The Rhythm of the Americas—led by and featuring Grammy-winning drummer and composer Mark Walker—will blend a powerful and intoxicating dose of jazz improvisation with the rhythms and percussion of South America, the Caribbean, and North America. The Rhythm of the Americas is a virtual wall of rhythm, sound, and color, featuring a pair of percussionists and a talented group of musicians on Hammond organ, piano, guitar, saxophone, bass, and drums.
Walker formed the group to balance the two sides of music he's been involved with for more than two decades: the tradition and folklore of his Afro-Latin work with Paquito D'Rivera, Caribbean Jazz Project, Andy Narell, Cesar C. Mariano, and Michel Camilo and the expansive world-jazz styles of Lyle Mays, Oregon, and Ralph Towner.
At the core of the group are two masters of percussion: Ernesto Diaz (from Colombia) and Marcus Santos (from Brazil). Walker, Diaz, and Santos are three percussion virtuosos who drive the ensemble with passion, groove, and fire. The group also features many masters of jazz improvisation and rhythm such as saxophonist Dan Ian Smith, guitarist Tim Miller, organist Dave Limina, bassist Andres Rotmistrovsky and pianist Rebecca Cline.
The repertoire comprises Walker's compositions, including the Grammy-nominated "Deep Six," recorded by Oregon and "What About That!" which was featured on Paquito D'Rivera Quintet's Grammy-winning CD Funk Tango. Other compositions are featured in Walker's instructional book World Jazz Drumming (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard). You'll hear a wide range of rhythmic styles at a concert with the Rhythm of the Americas: festejo, valse and lando from Peru; joropo, merengue and onda nueva from Venezuela; cumbia, poro and vallenato from Colombia; candombe from Uruguay; chacarera zamba and tango from Argentina; baião, maracatú, samba and frevo from Brazil; calypso and soca from Trinidad; gwan bèlè, mazurka, and biguine from Martinique and Guadeloupe; bomba from Puerto Rico; rumba, chachachá, bembé, and Latin jazz from Cuba; and swing, second line, and funk from the United States.