RAMON TARANCO is a New York City-based, Toronto raised-and-educated, Cuban-Mexican composer & guitarist whose world beat fusion music runs the gamut from Afro-Cuban Jazz & Blues to Southern Rock & New Orleans Funk.
Solo, duo & band performances in New York City include Guggenheim Museum's World Beat Jazz Series, "Celebrating the Diaspora: Strummin the Americas" for African-American Heritage Month @ Bronx Museum of Fine Arts, Liz Swados' opera "Missionaries" @ Brooklyn Academy of Music's Majestic Theater, Queens Museum of Art, Harborside Jazz Festival, Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children's Center (Manhattan), Visions Institute for the Blind (Manhattan), Connie Lekas School (Brooklyn), Hellenic Cultural Center (Astoria, Queens), New York State University @ Stony Brook, Manhattanville College, Monroe College (Bronx), The Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims (Brooklyn), Latino Heritage Month Celebration @ Javits Convention Center, concert celebrating Martin Luther King Jr's birthday @ Newark Public Library, reBar Gastropub (Brooklyn), in NYC jazz & blues clubs ie La Belle Epoque (Cabaret Nights & Jazz Brunches), Izzy Bar, Mozart Cafe, Cornelia Street Cafe (New York Soul of the Blues Festival) and The Groove.
Toronto appearances include Harbourfront Centre's Brigantine Room & Water's Edge Cafe, C'est What, The Riverboat, University of Toronto's Hart House Theatre, Windsor Arms Hotel's Courtyard Cafe, Art Gallery of Ontario, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, the Top O' the Senator Guitar Bar Series & in numerous other jazz & blues venues. He has toured in Western Canada & several times across Ontario (including Sudbury's Laurentian University) giving concerts, lecture/recitals & guitar clinics.
Live radio performances and interviews include The Gutbucket Blues Show on NYC's WBAI & the CBC's Morningside & Musical Friends. Ramon also gave live interviews on WBAI's New World Gallery & Radio Libre & on KPFT's Son Pacifica (Houston Texas.) Ramon's April 10th 2011 interview with host Ibrahim Gonzales on Radio Libre is posted on the "Kick Back n Listen" page at www.ramontaranco.com
Taranco's music has also found its way onto an American documentary, "Poverty Outlaw," & the Canadian film, "L'Hombre."
Ramon Taranco - Guitars & Lead Vocals
Judd Nielsen - Hammond B3 Organ
Cinque Ubangi Kemp - Drums
Dave Cutler - Bass
Ramon has recorded 2 CDs of his organic and very natural eclectic compositions which have a wide variety of styles and range from solo guitar (electric and acoustic) to full band. Music From the Bermuda Triangle is primarily a world beat jazz album with some blues accents. The Adventures of Bo Segovia is mostly blues and funk.
Blues shows on public and commercial stations often play Ramon's Spirit of Muddy Waters and Ghost Dance tracks but all 16 tracks from his 2 CDs get regular airplay. To date, Ramon's music has received airplay on at least 350 stations in 50 countries around the globe. In the USA alone, we know of 131 stations across 41 states that have played Ramon's music.
In February 2010, The Adventures of Bo Segovia CD was #3 on the Roots Music Report international top 100 jazz charts and #10 on the New York State top 100 roots artists (all genres) chart; where rating are tallied based on airplay on 500 affiliated stations worldwide.
At www.ramontaranco.com, we offer other recordings including "Pavane For a White Jungle" from Taranco's A CUBAN'S CANADIAN CHRISTMAS medley which has frequently been played on Canada's CBC radio during the festive season, His solo guitar piece entitled "Waltz For Jane" is written in a classical contemporary vein.
Ramon has written many more songs and instrumentals that have not been professionally recorded.
IF YOU ARE A MUSIC SUPERVISOR representing film and television projects, please contact Ramon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org He will give you more information about his full body of work. He is also willing to write original music for new film and television projects.
Taranco received several arts grants: an Ontario Arts Council multicultural music recording grant, a composition grant from the Toronto Arts Council, another composition grant from the Ontario Arts Council, and a new talent recording grant from The Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record (FACTOR). These grants made it possible for Ramon to continue recording songs for his first CD of original compositions, “Music From the Bermuda Triangle.”
