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© Joyce Michel 2009

Biography

Name Tito Rodriguez, Jr Born February 20, 1955 Birth Place New York, NY, USA With expertise and energy, Tito produced the much-anticipated album Eclipse. Released by Top Ten Records, Eclipse introduced a new sound that also immersed loyal audiences in nostalgia. Traditional big band sound was infused with electrifying, contemporary, danceable arrangements, and Tito's sophisticated way with lyrics, melody and Latin rhythm became a worldwide sensation. The Tito Rodriguez Jr. Orchestra debuted at the Copacabana nightclub, a New York hotspot. The hit single Mujer Erotica was a national and international #1 hit for 6 weeks; to-date, the album has continuous airplay in salsa congresses and international networks including Spanish Broadcasting Systems. In 2002, Tito combined forces with Mario Grillo (Machito, Jr.) to perform original charts from the era of their fathers. The resulting powerhouse album, The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra: Live at the Blue Note, with its `screaming horn section, frenzied rhythm section and its high-octane, bone-crunching arrangements' was met with critical acclaim. Its success was topped with an American debut at the Verizon Jazz Festival, a European debut at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, and extensive tours across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe at venues such as Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl and Lincoln Center. In September 208, the album is scheduled for rerelease in Europe by DiscMedi, distributor of the Buena Vista Social Club. Wanting to keep his father's music and legacy alive, Tito decided to create the Tito Rodriguez Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez, Jr early in 2008. The orchestra plays his father's original charts creating an updated version of his father's original Mambo beats. The musicians in the orchestra are the "best of the best" and all are from Puerto Rico. The orchestra has experienced critical success and has been chosen to perform at such prestigious venues as the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala, the Teatro Yazuez, and Parque De Las Ciencias. A multi-faceted artist, Tito experienced successes offstage including raising two children and competing as a tennis professional, ranking 150th in the world. His father's music is a continual source of inspiration, and Tito honors this legacy while infusing originality and `swing' that is his very own. Tito is a living embodiment of Latin Jazz heritage and creative artistry for American audiences, and for the world.

Tito Rodriguez, Jr. is one of the leading timbales artists in Tropical Music and Latin Jazz today. Raised in New York, Tito was born to Japanese and Puerto Rican parents, the only son of the legendary El Inolvidable (The Unforgettable), Tito Rodriguez. From an early age, Tito was immersed in the riveting sounds of Mambo, Chachacha, Bolero, Brazilian music, © Joyce Michel 2007 and Jazz. Trained in drums, guitar, piano, vibes, trombone and timbales, Tito was admitted to the Berklee College of Music and completed his training at the University of Miami. Prodigiously gifted as an arranger, composer, producer, and bandleader, Tito found his jazz voice through the timbales. At age 21, Tito released his debut tropical music album Curious? for TR Records, a label owned by El Inolvidable himself. The recording featured José Alberto, El Canario, on vocals and a coro section featuring Adalberto Santiago and Ruben Blades. With initial gold record sales in Africa alone, not counting US sales, Curious? has recently been re-released as a Latin jazz classic by Pimienta Records and distributed by Universal Music Group. Following his debut, Tito dedicated nearly two decades to developing a broadcast career at CBS, establishing a network amongst Latin Jazz insiders, and cultivating his creative artistry. He has composed arrangements for Marc Anthony, Gilberto Santa Rosa, La India, and for the Sally Jessy Raphael Show where his arrangement is the theme song. As guest artist, Tito has appeared at Carnegie Hall, la Día Naciónal de la Salsa, and Puerto Rico's Centro de Bellas Artes, Pier 10, Club Tropimar and La Guancha amongst others. Some of his television appearances include Telemundo, BET Jazz Network, and NBC's Visiones tribute featuring Bill Cosby, Dave Valentin and Tito.

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The Importance of being called Tito Rodriguez, Jr.

By: Ramón Muñiz Hernández Tito Rodriguez is gone, but the music remains. His music will continue to matter regardless what happens to our evolving popular culture. His fame as a singer, his voice, his style, his band, his music will be remembered and honored from his own country, Puerto Rico, to New York, to the world. Long after his death, every day, in cities and towns all over the planet, someone plays his music and discovers that quality that © Joyce Michel 2007 gave him a special place on the public stage of the Americas and the world. High art always survives. Pablo "Tito" Rodriguez, born in Puerto Rico, is survived by his son who knows the importance of being called Tito Rodriguez, Jr. Tito Jr. remembers his father by carrying the torch of his art and legend, with a sense of pride and tradition, playing his songs and enabling an entire generation to enjoy his music, giving the American landscape a voice that lingers like a beautiful song.. When Tito Rodriguez died the news made the front pages of newspapers in his native Puerto Rico and Latin America and many cities worldwide. It was the death of an original. Over the previous year he had been in and out of hospitals, he had been a long time dying, but he had also been a long time living and entertaining people all over the world. Tito Rodriguez mattered to a lot of people and will continue to matter in the years to come. The music was the engine of his life, he transcended several eras; he was wonderful with his children, he was funny, he was vulnerable; like all great artists, he was one of a kind. Now Tito Rodriguez is gone, but the music remains. The man and his music are well preserved in the musical arrangements kept through the years by his son. He has assembled a big band with some of the most fiery and tasty mambos ever written of all times. Here are the classic mambos of an era, the greatest arrangements, performed by a big band with a sound that only a big band can produce. Tito Rodriguez, Jr has proven that great music never dies. His own CD's are considered classics and are being re-released by Universal Pimienta also. His new show combines his greatest hits with his father's. It is a true passing of the baton. The stage is being set. Those performances are here today for all to enjoy, it is musical history, is the continuation of a strong and powerful sound, full of vitality, of a contagious music that appeals to the feet and the brains and that can be enjoyed simply as music in concerts too. It is a rich heritage, a rich legacy. The Latin musical experience is a force, a storm, a volcano speaking, a train at full speed, an explosion, is something that goes beyond the mere aesthetics of music; it is the longing for freedom, the joy of the dance, the respect for the sublime, the romantic love songs of the islands of the Caribbean, it's a hymn to life and eternity; music represents life, music is forever. Bandleader Tito Rodriguez, Jr. is on a mission, almost a religious endeavor, and that is to take his father's music, the late great sonero/bolerista Tito Rodriguez, the Frank Sinatra of tropical music, as well as his own, to all towns and cities of the world for the pure enjoyment of life. Their music is happy and brings joy to all listeners and dancers. Their music lives on!

