Jose Rizo’s New Band Celebrates Conga Rhythms

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Think of it as a Cinco de Mayo warm-up

Tickets are on sale now for Jose Rizo’s “Mongorama,” a Latin jazz concert presented by Laguna Beach Live! at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4.

This new, nine-piece ensemble formed by Rizo (host of “Jazz on the Latin Side” on KJazz) explores the early Mongo Santamaria charanga-jazz material of the 50s and early 60s.

Mongorama celebrates the music of conga legend Mongo Santamaria, who performed with Chombo Silva and Rolando Lozano, to create an energizing Latin jazz sound driven by Cuban charanga rhythms and old-school straight ahead jazz. Rizo’s ensemble preserves the old-school element, while refreshing it with a modern perspective.

Mongorama will feature tenor saxophonist Justo Almario and flautist Danilo Lozano, who revisit the explorations of saxophonist Chombo Silva and flautist Rolando Lozano (Danilo’s dad), respectively.  Rounding out the ensemble will be Adonis Puentes (lead vocals), Ramon Banda (timbales), Joey De Leon (congas), Alfredo Ortiz (perc/vocals), Rene Camacho (bass), Joe Rotondi or Oscar Hernandez (piano), and Dayren Santamaria (violin).

Tickets are $25-$30 for adults and $15 for students (21 and under) and may be purchased by calling 800-595-4849 or by visiting


Jose Rizo’s newest Latin ensemble is set to perform at Laguna Playhouse next week.


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