MUSIC FROM THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Ramon's first CD of original music, “Music From the Bermuda Triangle,” is an Afro-Jazz-Latin fusion album. Strong on percussion, it offers a balanced blend of instrumental and vocal songs using authentic ancient traditional instruments as well as electric guitars and keyboards. “Snow Scorpion,” “Mantiki I” and “Mantiki II” are African-related instrumental pieces. “Yoruba Cuba” and “Music From the Bermuda Triangle” are Afro-Cuban inspired songs with vocals. For some classic southern rock, there’s “Sugar Can Rider” where Ramon shares special memories of his childhood in Cuba. There’s also a tango on the CD, “Tango Solito.” And for R&B lovers, there’s the gospel-influenced “Hard Work.”
Recorded in Toronto, Canada and mixed by Grammy and Juno Award Winning engineer, Kevin Doyle, this fascinating World Beat Fusion gem features musicians from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Ghana, Holland, Jamaica, Portugal, South Africa and the USA. Vocalists: Raul Galvez, Yohanna van der Kley, Cooly Koaho, Betty Richardson, Jackie Richardson, Ramon Taranco, Pat Thomas and Liz Tilden. On violin, Ben Mink; harmonica, Carlos del Junco; accordion, Jose Sousa; organ, Peter Nunn; saxophones, Pat Labarbera and Mark Promane; electric and acoustic guitars, Ramon Taranco; cello, Doug Innis; double bass, Kieran Overs; electric bass, Jeff Jones and John Yelland; drums and percussion, Memo Acevedo, Bob Becker, Steve Foster, Basi Mahlasela and Dick Smith.
Engineers: Kevin Doyle, Tom Rogers, Jeff McCulloch
Producer: Ramon Taranco
“Music From the Bermuda Triangle” received extensive radio airplay across Europe (particularly in Sweden and Germany) and North America [New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal...], in Havana, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Moscow, Russia. It was often featured on Iñaki Peña’s unique Trébede, the highly popular and original strictly World Music radio show on Madrid’s Radio Naçional de España.
FILM COMPOSER & MUSICAL ADVISOR
Music From the Bermuda Triangle has 2 tracks that have been featured in films. “Tango Solito” (written and produced by Taranco) was commissioned by the Canadian Film Centre (founded by Norman Jewison) for the film “L’Hombre” (Catherine Martin, director) that premiered at the Montreal Film Festival. The CD's final track, “Mantiki II,” was featured on the soundtrack of documentary Academy Award winners Peter Kinoy and Pamela Yates’ documentary, “Poverty Outlaw” that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ramon also served as a music consultant and guitar teacher for the 20th Century Fox feature film “PCU.”
THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA
The Adventures of Bo Segovia (recorded in Brooklyn, New York; released in 2007) includes 2 songs with Native Indian themes: "Buffalo Skies" & "Ghost Dance." "Buffalo Skies" is a spontaneous outpouring inspired by Ramon's fascination with the ghost dance and the odyssey of the Plains Indians. Its Shoshone and Sioux imagery and its New Orleans Funk rhythms make it an interesting musical and lyrical marriage. "Ghost Dance" is a song about materialism versus the spiritual. It has an Afro-Blues feel and a dazzling Middle Eastern violin solo. The title song, "The Adventures of Bo Segovia" tells the true life story of Ramon's grandfather who fought with Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution, escaped into Texas, rode the rails to Chicago, and eventually settled in Los Angeles. "Babes Elusive" is a funk-soul-reggae ballad. "Isolation Blues" has a jazz feel that cuts into a latin-rhumba groove. "Spirit of Muddy Waters," "Blues Keep Thrillin' Me" and "St. George Street Overture" are blues-oriented.
THE HAVANA BLUES REVUE
vocalists: Denosh Bennett, Eddie Bobe, Craig Derry, Danny Frazier, Marchelle Jackson, Eunique Mack, Ramon Taranco and Lee Williams; drums/percussion: Eddie Bobe, John Jenkins, Danny Sadownick, Ernesto Simpson; harmonica: William Galison; tenor sax /clarinet: Craig Handy; organ: Greg Lewis and Danny Mixon; violin: Samir Shukry; electric bass, Essiet Okon Essiet, Buster Hemphill, Harvie S; guitars: Taranco.