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Albums

Playlist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Cuban Fantasy Piniero Tenia Razon Que Bonito Es Puerto Rico Mambo Inn Babarabatiri Palladium Days El Cayuco Complicacion Mama Guela* Chevere* Avisale A Mi Contrario* El Moldo De Las Locas* Oye Como Va Reviews `Standouts included powerhouse renditions of Que Bonito Es Puerto Rico!, Mama Guela, Mambo Inn, El Cayuco and Avisale a Mi Contrario.' - Rudy Manqual, Latin Beat Magazine `Recorded live at the Blue Note Club, this group just sizzles. The original arrangements swing in a very sophisticated way mixing the old with the new. A great release, every aspect of the music on the album is sheer class with some real, tasty, jazzy solos...' - The Beat `The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, with it's screaming horn section, frenzied rhythm section, and its high-octane, bone-crunching arrangements is, by far, the most hard-core tribute record I have heard in a long time. A guaranteed dance-club floor burner.' - DJ Alert, Descarga.com

The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra Live at the Blue Note

Rumba Jams, 2004

* Performed by Tito Rodriguez, Jr

Playlist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Llego el Sonero Reflexion Hablale de Mi Sun Sun Babae Eclipse Mujer Erotica Banana Kelly Acuerdate

Reviews `In the tradition of Tito Rodriguez Sr., Tito Rodriguez, Jr. brings back the traditional big band sound with a more contemporary sound.' -Max Salazar `Tito Rodriguez, Jr. takes salsa to another level for dancers on this cd. The big band sound is back! His fathers legacy lives through his son now!!' - Ventura County Songwriters Association Website

Eclipse

TTH, 1994

Playlist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Borinquen Tu Hijo Te Canta Cantando Voy Oye Mi Son Cancela Sabor Criollo Ya No Llores Santerita Se Comienza Por El Uno

Reviews `A classic 1978 release, originally on his dad's TR label. With Sal Cuevas, Cachete, Ruben Figueroa, Gilberto Colon, a young José Alberto El Canario on vocals -- and a coro section with Adalberto Santiago and Ruben Blades. Jeez. Curious? has been one of the most requested reissues from the TR line and the arrangements and groove clearly demonstrate why. Compositions by Mayo Flores, Johnny Ortiz and Ruben Blades whose Oye Mi Son is the jewel-in-the-crown here.' - Descarga.com

Curious?

TR Records, 1978 Re-released as a "classic," Pimienta Records, 2006

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Touring History

Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Rio Mar, Puerto Rico The Tito Rodriguez Orchestra, Teatro Yaguez Mayaguez, Puerto Rico The Tito Rodriguez Orchestra in Concert, Parque De Las Ciencias, Bayamon, Puerto Rico El Show De Chucho Avellanet, San Juan, Puerto Rico

© Joyce Michel 2008

Tito Rodriguez Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez, Jr

The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra Live at the Blue Note

Teatro Miranda, Bronx, NY Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing, NYC, NY Kanyon Mall Concert, Istanbul, Turkey Los Angeles Jazz Institute Jazz at Vienne, Vienne, France Jazzfest Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa, Canada Burghausen Jazz Festival, Burghausen, Altötting, Germany Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain Jacksonville Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles, CA Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles, CA Tanglewood, Lenox, MA Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI Bijou Theater, Knoxville, TN Carver Center, San Antonio, TX Tempo Latino, Rome, Italy Tempo Latino, Milan, Italy Tempo Latino, Viz Fezensac, France Pori Jazz Festival, Pori, Finland SOB's, NYC, NY Blue Note, NYC, NY Concert of Colors, Detroit, MI

Ravinia Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL Copacabana, NYC, NY Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA Concord Jazz Festival, Concord, CA Bellayre Jazz Festival, Catskills, NY Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA Verizon Music Festival, NYC, NY Club Babalu, NYC, NY

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Touring History (cont'd)

