Conga dynamo Henry Brun, nicknamed “Mr. Ritmo” by his fans, lives by the authenticity, dynamics and “cadencia” of the music he plays. Born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Henry started playing congas at age seven. Upon their return to Puerto Rico, by the time he was eleven he was playing professionally. While listening to and being influenced by Latin music pioneers such as Tito Puente, Patato, Buyú, Mongo and Candido, Henry developed his own unique style and technique on bongos and timbales.
Henry traveled around the world while performing with the U.S. Air Force’s international band, “Tops in Blue”. That allowed him to expand his knowledge of global rhythms and provided the stage for him to work with legends Maynard Ferguson; Bob Hope; Lucille Ball; to name a few.
In 1989, Henry created The Latin Playerz, an ensemble that incorporates a variety of Latin styles with Rhythm and Blues, Swing, and straight ahead Jazz. They've become a touring force, popular in the United States and around the world.
When not performing with his ensemble, Henry can often be found presenting educational workshops or touring with international acts such as Arturo Sandoval, Justo Almario, Charo, Los Lobos, Little Joe y La Familia, and many others. Henry’s vivacious performances infect the audience with the desire to join in on the fun during his shows.
FOR BOOKINGS CONTACT:
Emerson Bran Management
1. "Rhythms & Reeds - A Tribute to the Master Duke Ellington" – 2009
2. “A Very Latin Christmas” – 2008
3. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2008 Compilation
4. “ San Antonio Christmas” – 2007 Compilation
5. “ San Antonio Jazz” – 2007 Compilation
6. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2007 Compilation
7. “Judi Deleón” - 2006
8. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2006 Compilation
9. “Manu Is On His Way” - 2005
10. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2005 Compilation
11. “Don’t Mess with La Música de Tejas” – 2004 Compilation
12. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2004 Compilation
13. “Spiritual Awakenings” - 2004
14. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2003 Compilation
15. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2002 Compilation
16. “Viva Fiesta San Antonio ” – 2001 Compilation
17. “Música San Antonio ” – 1994 Compilation
18. "Under the Influence" – 1992
CD Review - Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz : “Rhythms and Reeds…A Tribute to the Master Duke Ellington”
[+ Show ]
Jazz master Duke Ellington is remembered in this 14-track CD by percussionist Henry Brun. The list o...Jazz master Duke Ellington is remembered in this 14-track CD by percussionist Henry Brun. The list of special guests includes top influential players such as Justo Almario, Spot Barnett, John Mills, Philippe Vieux, George Prado, Gabe Pintor and Judi Deleon. All the tracks were arranged by Henry Brun, Travis Davis, and Rafael Petiton. Brun considers Ellington one of his most fundamental influences, “a man whose body of work guided me through my ABC’s in Jazz.” The tracks are easy-going, free-flowing reflective pieces. While Brun remains true to the Duke’s original versions, he gives the tunes an interesting reading, and thanks, perhaps to his percussions, gives them a slight Latino tinge. Stand out tracks include the piano-led “C Jam Blues”, the snappy “In A mellow Tone,” the robust classic “It Don’t Mean A Thing If Ain’t Got That Swing,” and the exquisitely haunting “Fleurette Africaine (African Flower),” These tunes are ideal for listening in low-lit clubs, backyard patios by a setting sun, or other places where one can bask in solitude and reflection. The musicianship is impeccable, the fidelity sonically beautiful. No surprise, given the A-list roster of studio musicians including musical director Adrian Ruiz, lead trumpeter Ed Sherry, drummer Mike Koenning, double bassist Billy Satterwhite and percussionist Rene Gonzalez. A keeper for lovers of classic Jazz.
Playerz Salute Duke
[+ Show ]
Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz play high-energy Latin jazz. Led by percussionist Brun, the band, sta...Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz play high-energy Latin jazz. Led by percussionist Brun, the band, staffed by some of the best musicians on the I-35 corridor, has chops and imagination.
For its latest CD, “Rhythms and Reeds ... A Tribute to the Master Duke Ellington” (Pulsar Records), the Playerz and special guests went in a different direction. The crew dived into the Ellington book to come up with a 14-track collection, mostly Ellington standards, that deftly combine Latin and Ellington-style straight-up jazz. With reed men including Spot Barnett, Justo Almario, Dr. John Mills, Philippe Vieux and the Playerz's Gabe Pintor taking solos, the songs flat cook.
“It's not a Latin album per se, but it has Latin instrumentation,” Brun said. “When you listen to Ellington's music, he was classified as jazz, but he was really America's first crossover artist. His music has been a guide to me in many ways. He was unafraid to take chances.”
The Playerz will celebrate the release of “Rhythms and Reeds” Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway. There'll be two sets, the first featuring the band's regular repertoire, the second the entire “Rhythms and Reeds” featuring Mills, Vieux, Pintor and vocalist Judi Deleon. Both sets will be recorded to air on radio station KRTU.
Critic’s Pick: Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz
[+ Show ]
Even though the Witte Museum’s webpage simply announces this concert as the latest part of their Sun...Even though the Witte Museum’s webpage simply announces this concert as the latest part of their Sunday Jazz series, this one is special: Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz, San Antonio’s premier Latin Jazz ensemble, have a brand new album. Rhythms and Reeds: A Tribute to the Master Duke Ellington is the orchestra’s most ambitious, and it was recorded by five of the 11 members (guest saxophonist Justo Almario won’t be at the Witte). The orchestra will play the usual mix of Latin Jazz, Salsa, Merengue and Bachata (the sophisticated, not the crappy type), but also “most of the songs from the new album,” Brun told the Current Magazine via phone from New York.
Brun, a Bronx-born Nuyorican, is a percussionist who’s played with virtually anybody who is somebody in the world of Afro-Cuban music, but he’s also a walking encyclopedia of the genre and host of Ritmos del Mundo on KSTX 89.1 FM (Saturdays from 10:00 pm to midnight). Bring your chair or picnic blanket and enjoy. Don’t take ‘em for granted because they live here: the Playerz are for real. $8 (Witte members free) 4-7 pm, Sunday, October 11th, Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway,
Straight No Chaser
Don’t You Worry
There Is No Greater Love
Bernie’s “A” Train
Cry me a River
Let’s Fall In Love
I Love Being Here With You
Bye Bye Blackbird
Where is the Love / It’s Too Late
Chain of Fools
Lullaby of Birdland
What Lola Wants
Girl from Ipanema
Average of two (2) 75 munite sets, depending on venue and event requirements
There are no upcoming dates at this time.