Engineers: Ethan Donaldson, Brian Martin
Mastering: Tom Rogers
Producer: Ramon Taranco
Click on the AUDIO icon at the top of this screen and listen to sample tracks from both CDs, a few tracks recorded live & other recordings at www.ramontaranco.com/music.
Click on the "Press" link above and read glowing reviews for both CDs.
Yoruba Cuba - LIVE @ The Hellenic Cultural Center, Astoria (Queens NY), June 1 2011
Spirit of Muddy Waters, LIVE @The Groove NYC, Feb 4 2012
Sugar Cane Rider, LIVE @ The Groove, Feb 4 2012
Buffalo Skies, LIVE @ The Groove, Feb 4 2012
St George Street Overture - LIVE @ The HCC, June 1 2011
Babes Elusive - LIVE @ The HCC, June 1 2011
Snow Scorpion - LIVE @ The HCC, June 1 2011
cover - Killing Floor, LIVE @ The Groove, NYC, Feb 4 2012
cover - You Don't Love Me Baby - Live @ HCC, June 1 2011
cover - Sweet Home Chicago, LIVE @ The Groove, Feb 4 2012
- The Adventures of Bo Segovia ........ .....(title track)
- Babes Elusive
- Blues Keep Thrillin' Me
- Buffalo Skies
- Ghost Dance &............................... Hard Work
- Isolation Blues
- Music From the Bermuda Triangle
- Sugar Cane Rider
- Tango Solito &................................ The Spirit of Muddy Waters
- Yoruba Cuba
Ramon Taranco + His Havana Blues Revue: L-R Ramon (guitar), Cinque Ubangi Kemp (drums), Dave Cutler (bass), Judd Nielsen (keyboard) - promo featuring "Buffalo Skies" (by Ramon Taranco) Live @ The Groove, video produced by Ameer Kasmi (718) 216-1178
Ramon Taranco & Carlos del Junco: guitar & harmonica duo - Variations on a Theme by Muddy Waters
Cal Koat , Vancouver CANADA (New Review: March 2012)
[+ Show ]
. "Eclecticism is not a term normally associated with the blues. But the music of Ramon Taranco is ....
"Eclecticism is not a term normally associated with the blues. But the music of Ramon Taranco is about as far removed from roadhouse 12 Bar as you can get. Not that the veteran guitar teacher, global music presenter, adjudicator and facilitator would ever distance himself from the pure roots of the blues.
In The Spirit of Muddy Waters from Taranco’s second album, The Adventures of Bo Segovia, he testifies that the blues keeping thrilling him and the spirit of Muddy Waters keeps him searching from his youth to the present and into the future. All that searching combined with an expansive expertise on the subject, has given Taranco the needed perspective to unearth deeper connections between the blues and its estranged cousins.
He was born in Havana in the bloom of the revolution, later fleeing communist Cuba for Canada with his family, who taught him an appreciation for Cuban and African rhythms. He would fall in love with rock ‘n roll through the Beatles and dial back to the great blues statesmen who inspired the rockers in the first place.
His first disc, Music From The Bermuda Triangle began the process of reconnecting the lost links to the blues; from the dark, impassioned Teutonic strut of Tango Solito, to the earthy percussive urgency of Yoruba Cuba, to the spiritual lamentations of Hard Work, the many musical mores that embody the soul of the blues pour out through Taranco’s strings and voice.
Charmed with an exceptional cast of Canadian talent and polished production, the CD set the tone for Taranco’s second and ultimately, even more satisfying follow-up, The Adventures of Bo Segovia. Here the adventure becomes truly eclectic and encompassing, beginning at the beginning with the blues of St. George Street Overture. Babes Elusive introduces the one-drop reggae vibe to the perennial heartache. Taranco even delves into the smoky spiritual depths of the plains Indians with Shonona and Sioux reference in the tunes, Buffalo Skies and Ghost Dance, the latter with Middle Eastern violin embellishment to keep the listener guessing.
Blues Keep Thrilling Me is a straight up confession of love for the idiom and The Adventures of Bo Segovia turns out to be a funky joy ride home, closing a remarkable album of forging ties, breaking boundaries and making music with serious credibility and liberating discovery."