Wintergarden, World Financial Center, APAP, NYC, NY Club Broadway, NYC, NY Broadway II, NYC, NY Side Street, NYC, NY Palm, Bronx, NY Les Poulets, NYC, NY Marriott Ballroom, World Trade Center, NY Marriott Hotel Ballroom, Smith Town, LI SOB's, NYC, NY Copacabana, NYC, NY Battery City Park, NYC, NY Orchard Beach Summer Concerts, NYC, NY Club Venue, Rochester, NY Club Vandome, CT Chateau Madrid, NYC, NY Latin Quarter, NYC, NY Casa Borinquen, Brooklyn, NY Goya Events: Official band for 60th Anniversary Celebration Goya Events: Summer Fest `96 Goya Events: Hispanic Day Parade Goya Events: Newark Puerto Rican Day Parade, Newark, NJ Goya Events: 3 Awards Dinners Dinner Theatre, NYC Co-op City, NY Sally Jessy Raphael's 10th Anniversary Party, NYC, NY Concord Hotel, Catskills, NJ Villa Roma, Catskills, NJ Leonards, LI South Street Seaport, NYC, NY CBS Holiday Party, NYC, NY ('03 & '04) Westgate Lounge, Tappan, NY Cory Booker's Inaugural Ball, Newark, NJ Boat House, Central Park, NYC, NY

Eclipse

Statler Hilton Hotel, NYC, NY Club Venue, Philadelphia, PA Carousel Lounge, Miami Beach, FL Boombamakao Club, NYC, NY Club Venue, Bridgeport, CT MD Telethon Puerto Rico Theater, NYC, NY

Curious?

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Special Appearances

Guest Artist Appearances

Dia Nacional de la Salsa, Puerto Rico Carnegie Hall, Gilberto Santa Rosa, NYC, NY Bellas Artes, Puerto Rico Bellas Artes, Caguas, Puerto Rico Pier 10, Puerto Rico Club Tropimar, Puerto Rico La Guancha, Ponce, Puerto Rico Chicago Theater, Concert for Aspira, Chicago, IL

Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tito Rodriguez, Jr & Cheo Feliciano at Carnegie Hall

Television Appearances

El Show De Chucho Avellanet, San Juan, Puerto Rico Buenas Noches con Silverio, Canal 13, San Juan, Puerto Rico El Show de Pijuán, Canal 13, San Juan, Puerto Rico Prohibido Olvidar, Tribute to Tito Rodriguez, TUTV Canal 6, University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Pori Finland, Big 3 Mambo Documentary, Public Broadcast Station Detroit Concert of Colors, Comcast Cable Tribute to Celia Cruz, CBS News BET Jazz Network, In My Father's Shoes, featuring the sons of Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente, and Machito Visiones, NBC local, tribute to Tito Puente featuring Bill Cosby, Tito Rodriguez, Jr, and Dave Valentin Minga y Petraca, Telemundo The Sally Jesse Raphael Show, with Tito Puente, Rita Morreno and Daisy Fuentes

Tito Rodriguez, Jr, Sally Jessy Raphael & Tito Puente on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show

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Endorsements

Aquarian Drumheads

Provides High-Quality drumheads so that you can concentrate on playing your drums and making music.

Along with artists such as Clarence Penn, Damon Reid, Mike Luce, Daniel McAfee and Mario Grillo, Tito Rodriguez, Jr endorses this fine line of drumheads.

Sabian Cymbals

Known as the `modern, innovative cymbal maker with traditional roots,' Sabian combines expertise and craftsmanship with creative vision, to design award-winning cymbals. Sabian cymbals are the choice of such leading drummers as Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason and Tito RodriguezJr., as well as many others around the world.

Toca Percussion

During the early 90's, a new Latin sound called "Afro Cuban", was hitting the pop charts. Toca was designed and developed by Kaman Music to have a different look from other percussion instruments and to provide an "Afro Cuban" sound. Tito Rodriguez, Jr, endorses the Toca Pro Line Black Copper Timbales for Toca Percussion along with other notables, such as, Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Billy Cobham and Clayton Cameron.

Vic Firth

For almost 40 years, Vic Firth Inc., has produced the finest drumsticks and mallets available. Innovative design, coupled with uncompromising quality control, truly provides customers with the "Perfect Pair". Vic Firth is the world's largest manufacturer of drumsticks and mallets.

Steve Gadd, Alex Acuna, and Sheila E. are other artists along with Tito Rodriguez, Jr. who endorse this fine line of drumsticks and mallets.

© Vera Mulyani 2008

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Arrangements by Tito Rodriguez, Jr

Marc Anthony Todo A Su Tiempo Por Amor Se Da Toda

Gilberto Santa Rosa Dos Tiempos: Hoy Te Canto

La India Sola: Sola

Willie Rosario 35th Aniversario: Aqui Estamos

Sally Jessy Raphael Theme Song

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Performance Reviews & Quotes

