classes. Aleksi is the son of Mike Glick, a blues and folk musician, who was one of Taller's first performers and is currently one of the most respected music teachers of New York. In the last couple of years Aleksi has accompanied his father in his musical presentations and at the beginning of 2007 Aleksi presented his own music with a group called "Work In Progress". There was such an overwhelming response from the audience that we were forced to schedule another concert.

I encourage music lovers to check this quartet out. It is an honor to present them." (Bernardo Palombo, Artistic Director)
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