[ Cal is a major activist for worldbeat music. He has both radio and television podcasts and writes articles on numerous subjects but specializes in worldbeat CD reviews. Of note is the fact that Cal was the first radio promoter to air a world music show during the morning drive on a North American commercial station. ]
Sergio Rodriguez, Miami, Florida USA
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. "There is no doubt that Ramon Taranco's music is and will continue to be prefered by all. His mus....
"There is no doubt that Ramon Taranco's music is and will continue to be prefered by all. His music is of high quality and he has a unique style. For those reasons, we created a show exclusively for him and his well-deserved artistic career."
[ Sergio produces "La Esquina del Blues" for Radio Havana, CUBA - the quote above is an english translation. The Spanish version is posted at www.ramontaranco.com/press.html ]
Peter Van Laarhoven, BELGIUM
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. “...one gigantic puzzle of musical styles and ideas...I just love this… My favourite track is ‘Sp....
“...one gigantic puzzle of musical styles and ideas...I just love this… My favourite track is ‘Spirit of Muddy Waters,’ a superb blues track. Excellent!”
Guitar player Ramon Taranco was born in Havana, Cuba. At the age of 5, he moved to Toronto, Canada, with his parents. His guitar styles & influences range from classic rock and blues over finger-picking Nashville country to nylon string classical music and samba jazz.
MUSIC FROM THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE is Ramon Taranco's first solo album. It got recorded in the early nineties and presents eight fine tracks. The disc kicks off with some songs that could be described as a fine melange of South American rhythms and beautiful melodies. Let's call it latin 'feel-good' music. Halfway the album, the colour changes, and the music gets a more bluesy feeling. Nice. Enjoyed it.
And now for something completely different... Ramon Taranco's second release is quite a different story. It's definitely more jazz-oriented than it's predecessor. Well, it's not just the jazz chords that do the trick. It's more like one gigantic puzzle of musical styles and ideas. I guess this is what certain people refer to as World Beat music. I just love this.
THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA has great dynamics, lovely tempo-changes, great guitar work, all blended into world beat pop tunes. My favourite track is 'Spirit of Muddy Waters' - a superb blues track. Runner-up is the six-munute title track which tells the adventures of Ramon's grandfather. Excellent!
Bridget B Sullivan, Portland, Oregon USA
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. "Your music is great... your intentional infusions & changes in tempo really caught my attention ....
"Your music is great... your intentional infusions & changes in tempo really caught my attention & made me stop & listen... thank you for your story and the chance to air your music... geez, what the heck should I play...?!"
[Bridget B. Sullivan, host of "An Evening of Afrotainment" on KBOO FM]
Wildy Haskell, New York USA
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. "top-notch songwriter & musician; fine blues/rock writer with strong jazz elements; highly rhythm....
"top-notch songwriter & musician; fine blues/rock writer with strong jazz elements; highly rhythmic, danceable compositions; highly personal style that is distinctive & unique."
THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA - 4 Stars (Out of 5)
MUSIC FROM THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE - 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Ramon Taranco’s back story is impressive in itself. Born in Cuba, Taranco’s parents fled Cuba for political reasons on the verge of Castro’s Communist Revolution. Moving to Toronto, Taranco’s life would be forever changed by the appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Picking up a guitar and never looking back, Taranco moved from 1970’s hard rock through various styles under discovering the blues, and ultimately, nylon string guitars. Taranco went on to develop a highly personal style that is distinctive and unique. His debut album, Music From The Bermuda Triangle, was released in 1992 while Taranco was living in Toronto. Now living in New York City, Taranco released a 2nd recording, The Adventures Of Bo Segovia, in 2007.
Music From The Bermuda Triangle pens with The Snow Scorpion, a delicious flamenco tune with incredible movement and subtle yet profound shading. The minimalist support arrangement allows for just enough tension to really suck in the listener. Yoruba Cuba reminds me heavily of one of The Brothers Creeggan's more experimental pieces; Jazz, World, Cuban and even African influences can be heard in this incredibly dynamic piece. Mantiki I and Mantiki II seem to draw from South American musical traditions in highly rhythmic, danceable compositions. Tango Solito is a sneaky little tune that will wiggle its way into your subconscious. It's unusual to find an understated song with so much energy. Sugar Cane Rider is a high energy funk/pop hybrid with its roots firmly planted in the Motown tradition. This is an entertaining song with a high commercial ceiling. You'll also want to check out Hard Work and the title track.