"The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, with its screaming horn section, frenzied rhythm section, and it's high-octane, bone-crunching arrangements is, by far, the most hard-core tribute record I have heard in a long time. A guaranteed dance-club floor burner." ­DJ Alert The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra: Live At The Blue Note · Descarga.com, January 19, 2007 "Those experiencing the electrically charged evening conveyed to me that they were thrilled to watch the sons of the three greats--Mario Grillo and Tito Rodríguez, Jr., --onstage performing the original charts. Those present who fell in love with the music during the `50s and `60s, when it swept America, and those who wished they had been born earlier and could have danced at the Palladium Ballroom, can attest mightily to the fact that this music is most definitely alive and well!" - Vicki Sola A bite from the apple--New York · Latin Beat Magazine, April, 2003 "The National Day Orchestra overwhelmingly confirms their crushing power during their jazz version of the mambo Around the World with Tito Rodriguez, Jr on timbales." ­Jaime Torres Torres Velada salsera con sabor a nostalgia · El Nuevo Dia, Monday March 20, 2006 "The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra already may rank as the most brilliant large Latin jazz ensemble this side of Havana." -Howard Reich Incendiary jazz takes the chill out of June · Chicago Tribune, June 16, 2003

"There were fiery solos from every section of the band." -Dave Conlin Read Latin jazz in Ozawa Hall · NewBerkshire.com, September 2, 2006

"Trumpeters leaped to high notes as congas and timbales drove taut ensembles, while glitter-clad couples danced onstage and volunteers danced in the audience. Latin jazz was welcoming its first repertory orchestra, with no need for scholarly decorum." -Jon Pareles 5 Groups in 6 Hours, From the 30's to the 90's · The New York Times, Monday August 13, 2001

"Standouts include powerhouse renditions of ¡Que Bonito Es Puerto Rico!, Mama Guela, Mambo Inn, El Cayuco and Avísale a Mi Contrario." -Rudy Mangual The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra: Live At The Blue Note · Latin Beat Magazine, October 2004 "Tito Rodriguez Jr.'s show ... was made for dancers." "Mr. Rodriguez made the music lift off." "Mr. Rodriguez occasionally uses older arrangements taken from his father, also a band leader, and they're sophisticated harmonically and structurally." "The best moments were when Sammy Gonzalez sang against the chorus and the horns of the band." -Peter Watrous In Performance · The New York Times, July 27, 1996

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Ad/Brochure/Poster Marketing Language

The Music of Tito Rodriguez, Jr, Featuring the Tito Rodriguez, Jr Orchestra & Tito Rodriguez, Jr on Timbales (A 13-piece Orchestra show, featuring the music of Tito Rodriguez, Jr; a 90-minute show with no intermission.) A Tito Rodriguez, Jr show is a tight, electrifying visual and auditory experience incorporating contemporary traditional Mambo, with a touch of Afro Cuban Latin Jazz sounds, into distinct, sophisticated, sizzling songs and arrangements, mixing the old with the new. It is a reminder of the excellence and professionalism of the Latin Big Bands of the past. His shows reflect his teeth-cutting childhood memories, which were filled with the music of his father's orchestra, the legendary Latin singer of the fifties, sixties, and seventies, Tito Rodriguez. His performances are tight, thrilling, and sensational, reflecting the lessons learned at his father's knees and at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Under the impeccable direction of Tito Rodriguez, Jr, his orchestra performs high-octane, dance-club floor burning cuts and his riveting timbales solos bring down the house. A Tito Rodriguez, Jr concert is Latin Big Band perfection. The music is a contemporary interpretation of sounds of the bands of the 50's, 60's, and 70's mixed with today's Latin rhythms. The band is elegantly dressed. The sounds are titillating, scintillating, exciting and perfectly executed. The evening is electrically charged and Tito Rodriguez, Jr's music is a testament to the fact that contemporary, danceable Cha-chas and Mambos are now and forever! (Ahora y siempre!)

The Music of Tito Rodriguez Performed by Tito Rodriguez Jr, Orchestra Featuring Tito Rodriguez, Jr on Timbales (An 18-23-piece Orchestra performs the original charts of Tito Rodriguez featuring Tito Rodriguez, Jr on timbales; a 90-minute show total with a 30 minute intermission.) Experiencing a Tito Rodriguez, Jr tribute to the memory and music of his father, Tito Rodriguez, is like being transported back in time and across the world. One can close one's eyes and hear the roots of traditional Latin music... African beats! An African village and surrounding hills are alive with rhythmic drums echoing a thunderous sound throughout them. Their counterparts in Cuba whiz you across the Atlantic where they alter the beats. A call out to the hot Jazz horn lines from New York City is answered and set to the rhythms established at the Palladium Night Club by Tito's father, Tito Rodriguez. Suddenly you are surrounded by the screaming sounds of a Latin Big Band. A Tito Rodriguez, Jr's concert of his father's music is equal parts nostalgic, exciting, sing-along, hand-clapping, body-swaying, leg-tapping, "jump outta your seat and dance in the aisles", to his father's classic Mambos, Guarachos, Cha-Cha's and Songs Montuno. Just when you are exhausted and spent from the excitement of it all there is a gentle Bolero to remind you to kiss your love, the one next to you. It is an utterly unforgettable experience and is a reminder of a more romantic time when Latin music celebrated the differences between men and women. When people danced together, men leading, women following. It is an authentic performance of his father's music. It's hot. It's sexy. It's sizzling. It's romantic. It's a musical journey you do not want to miss; one that will have you entranced form start to finish, and ultimately not wanting to leave after you have experienced two nostalgic and glorious hours.

