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Paoli Mejias Latin Band
July 25, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Join us for an exciting midsummer concert by master conguera, Paoli Mejias. His conga chops and dynamic energy are compelling. His signature music is a rich tapestry of shimmering rhythmic changes undergirding a harmonic and improvisatory instrumental work by his band mates. Always high energy, always hearkening back to his Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban roots.
Performing for more than 25 years, Grammy nominee Paoli Mejías has already distinguished himself as a young master percussionist and is ranked among the best in both salsa and Latin jazz. Paoli is now at the vanguard of Latin jazz as leader of his own Quintet, having produced a live performance released on Blu-ray “DE JAZZAMBIA A MI TAMBOR EL CONCIERTO” (2011) and three successful CDs as band leader: “JAZZAMBIA“(2008), “Transcend” (2006) and “Mi Tambor” (2004) which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Paoli’s résumé includes top jazz and salsa artists like Tito Puente, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentín, Paquito d’Rivera, Chick Corea, David Sánchez and Danilo Pérez, who all have called on Paoli for his unique blend of melodic sensitivity and blinding technique. As Puerto Rico’s first-call conguero, Paoli has performed and recorded with artists like Luis Enrique, Marc Anthony, La India, Tito Puente, Seis del Solar, & Eddie Palmieri with whom he toured the largest jazz festivals for more than a decade. Paoli’s discography as side-man includes more than 20 commercial recordings, among them Grammy nominated “Acuarela de Tambores” by Alex Acuña, and Grammy Award winner “Masterpiece” by Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente.
Born March 7, 1970 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, percussionist Paoli Mejias’ rise to Latin jazz fame is a story of sweat and dedication. Completely self taught, Paoli purchased his first set of congas at age twelve, inspired by records of conga great Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Latin jazz innovators Batacumbele and Irakere. Learning by imitating the sounds he heard on the records, Paoli taught himself the language of the congas without the benefit of an instructor. By his mid-to-late teens, he could be found at jam sessions in the streets and on the beaches of San Juan. He earned invitations from bandleaders like Rafú Warner, José Nogueras, Glen Monroig and Charlie Sepúlveda. As he worked his way up the live music food chain in Puerto Rico, Paoli found himself performing alongside the Latin jazz legends who had inspired him in his early years.
Paoli made his successful debut as a bandleader in 2004 with his self-produced record “Mi Tambor” which received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2005. Showered with positive press and accolades from the worldwide jazz community, Paoli’s transition from sideman to focal point was explosive. His 2006 follow-up release “Transcend” features some of the New York Latin jazz scene’s finest: Miguel Zenón, Antonio Sánchez, Luis Perdomo, Jaleel Shaw, Hans Glawischnig, & Tony Escapa, all of whom also recorded on his 3rd CD “JAZZAMBIA” released in 2008.