The Adventures Of Bo Segovia finds Taranco evolving into a fine Blues/Rock writer with strong Jazz elements. The growth that occurred between Bermuda Triangle and Bo Segovia is notable, although not surprising given the 15 years that passed in between. Taranco isn't afraid to ignore musical boundaries when he comes across them. Babes Elusive is a smoky blues tune for the verses and a reggae jam in the chorus. Isolation Blues opens as an experimental jazz piece before evolving into a fusion of Cuban Jazz and Rock. While Taranco seems to enjoy in engaging in such novelty, he never sacrifices melody for the sake of sound; an admirable quality. Check out Spirit Of Muddy Waters; Mississippi blues gone electric in a highly listenable song. Other highlights include Ghost Dance, St. George Street Overture and Blues Keep Thrillin' Me.
Ramon Taranco is a top-notch songwriter and musician. Between Music From The Bermuda Triangle and The Adventures Of Bo Segovia there is a long drought of recorded material, but it's very clear that the drought wasn't a musical one. Music From The Bermuda Triangle shows a talented if raw songwriter with a highly experimental mien. The Adventures Of Bo Segovia shows a mature and subtle composer truly come into his own.
Both discs are recommended listening.
Simone Bargelli, ITALY
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. "It's difficult today to find something original in the independent blues scene. Ramon Taranco wi....
"It's difficult today to find something original in the independent blues scene. Ramon Taranco with his unique style offers brilliant and unusual musical compositions. Blues meets latin grooves that meets jazz.....hard to describe; easy to like!!!"
[ Simone hosts Radio RCC's "Rock 'n' Blues Today." -One of the oldest blues shows in Italy, RnBT has been on the air since 1989. ]
Isaac Davis Jr, Georgia USA
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. "Get ready to enter the fantastic world of Ramon Taranco as he brings to the music industry his u....
"Get ready to enter the fantastic world of Ramon Taranco as he brings to the music industry his unique sound and style to music lovers. If you are a fan of World music, then Ramon's blend of Afro-Cuban Jazz & Blues, Southern Rock & New Orleans Funk is the perfect choice. The Cuban-Mexican composer & guitarist recently spent some time with Junior's Cave talking about his love for Afro-Cuban Jazz & Blues music in this fun and entertaining interview. Enjoy!
Isaac: What was the best part of 2008 for you musically?
Ramon: Putting together and rehearsing a brand new band of great players and writing new material for my next CD.
Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?
Ramon: Getting radio airplay all over the world.
Isaac: Describe the music scene in your area.
Ramon: 9/11 really altered what had been a pretty vibrant music scene. For a period, tourists stopped coming to New York. They were the bread-and-butter of the scene so a lot of clubs closed, gigs dried up, less money was paid out to musicians when they did play and some musicians left New York altogether. (I went from performing 3 or 4 times a week to 3 or 4 times a month.) All performing musicians suffered. The scene has improved and is bouncing back but it's still not quite the same. It's New York. You have the best and worst of everything.
Isaac: What has been the best venue to perform at and why?
Ramon: I much prefer concert venues because the audience really listens and the musicians respond. I really enjoyed doing my solo African Heritage Day concert at the Bronx Museum of Fine Arts and the 8 trio concerts I gave in the world beat jazz series at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. Both of these venues have very diverse audiences; the Bronx Museum because of its multicultural community and the Guggenheim because of its attraction to tourists.
Playing to people from all over the world is always a gas.
Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry.