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Ad/Brochure/Poster Marketing Language

"Sinceramente," The Music of Tito Rodriguez, Jr and Tito Rodriguez Performed by the Tito Rodriguez, Jr Orchestra Featuring Tito Rodriguez, Jr on Timbales (A13-piece Orchestra opens show, performs music of Tito Rodriguez, Jr, brief intermission, 18-23-piece Orchestra comes on to perform arrangements of Tito Rodriguez, a 90 minute performance total with a 30 minute intermission.) In the 1950's, America fell in love with the Mambo, and the best place to hear this electrifying music was at the Palladium Ballroom in NYC. One of the giants of the genre, Tito Rodriguez, referred to as the "Frank Sinatra of Latin music", performed his fiery and tasty Mambos there weekly. Tito Rodriguez, Jr remembers his father by carrying the torch of his art and legend, with a sense of price and tradition, playing his songs and enabling an entire generation to enjoy his music, giving the American landscape a voice that lingers like a beautiful song. Tito Rodriguez and his music are well preserved in the musical arrangements kept throughout the years by his son, Tito Rodriguez, Jr. He has assembled a big band with some of the most fiery and tasty mambos ever written of all times. Here are the classic mambos of an era, the greatest arrangements, performed by a big band with a sound that only a big band can produce. Come hear the electrifying music of both the father and son, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Rodriguez, Jr in Tito Jr's homage to his father where he sincerely thanks all of his father's fans.

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The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra: Live At the Blue Note

A bite from the apple - New York

In Performance

Date: July 27, 1996 · Source: The New York Times · Review by Peter Watrous

Date: October 2004 · Source: Latin Beat Magazine · Review by Rudy Mangual

Date: April, 2003 · Source: Latin Beat Magazine · Article by Vicki Sola

THE BIG 3 PALLADIUM

ORCHESTRA Live At the

Blue Note (Rumba Jams)

Following in the legacy of their superstar parents (Tito Rodríguez,Machito and Tito Puente), Tito Rodriguez, Jr., Mario Grillo, Jr. and Tito Puente, Jr. came together in 2001 to perform the music of the `50s Palladium era mambo. The brainchild of Mario Grillo, Jr., this rebirth of the music of the three giants continues to represent the big band sound and legendary music of the era of the Pailadium nightclub. With the help of musical director José Madera, Jr., as well as several original members from the Big 3 Palladium bands, the 23-member orchestra has been spreading the gospel of the mambo. The three sons alternate fronting the orchestra on timbal, as they serve up the repertoire of their fathers. This production was recorded live during a performance held at the prestigious New York City nightclub, The Blue Note, on March 6, 2004. The well-known engineer Jon Fausty was ably assisted by Jeff Hoffman. Featured vocalists include Hermán Olivera, Sammy González and Luisito Ayala. Standouts include powerhouse renditions of ¡Que Bonito Es Puerto Rico!, Mama Guela, Mambo Inn, El Cayuco and Avísale a Mi Contrario.

On January 12, a crowd packed midtown Manhattan's Club Babalú to witness a special showcase featuring The Big Three Palladium Orchestra, an orchestra comprised of alumni from the big bands of the three giants of Latin music: Frank "Machito" Grillo, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodríguez. When I asked Mario Grillo--son of the legendary Machito and leader of the present day Machito Orchestra--what led to the concept behind the creation of The Big Three Palladium Orchestra, he explained, "It was my idea to create the band, with the go-ahead from [Tito Puente's widow] Margie Puente, Tito Rodríguez, Jr., and Tito Puente, Jr. The idea was to play the music of the three masters in a concert format." The Club Babalú concert was, as Grillo accurately described it, "one and a half hour's worth of intense music," with the 24-piece orchestra, including five saxophones, four trumpets, three trombones and four rhythm section players, plus three timbaleros and three vocalists belting out the classics of "the three greats," one after another. They performed Machito's Sambia, Mambo Inn, Babarabatiri and Oye La Rumba; Tito Rodríguez's Mama Guela, Chévere and El Mundo de Las Locas, and Tito Puente's Cayuco, Complicación and Oye Como Vá. Grillo cited these numbers as being "examples of the book." He added, "We have, combined, about 2,500 tunes we can play--about 250 albums. So we can play forever, if need be!" The Big Three Palladium Orchestra's concerts so far include appearances at New York City's Verizon Festival with Abbey Lincoln, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center with Giovanni Hidalgo, New York's Belleayre Festival, the Concord Jazz Festival in California with Eddie Palmieri and Arturo Sandoval, and the Hollywood Bowl with Celia Cruz. Advertisement Those experiencing the electrically charged evening conveyed to me that they were thrilled to watch the sons of "the three greats"-Mario Grillo, Tito Rodríguez, Jr., Tito Puente, Jr. and Ronald Puente-onstage performing the original charts. Those present who fell in love with the music during the `50s and `60s, when it swept America, and those who wished they had been born earlier and could have danced at the Palladium Ballroom, can attest mightily to the fact that this music is most definitely alive and well! Additional information about The Big Three Palladium Orchestra is available online at www.bprmusic.com.

