Chacho Ramirez (drummer, bandleader) is a composer and percussionist specializing in Afro-Caribbean, Latin music and jazz. He is a member of Jorge Jimenez’s Sabor a Conga, and plays in Richie Vitale’s Orquesta Universal, which recently released its CD, “New York Salsa,” available on www.cdbaby.com. Chacho has worked with such artists as Ahmad Jamal, Olatunji (Drums of Passion), Hal Galper, and many other fine artists.
Eldad Zvulun (piano) came to New York City from Israel in 2001 under an International Association of Jazz Educators, led by Arnie Laurence. He currently works in New York City, playing jazz and salsa in venues such as Smalls, Fat Cat, and Gonzalez y Gonzalez. He also orchestrates and arranges music for Paquito d’Rivera.
Gary Damanti (guitar) has worked with some of doo-wops bigger acts, such as Lenny Welch at the Meadowlands, Lou Christie, the Duprees, the Tokens, the Classics 4, and numerous others. Gary has also been active with local theatre groups in his native New Jersey, playing in pit orchestras and working with local theatre groups.
Phil Palombi (bass) came from Ohio and is known for his upright bass work with Curtis Steigers. He is also a regular with the Vanguard Orchestra and is bassist in the trio FriFi. In MetroTang, Phil reveals his fine and funky electric bass style.
Jorge Jimenez (congas), originally from Ecuador, came to New York in 1975 and began playing professionally in 1982, working with great musicians such as Charlie Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Orquesta Broadway, Junior Vega’s Latin-Jazz Band, and many others. Jorge’s own salsa band, Sabor a Conga, performs frequently at Gonzalez y Gonzalez in Manhattan.
Four years ago, Chacho Ramirez began experimenting with traditional African rhythms and writing from the bottom up, starting with bass lines and writing the melodies last. He created the drumset parts in such a way as to complement the African rhythms and keep the integrity of the original rhythms. For example, in "Blues of Y'All," the source was kotedjuga, a rhythm from Mali, which he mixed into the drumset part while keep the character of the traditional rhythm. In "Lights Out," a swinging New Orleans feel includes a traditional ekang rhythm in the bridge, where meters shift between 9 and 7. In "Who's Smoking?" by Paquito d'Rivera, Chacho plays four different Brazilian rhythms in one song: baiao, partito alto, 6/8, and samba. In the CD "Lights Out," some tunes sound more Latin than African, others keep the blues in mind.
Eldad Zvulun – piano
Gary Damanti – guitar
Phil Palombi – bass
Jorge Jimenez – congas
Chacho Ramirez – drums
"Lights Out" is MetroTang's premiere CD release.
Radio play out is coming from the following stations:
WGBH in Boston
WVOF in Fairfield, Connecticut
www.swissgroove.ch web-based radio in Basel Switzerland
Radio Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina
KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska
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The April 2008 issue of the Italian magazane "Jazz" runs a 2-page review of MetroTang, praising Chac...The April 2008 issue of the Italian magazane "Jazz" runs a 2-page review of MetroTang, praising Chacho Ramirez's work and fully understanding his creative output in the context of New York City's Latin and jazz worlds. The accompanying compilation CD includes MetroTang's cut, "Full Moon in Philly," also available on this Sonicbids site. A translation of the article will be posted here in the coming days.
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“Lights Out,” by percussionist Chacho Ramirez’s new quintet MetroTang, pulsates with the heartbeat o...“Lights Out,” by percussionist Chacho Ramirez’s new quintet MetroTang, pulsates with the heartbeat of urban Latin music. Combining salsa and jazz with his Cuban roots, Chacho has created a contemporary sound that expresses today’s cultural milieu. Whether for listening, dancing or partying, this CD should be in everyone’s collection.”
- Hal Galper
“Jaw-dropping. The music is absolutely wonderful, full of lovely surprises that flow naturally through all the time changes. Excellent work!”
- John Marable
“Chacho Ramirez’s CD “Lights Out” impresses in every way – from the grooving bass lines to the fantastically interwoven rhythms and exciting solos. Recorded sonically with the utmost clarity, even after repeated listening I couldn’t get enough of this recording. There is magic around every corner in this sparkling tapestry. Here lies the arrival of a premiere composer, arranger, bandleader and percussionist of the highest caliber. Don’t miss this CD – it will not disappoint.”
- Sarah Jane Cion
Winner of the 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition and author of Modern Jazz Piano
“I put the CD in my car and I almost ran off the side of the road. These tunes are all catchy, with all kinds of nice surprises along the way. Love it!”
- Reid Jorgensen
Jazz drummer, Ron Gill Quintet
Review: "Lights Out"
Review: "Lights Out"
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It happens but, it's not often that a stellar group is led by a percussionist. Chacho Ramirez is a c...It happens but, it's not often that a stellar group is led by a percussionist. Chacho Ramirez is a composer, teacher and a very busy musician. His website www.chachoramirez.com, states that he plays in and around the New York area in at least five different jazz ensembles while being a resident percussion teacher at the same time.
His playing and composing abilities really come to light on this, his latest project "Lights Out" with his own latin quintet, METROTANG. The sonic quality of this recording is impecable. But, what really stands out is the creative time signatures and off beat latin arrangements. This is a masterful production of the genre and all of the players on the disc shine in equal amounts of complexity while firmly standing still in the most abnormal pockets.
Funky bass lines, congas and drums, piano and that dry warm jazz tone on the guitar, this group feels like one part Weather Report, one part Santana and a dash of Coltrane. It's great to read the credits on the back and discover that the whole disc was recorded live with only two solo overdubs, you can bet the magic was bleeding over onto the tape.
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www.wrwz.com The interestingly named MetroTang are a Latin-Jazz ensemble based out of New York Ci...www.wrwz.com
The interestingly named MetroTang are a Latin-Jazz ensemble based out of New York City. They are led by percussionist and composer Chacho Ramirez. They other members are Eldad Zvulun – piano, Gary Damanti – guitar, Phil Palombi – bass and Jorge Jimenez – congas. They all perform and record with a variety of other musicians in the rich New York City Latin and jazz circles. Now they come together to express their unique take on jazz. Ramirez's notion to compose the songs from the bottom up with the melodies last, keeps the rhythm strong and showcases the original inspiration such as the kotedjuga, a Malian rhythms on "Blues for Y'all". By using Jazz as their main template of inspiration the group is able to incorporate the more esoteric influences into the mix. Brazilian sambas, 6/8 time grooves and subtle time changes keep the music from getting to "free" in a Jazz sense. The group's emphasis on melody (especially on "Full moon in Philly") above individual chops also keeps the listener engaged.
The groups debut recording entitled "Lights out" is currently available.
- P.R. Brimstone -
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Client Feedback: These guys are unbelievable. Everyone at the party was talking about how amazing t...Client Feedback:
These guys are unbelievable. Everyone at the party was talking about how amazing they were! From the actual performance to their personalities to their professionalism. I would definitely hire them again. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a great band!
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest), how would you rate Metrotang in terms of their professionalism? 5
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest), how would you rate Metrotang in terms of their overall talent? 5
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest), how accommodating was Metrotang in handling special requests for your event? 5
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest), how strongly would you recommend Metrotang to a friend? 5
And finally, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest), how would you rate your overall satisfaction with Metrotang? 5
MetroTang can also perform as a quartet or as a trio.
Full Moon in Philly
I'm Moanin' 2
Blues for Y'All
Irish Hill Mambo
and all standards of Jazz, Latin(salsa), Brazilian, and soul.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.