Ramon: In my early teens, I played in a rock band called "Motor." We played covers of a lot of Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and the Stones. At home, my parents exposed me to Cuban and West African music ie Celia Cruz, Sonora Matanzera, Miguelito Valdez, Guillermo Portables, Benny More and Orquestra Aragon. I was also strongly influenced by the Chicago Blues greats - Paul Butterfield, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, J. B. Lenoir, Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Bessie Smith, and Lenny Breau's LP "The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau" which includes one of my favorites - Lenny's version of the Jerry Reed composition "The Claw." John Renbourn's LP "Sir John Alot" was also a major influence; as were samba/jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd and classical guitarist Andrew Segovia. As a young musician living in Toronto, I hung out and studied with the legendary jazz guitarist, Lenny Breau. Lenny taught me to never be afraid of crossing the boundaries between musical styles; to cross-pollinate and blend any sounds I fall in love with. I have followed Lenny's example to this day. It is the key that has enabled me to keep my music original and vibrant. With all these different influences, my music has naturally evolved into a world beat fusion - often Afro-Cuban-flavored and sometimes New Orleans-influenced blues, rock and jazz. There are many unique world beat moments: on my 2nd CD, "The Adventures of Bo Segovia," there's "Ghost Dance" which features a Middle Eastern violin solo and my Spanish roots are clearly evident in the tango, "Tango Solito," on my first CD, "Music From the Bermuda Triangle." Some of my tunes are basically pretty pop tunes ie the gospel-flavored "Blues Keep Thrillin' Me" and "Babes Elusive" with its reggae feel. One music journalist wrote that there are Celtic moments in my music. Another reviewer claimed that there are rhythmic patterns that he thinks originated in South India. Several reviewers say I'm "Zappa-esque" - hugely complimentary but a little surprising.
Isaac: Let's talk about what you feel you will bring to the music industry.
Ramon: After I finished recording my 1st CD, I turned down an offer from Sony Records because they wanted to make changes to it. Both CDs took a long time to record because I did them independently; to protect the level of my craftsmanship and the integrity of my musical ideas. It's very simple: I play, compose and record music because I am compelled to do it. People come to hear my Afro-Cuban, New Orleans-flavored funk and blues because it makes them feel good.
Issac: How would you describe your music to others?
Ramon: Music is the most abstract of all the arts so the truer it is to the muse, the tougher it should be to pigeonhole or describe in words. My music doesn't fit into any one category. I would say it's a new kind of roots music with a healthy love for old roots music; springing from a respect for my musical ancestors because they went before me and knew what they were doing.
Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?
Ramon: I would like to perform and record in Cuba with Cuban musicians and with West African musicians in places like Nigeria and Ghana. These countries have incredibly vibrant musical heritages - I am Cuban born and my parents exposed me to a lot of fine Cuban music and I have worked with, recorded with and explored a lot of West African music and would like to immerse myself in this musical culture on its home turf if I am able to do so sometime down the road.
Living for a few months or even a few years in Cuba again or in one of the major cities in West Africa would be ideal so I could work with musicians who have 'their ears to the ground' as some of our American indigenous peoples would say. People making music that is profoundly authentic - music that is of a high-quality artistically and that hasn't been diluted by American commercial pop culture influences. Speaking of the wisdom of indigenous peoples, one of my maternal great grandmothers was a native Mexican. My world beat, ethno-folk music interests run deep in a number of musical and cultural traditions.
Isaac: What type of feedback have you received from fans about your music?
Ramon: People in general like it but can't put their finger on it. Every one describes it in a different way. This is a great compliment.
Isaac: Where can fans locate you online?
Ramon: I encourage everyone to visit my website, www.ramontaranco.com.
Please leave me a message in the guestbook.
Isaac: What can fans expect from you in the next five years?
Ramon: I plan to do extensive international touring including lots of festivals and several more recordings.
Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans...
Ramon: Lots of growth, change, new inspirations and un-predictable changes in new and unexpected directions.
Isaac: Final words...
Ramon: I think that the indie movement will gain momentum in positive ways, and will over time, change the face of the music industry establishment."
Blackjack, Chicago USA
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. "He's a beautiful instrumentalist." [Blackjack is a prominent Chicago blues concert promoter and....
"He's a beautiful instrumentalist."
[Blackjack is a prominent Chicago blues concert promoter and feature presentation DJ for WDCB FM - a radio station with decidedly 'blues-oriented' programming.]
Rudolf Radnai, Budapest HUNGARY
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. "...too unusual and interesting to ...be placed into any definite musical category; with the exce....