JAZZ Percussion-Driven Band Makes the Dancers Respond Tito Rodriguez Jr. S.O.B.'s Tito Rodriguez Jr.'s show on Monday night was made for dancers, and they obliged by packing the floor. Mr. Rodriguez plays timbales, and much of the power of his Latin band comes directly from the percussion section. Along with Chucky Lopez on bongos and Eddie Montavo on congas, Mr. Rodriguez made the music lift off. Mr. Rodriguez occasionally uses older arrangements taken from his father, also a band leader, and they're sophisticated harmonically and structurally. He and the other percussionists navigated the changes in each tune perfectly, and when the compositions moved into the improvised section, Mr. Lopez changed from bongos to metal bell. Mr. Rodriguez was playing his own bell, and the two men made the music swing, the dark pinging of the metal driving it. Mr. Lopez placed a samba rhythm over Mr. Rodriguez's pattern, producing a funky, syncopated mesh. The best moments were when Sammy Gonzalez sang against the chorus and the horns of the band. He sang "Sun Sun Babae" and the hit "Mujer Erotica," where his pleas, presented as if life depended on a positive response, were followed by a cool chorus singing "Una mujer como tu es la que quiero yo" ("A woman like you is what I want"). Then he shouted, "Swing, swing!" and the dancers were off.

Latin jazz in Ozawa Hall

Date: September 2, 2006 · Source: NewBerkshire.com · Review by Dave Conlin Read

The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra

Date: January 19, 2007 · Source: Descarga.com · Review by DJ Alert

Editor's Pick: You want swing? We'll give you swing, brother. The mega-mambo Palladium Orchestra is musically directed by José Madera. Madera, a Puente orchestra veteran, is joined here by the sons of Latin music big-band royalty: Tito Puente Jr., Machito Jr. (Mario Grillo), and Tito Rodriguez Jr. in what is not simply a marketing effort. These three men are all capable timbaleros, and this live recording from New York's Blue Note, March 6, 2004 tore down the house. Playing the tunes that the three originals were famous for are heavy hitters like Louis Bauzo, Oscar Hernandez, Héctor Colón, Eddie Montalvo, Jerry Madera, and Chis Washburne to name a few. Most of the thirteen tracks are high voltage mambo-jazz instrumental tracks like "Cuban Fantasy," "Mambo Inn," and "Palladium Days." There are also tracks that require vocals like "El Cayuco," "Mama Guela," "Complicacion," and "Chevere." For these, the vocalists Luisita Ayala, Sammy Gonzalez, and Herman Olivera do a simply superb job. There seems to be a resurgence, as of late, for the sounds generated by the bands of the `50s and `60s. The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, with it's screaming horn section, frenzied rhythm section, and its high-octane, bone-crunching arrangements is, by far, the most hard-core tribute record I have heard in a long time. A guaranteed dance-club floor burner. DJ Alert. Very Highly recommended.

The 2006 Tanglewood Jazz Festival opened, as usual, with an evening of Latin Jazz; a nice feature, which gives the Berkshire audience an opportunity to experience a type of music rarely presented hereabouts. It was a genverous helping served up Friday night in Ozawa Hall, starting with The Spanish Harlem Orchestra (13 members), led by pianist and arranger Oscar Hernandez, and closing with the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra (20 members), led in turns by Machito, Jr, Tito Rodriguez, Jr, and Joe Madera, Jr. Over the course of nearly four hours, a thoroughly satisfying musical sampler was delivered, broken up, unfortunately, by too much talking by the M.C. and the various band leaders, each of whom (except the relatively succinct Oscar Hernandez) failed to appreciate the audience's capacity to learn what they will about the history and development of the music and of the Big 3. Both of these bands is comprised of stellar players and there was no shortage of star turns throughout the proceedings. Except for a couple of numbers, the S.H.O. was fronted by a trio of vocalists who doubled as dancers/cheerleaders/jesters, depending on the nature of the tune, much to the delight of the audience. Hernandez, a gifted composer (and also Reuben Blade's musical director) directed his Grammy-winning band with a light touch and made sure all his players got into the game; all the solos were right on and were well-received, by audience and band member alike. The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra was founded for the purpose of perpetuating the legends of Machito, Tito Rodriguez, and Tito Puente and their musical battles in New Yorks' Palladium Ballroom dating back to the 1950s. Tonight's concert was touted as a "battle of the Latin big bands," but it didn't feel like a competition and we noticed no wagering among the audience. The members of the B3PO are every bit as good as the SHO, but they're kept on a tighter rein and dressed in suits and ties, as was the norm in the 1950s. Despite the duds, the conga/bongo duo of Eddie Montalvo and Louis Bauzo were loose

and limber all night and there were fiery solos from every section of the band. The brass section included the diminutive Carmen Laboy, who coaxed some nasty growls from a baritone saxophone that's almost as tall as she is. Saturday afternoon saw the return for the fifth consecutive year of Marian McPartland, with guest Elvis Costello, for a "live taping" of her NPR show "Piano Jazz." The longest-running and one of the most popular shows on public radio, it's no wonder this segment is always a big draw for the festival. But, one wonders how many people come a second time, because its novelty value far out-weighs its entertainment value. Kind of like watching sausage get made; the radio program is always an entertaining and edifying hour, but the "live taping" is usually an uncomfortably chopped-up two hours. Nonetheless, Ms. McPartland, always warm and witty, is a global treasure, and a true pioneer deserving of all the accolades accorded her. And the loquacious Costello, with a demonstrated affinity for lovely ladies of jazz, was the perfect guest, providing plenty of charming badinage to smooth out the proceedings. And if the appearance of his wife had been known in advance, the audience could've been doubled.

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At Columbia, Jazz Brings Upper Manhattan Together

By Lauren Marshall

Some scholars say America's jazz greats adopted the sounds Date: August 13, 2001 · Source: The New York Times · Review by Jon Pareles of the many places they played and Date: June 16, 2003 · Source: Chicago Tribune · Review by Howard Reichblended these sounds with their own voice to create new "living" Moreover, the idioms that this band explores this is true, MUSIC REVIEW. music. If -- from the "Cubop" orchestral showpieces of Machito to the mediumConsidering the temperature was low and the pavilion following the Aug. 11 tempo mambo classics of Rodriguez to the orgiastic dance festival audience sparse, Saturday night's installment of Ravinia's Jazz in Verizon music rhythms of Puente -- probably have not beenconcert at Columbia so authentically June series did not have a lot going for it. University, in their expressed since the original bandleaders themselves were Abbey Except for some of the most accomplished Latin jazz Lincoln, Wayne heyday. artists on the planet. Shorter, James From the outset, Grillo established the technical prowTo note that the third night of Jazz in June was its best Carter, and other MUSIC REVIEW: would be an extreme understatement. This was one of the most ess, stylistic credibility and creative vitality of this group, for contemporary jazz Musical eras flashed by and intermingled like viscerally exciting performances in the decade-plus history of this ensemble (conceived by Grillo) addresses this music in musicians left with a happily jumbled memories at the Verizon Jazz Festival's finale, Ravinia's jazz mini-fest and a reminder of the remarkable artistic fundamentally different ways than bands less steeped in thecampus touch of the a free concert Saturday afternoon on the Columbia University level that the Highland Park soiree can achieve. tradition. and Upper Manhattan in their music. campus. The 1930's, 50's, 60's and 90's were all up for grabs as In a three-attraction evening that had no weak points, For starters, Grillo and friends took pains to lay bare As if on cue, five tempered New York City's heat wave ceased as the most thrilling music by far came from a sensational, relatively the layers of rhythm on which this music is built. Piano and the rains that first-rate groups appeared during the six-hour concert. 4,500that more jazz lovers from around the city filled South Field and Low Plaza for a The concert opened and closed with big bands. The new band improbably called the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra. percussion laid down the multiple "clave" patterns quadruple bill of first-rate artists. The evening pieces lookedspectrum of jazz Magali Souriau Orchestra's featured a toward France, Gil One might not expect very much from any ensemble often than not these days are buried in a blur of orchestral sound. tunes from the1930's through the 1990's. Saxophonist James Carter pieces, and his Evans, Thelonious Monk and literature. Ms. Souriau's that has been playing for barely two years and is directed by not With Grillo revisiting Machito's repertoire, the rhythChasin' the Gypsy band revived bluesy ballads that were offset by the including one inspired by "Lord of the Rings" and another one but three leaders. Yet judging by Saturday night's incendiary mic impulses of this music rightly were placed at the forefront, Quartet's rhythmic explosions of modern jazz. Singer Abbey Wayne Shorter (though technically disciplined) performance, the Big 3 Palladium just as it is to this day in ensembles in Cuba, Lincoln brought a deep toying with the melody from Debussy's "Clair de Lune," where Machito grew and agile solo voice to the evening's performances. created and closely harmonized textures the which Orchestra already may rank as the most brilliant large Latin jazz up (he was born Frank Raul Grillo). And the Mario Brillo, Tito Rodriguez Jr.misty,Tito Puente Jr presented from tunes tendrils tempos that the of melodies emerged, sometimes entwining in quasi-classical ensemble this side of Havana. younger Grillo chose -- gently but inexorablypreviously played by their trailblazing fathers, who brought Latin jazz to the pushing forward big band in the 1930's. canons. And pianist Magali Souriau and her orchestra The fanciful title refers to New York's fabled Palladium -- were ideally suited to this music. introduced classical jazz blends to the mix. the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra closed The debut of Ballroom, which from the mid-1940s to the mid-'60s was a nexus When Rodriguez Jr. took over, the very character of the the concert. Mario Grillo (the son of Machito), Tito Rodriguez for Afro-Caribbean music in the United States. Machito, Tito band seemed to change, with great brass choirs and florid, callMusic mingled with the scent of Caribbean roti from Harlem's Roti Plus and Jr. and Tito Puente Jr. took turns leading the big band in Puente and Tito Rodriguez were the "Big Three" bandleaders who and- response vocals suddenly taking prominence. southern specialties from Spoonbread restaurant as well as the cuisine of music by their fathers, dating as far back as Machito's and gave the Palladium a large measure of its glory, To hear so many virtuoso instrumentalists Mario Bauza's pioneering Latin-jazz hybrids from the 1930's. and their gifted sons recently joined forces to and vocalists producing so much contrapuntal Trumpeters leaped to high notes as congas and timbales drove create an unusual ensemble specializing in sound -- all of it propelled by extraordinarily taut ensembles, while glitter-clad couples danced onstage and repertoire of each of the three jazz legends. seductive backbeats -- was to savor the splendor volunteers danced in the audience. Latin jazz was welcoming If this sounds like a formula for of this band. its first repertory orchestra, with no need for scholarly disaster -- with three competing egos pushing If the young Puente enjoys re-creating his decorum. different songbooks and agendas -- the opfather's antics at timbales, the audience clearly The concert's generosity backfired. To stay on posite proved to be the case. For Mario Grillo welcomed the chance to revisit the spirit of schedule, sets were cut short when equipment changes took (Machito's son), Tito Rodriguez Jr. and Tito the music of "El Rey" ("The King," as the elder longer than planned; Mr. Shorter's group had barely 40 Puente Jr. have staffed this ensemble with Latin dance-band vetPuente was known). Yet this was no nostalgia show, for the band minutes. A smaller lineup or an earlier start would have given erans who can dispatch this repertoire more authoritatively than once again reaffirmed the perpetual freshness and creative posthe music some breathing room. any younger group of musicians might hope to do. sibility of this music.