"...too unusual and interesting to ...be placed into any definite musical category; with the exception of maybe one called 'Ramon Taranco's Excellent Albums.' "
MUSIC FROM THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Ramon Taranco, an exceptional Cuban-born guitarist, brought together an international group of musicians to record his first album [Music From the Bermuda Triangle] in Toronto, Canada. These musicians, of Guayanese, Dutch, Jamaican, Argentinian, South African, Colombian and North American origins, were prominent leaders in the 1992 Toronto jazz scene. This album opened important career doors for Taranco including world music & jazz concert appearances. Half of the eight tracks on this album are instrumentals and the other 4 are exceptional vocal pieces.
Critics have difficulty categorizing Taranco's albums; some call it world music, some call it jazz and some say it's blues. [Music From the Bermuda Triangle] is too unusual and interesting to be categorized under one genre title. It's simpler just to listen and enjoy!
THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA
[Taranco's] 2007 disc [The Adventures of Bo Segovia] has 8 pieces played by Taranco and the Havana Blues Revue band. Don't let the Cuban name fool you, the band is made up of some excellent New York-based session musicians. The tracks were recorded in New York, and besides the musicians, a number of New York's best singers appear as well (such as Denosh Bennett, Eddie Bobe, Craig Derry, Danny Frazier, Marchelle Jackson and Taranco himself singing "The Spirit of Muddy Waters.")
The Adventures of Bo Segovia consists of pieces written by Taranco, inspired by various motifs: Native American music (Buffalo Skies and Ghost Dance), reggae-ballads (Babes Elusive), and blues-style songs (Blues Keep Thrillin' Me and St. George Street Overture.) The title song tells the harrowing tale of Taranco's grandfather (the fictional Bo Segovia) from his real life experience of fighting in the Mexican revolution with Pancho Villa until he settled in Los Angeles.
This album, like Taranco's first album, Music From the Bermuda Triangle, cannot be placed into any definite musical category; with the exception of maybe one called "Ramon Taranco's Excellent Albums."
[ Muszeroldal offers classical and world music CD reviews. Rudolf's reviews of Ramon Taranco's CDs (above) are English translations of the original Hungarian version which is posted at www.ramontaranco.com/press.html]
Patrick Doyle, Taos, New Mexico USA
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. "I am truly impressed & amazed at Ramon's talents...his music is so very uplifting." [Native Radi....
"I am truly impressed & amazed at Ramon's talents...his music is so very uplifting." [Native Radio's founder/CEO & former BMI executive, Patrick Doyle]
Werner Leiss, Vienna AUSTRIA
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. “Taranco's compositions cover a wide range of styles... each track carries his special musical si....
“Taranco's compositions cover a wide range of styles... each track carries his special musical signature.” [ Concerto Magazine, March 2009 issue; this is a highlight from the review translated into English - see the full review in the original German at www.ramontaranco.com/press.html ]
Brant Zwicker, CANADA
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. "Ramon's music...is wonderful stuff - fascinating." [ Brant hosts the "At the Crossroads" Blues....
"Ramon's music...is wonderful stuff - fascinating."
[ Brant hosts the "At the Crossroads" Blues radio show which is syndicated to 35 stations in Canada, the US, Spain and the Philippines. ]
Darryl Gregory, Connecticut USA
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. “Ramon Taranco definitely knows his stuff and delivers a CD that grooves and rocks. The playing i....
“Ramon Taranco definitely knows his stuff and delivers a CD that grooves and rocks. The playing is superb...a really fun and funky CD.”
THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA
I must say that I expected something else after looking at the CD cover art of Ramon Taranco’s new CD “The Adventures of Bo Segovia.” With a band name like the Havana Blues Revue, I expected Latin style blues, I expected dance rhythms, I did not expect Weather Report. But that’s what I got with the first track, "St. George Street Overture," a really funky guitar-bass-drum heterophonic display of riff technique. So after changing my mental gears I dove back into what turned out to be a really fun and funky CD.
Taranco has gathered together some NYC studio musician all-stars on this CD that creates a sonic landscape for the character Bo Segovia to travel across.
Bo Segovia (the grandfather of Taranco) fought with Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution and then escaped into Texas to then travel the USA.
Taranco leads this big band from his guitar (and sometimes vocals) in the tradition of the old Havana band leaders like Desi Arnaz and Mario Bauza - inviting a variety of soloist and vocalist to the stage.
Overall the tracks on this CD do tend toward the smooth jazz of Weather Report or Herbie Hancock, but there is enough variety to keep the listener engaged and wanting to hear what’s coming up.
"Ghost Dance" has a very Zappa-esque feel. Taranco has a voice reminiscent of Frank Zappa and the breaks are technical and ‘out there’ at times.
It even sounds as if the band has dropped into Southern India with the way the fiddle is being played by Samir Shukry.
"Isolation Blues" utilizes stratospheric chords that slide all over the chromatic spectrum ala Steely Dan and then floats into a Santana-like Latin funk. This is the track where we are transported to Havana and can dance (albeit for only a few bars) to a Latin groove.
The only track that came close to the traditional blues form was "Blues Keep Thrillin’ Me." Some flaming organ by Danny Mixon and an amazing-sweet clarinet obbligato by Craig Handy really make this track stand out.
The title track serves as an entr’acte to this musical revue. The song is a fine study in styles starting with acoustic guitar and the sound of soft shoe dancing then heading back into the strong jazz-funk that the rest of the CD is built around.
Again I was reminded of Zappa in the way that he would just change gears in the middle of a song if it needed to take the story somewhere else and the way that the whole band would just drop what they’re doing and follow the vocal line.
Ramon Taranco definitely knows his stuff and delivers a CD that grooves and rocks. The playing is superb and is worth a listen.
Louise Peacock, Toronto CANADA
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. "Man, your material is truly awesome. I love your blues style. Truly amazing band - great talent.....
"Man, your material is truly awesome. I love your blues style. Truly amazing band - great talent."
[Louise Peacock: Indie Talent Radio's programming director and DJ]
Mojo Mendiola, GERMANY
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. “Guitarist Ramon Taranco…plays his very own, highly interesting style…exciting all along the way…....
“Guitarist Ramon Taranco…plays his very own, highly interesting style…exciting all along the way…he’s very much worth listening to, also when singing.”
****THE ADVENTURES OF BO SEGOVIA
****MUSIC FROM THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Guitarist Ramon Taranco, hailing from Cuba, lives in my old neighborhood in Astoria, Queens, New York and got there by detour via Toronto, Canada. As a kid he soaked up any music from Blues over Hard Rock and Jazz to diverse Latin American stuff.
Today he plays his very own, highly interesting style on nylon stringed guitar. Bossa Nova and New Age marry, Jazz and Calypso, classical Spanish guitar and Chicago Blues, Tango and Nashville Sound, 60s Rock and Irish Folk – sometimes danceable, sometimes too good to hop to – in any case exciting all along the way. Taranco played these tracks with quite different, yet generally brilliant instrumentalists, even with a Gospel choir.
“Music From The Bermuda Triangle” was recorded in Toronto, “The Adventures Of Bo Segovia” in New York, both very professionally and either one rubbed by the feeling of the recording city. You may discover one of those plants here blooming in seclusion, just because our man so far hasn’t run across the right producer at the right moment. But
he’s very much worth listening to, also when singing.
[note: see www.ramontaranco.com/press for German version]
NEW ORLEANS & CHICAGO BLUES-ORIENTED CONCERT:
COVER SONG SET:
Sweet Home Chicago
You Don't Love Me Baby
TARANCO ORIGINAL SONGS SET:
Spirit of Muddy Waters
St. George Street Overture
Sugar Cane Rider
CONCERT PROGRAM WITH A SOLO GUITAR SET FOLLOWED BY A BAND SET:
Set One: SOLO GUITAR
1. Zapateo Cubano (Leo Brouwer, Cuba)
2. Zapateado (Sainz de la Maza, Spain)
3. Etude (Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazil)
4. Carrera (Antonio Lauro, Venezuela)
5. Dear Boy (John Renbourn, England)
6. Gaiement (Django Reinhardt, France)
7. Sweet Home Chicago w Ramon Taranco solo vocals (Robert Johnson, Mississippi USA)
Set Two: BAND (note: all selections are originals except where indicated)
1. Yoruba Cuba
2. Snow Scorpion
3. Killing Floor (Howlin' Wolf)
4. You Don't Love Me Baby (arr John Mayall)
5. Buffalo Skies
6. Babes Elusive
7. Spirit of Muddy Waters
8. St. George Street Overture
9. Sugar Cane Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.