Incendiary jazz takes the chill out of June

5 Groups in 6 Hours, From the 30's to the 90's

In time with The Big 3

Following the steps of Puente, Machito and Rodriguez

Date: 24 February 2007 · Publication: La Opinion, Espectaculos · Article by: Nelly Apaza Retamoso · Translation by: Ramón Muñiz Hernández

For those of you with graying hair, listening to music from almost half a century ago can bring back memories of better times. A time when going out dancing meant you had to be a good dancer and a time where, when you fell in love, you fell in love to the language of the Bolero. From that era came The Big 3 ­Tito Rodriguez, Machito (Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo), and Tito Puente, who played together many times, until they each formed their own bands. Such were the afternoons and nights at the original, Palladium Ballroom, located 53rd Street and Broadway, New York, where each bandleader followed the other with his own orchestra. That era has now been revived by the sons of Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, who grew up close to their parents - learning music before learning how to read and write. It was Machito's son, Mario Grillo's idea, to put together a big band similar to the orchestras led by Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente. Grillo approached the two Tito Jrs., and the orchestra became a reality. The main concept of The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra is to play their fathers' music. The Orchestra is a big band comprised of 24 musicians: five saxophones, four trumpets, three trombones, a full rhythm section of four musicians, plus three timbaleros and three vocalists. According to Grillo, in 2003, The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra - named after The Big 3 -played at the Club Babalú for an hour and a half. During the marathon set, the orchestra played Machito's Sambia, Mambo Inn, Babarabatiri and Oye la rumba; Tito Rodriguez's, Mama Guela, Chévere and El Mundo de las Locas; and Tito

Puente's, Cayuco, Complicación and Oye Como Va. "That was just a taste because we have 2,500 songs. That is, we can play forever, if we want to," Machito's son asserted in an interview last year. The orchestra, which has toured worldwide playing Mambo, Chachachá, Bolero and Latin Jazz, comes to Los Angeles for a solo concert at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at the University of California. The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, which made its debut 3 years ago in New York, has developed. The original lineup of 24 musicians has been refined. The Big 3 is different because, according to Tito Rodriguez, Jr, Tito Puente, Jr has decided to pursue other musical opportunities. "He is into rap and hip hop. Mario Grillo and I have stayed with The Big 3." Unlike his father, Tito Rodriguez, Jr does not sing. He is the band's timbalero, one of the instruments that his father taught him to play as a boy during rehearsals at the Palladium Ballroom. In 1975, Tito Rodriguez, Jr, the son of El Inolvidable (The Unforgettable), made his first recording for the TR Records, a label owned by El Inolvidable himself. "Curious? Was my first tropical music album. The singer was José El Canario Alberto, with Rubén Blades and Adalberto Santiago on backup vocals. Sabor Criollo was the first song that José Alberto recorded in the United States," recalls Rodriguez. Twenty years after his debut, Rodriguez took up the timbales professionally and decided to form his own orchestra. Married and needing to support his family, Tito Rodriguez Jr. made a living at CBS network as a programs editor. "My work on television is also part of what I learned from my father. In Puerto Rico he used to do

programs for television and I was one of his camera men". Tito was urged to start playing his father's music because of the resurgence in Mambo due to the movie, The Mambo Kings', popularity. "Then I got a call from the TTH label to record the album Eclipse. This time the vocals were done by Sammy González, Jr. The hit from this album was Mujer Erótica, a song composed by Sammy. This album is still getting airplay today," notes Tito. In 2003, Mario Grillo and Tito Rodriguez Jr. joined forces. "Mario called me to form a big band to play the hits that our fathers made famous at the Palladium. I liked the idea and decided to stay in the orchestra with the music of my father, Tito Puente and Machito". It's not unlike swimming against the current of today's rhythms: hip-hop, reggaetón, pop ballads and all forms of tropical musical that have developed during these decades. "The people that supported my father for many years remember that era. Many of them say that they got married listening to the boleros of Tito Rodriguez. And the young crowd that comes to our concerts also wants to learn from them". Tito Jr. knows that is not easy to book a big band. "The big band era is dying, but these arrangements that we play have been the standards for three decades and a good song with a good arrangement never dies. The music that they did was ahead of their time. And, yes, it is difficult to travel with twenty-three, but we want to maintain the sound of the big band, it has no equal." As a side note, Tito Rodriguez, Jr plans on recording annually now under his own label, TRJR Records, to continue the musical legacy his father left him. Look for a new Tito Rodriguez, Jr CD soon!

English Translation: "The National Day Orchestra overwhelmingly confirms their crushing power, during their jazz version of the mambo Around the World with Tito Rodriguez, Jr on timbales."

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