Jamba - An innovative intersection of Jazz and R&B, infused with pop sensibility and a whole lot a soul; caution: contains lines and melodies that won't leave your head for days.


"The first time I sat at the piano, it was literally like something magical happened. Maybe it sounds corny, I don't know; but it was one of those life-changing experiences for me. I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life."

Jamba (a.k.a. Jammes Castro) isn't given to hyperbole. After his childhood introduction to the piano he promptly set about dedicating his life to the instrument with such a fierce commitment that now, still only in his mid 20s, the New York based singer/songwriter/musician has amassed the kind of credentials seasoned artists twice his age would be proud to have on their resume.

"A lot of great things started to happen me as a teenager when I left New York," explains Jamba, who was born in a small town in Brazil, just outside Sao Paolo, to a musician father and hairdresser mother.

" First, I moved to South Florida where I played in a lot of different bands and ended up meeting the bassist Abraham Laboriel (George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones). He really gave me a lot of advice and direction and actually told people that I was one of his favorite young pianists."

With that ringing endorsement Jamba, began to secure steady session work, relocating to Nashville, where he was mentored by legendary producer Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Michael Bolton, Al Jarreau).

"Michael and I became really good friends, and he taught me so much about production. I mean, hes had some of the biggest hits in the history of pop music, so obviously I was a sponge and just was honored that he would take me under his wing." Omartian, a skilled pianist himself, was quick to hone in on Jambas ability, not just as a keyboard player, but as a composer and vocalist of distinct nuance. He encouraged Jamba to purse a solo artist career and even went as far as recording and producing the demos of his young protege.

With Omartian singing his praises Jamba went on to secure work with many of the producers industry friends, landing the steady gig as disco icon, Donna Summers main pianist/keyboard player while recording with many of Nashvilles best known producers. Fellow Nashville resident, Take 6's Mark Kibble, with whom Jamba has worked, described him as the new Greg Phillinganes (mainstay keyboardist for Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton to name just a few). "That was an incredible thing for him to say - Ive admired Gregs work for so long; not just his technical ability but his ability to feel the pocket makes his work so special. It was a huge compliment!" responds Jamba.

Jamba could have easily settled into the comfortable producer/writer musician lifestyle of many of his successful friends, but in the fall of 2005, he decided to trade the security of Nashville and relocate to his native New York, where he knew his jazz inflected solo work would have a more favorable reception than with the country music capital of Nashville. "I know musicians are meant to go where the work is, and in Nashville I could have certainly lived well. Its a great place to live, to raise a family and it has an established music scene, but I just felt it was the safe option", Jamba explains. "I wanted to challenge myself musically, try different things and pursue the solo artist thing, which is why I decided to move back to New York."

Fortunately, Jambas reputation preceded him to the Big Apple, immediately landing him some high profile session work. He also wasted no time in throwing himself head first into the ever effervescent music scene.

"One of the things I like about New York is the musical diversity. Its always been here and thats why Ill do live gigs with a whole heap of different, interesting acts just to keep my chops up and challenge myself, playing either keys or bass."

Jambas fully mixed and mastered demos from co-producer Michael Omartian, songs such as the mellifluous, embracing, 'Goodbye', the beatific, meandering 'Always You', and bitter-sweet 'Second Chance' "not only display the Midas touch of a skilled young pianist at the top of his game, but a sensitive, supple tenor, breathing expression and emotion to every sung syllable", writes Jeff Lorez, freelance writer for Billboard Magazine. His single, 'I Like You Like That', produced by music industry veteran James Hellman is a sweet little bossa nova that exudes the aspects of a true classic with worldwide appeal.

I remember when I was just in my teens I was besotted by this record, Standards In Norway by Keith Jarrett. I remember thinking, Wow this guy actually gets to make music like this for a living. I would love to be able to do that one day. Its a real blessing to be able to wake up every day and make music, express yourself and love what you do. Just as my challenge at thirteen was to emulate that Keith Jarrett record and thats something Im sure Ill never achieve, by the way I love the fact that when youre doing music, whether its writing, playing, performing,


I Like You Like That

Written By: Alex Petrounov, Jamba

Everybody loves you now,
But I’m the only one who knows how
Though you change like the weather
Fly away like a feather

And I like you like that
I like you like that
Baby don’t go changing please
And I like you like that
Like you like that
Baby don’t go changing please

All the silly things you say
To make those people look our way
They might think that we’re crazy
I don’t mind ‘cause you’re my lady


If you change you’ll rearrange
My heart, which adores you
Babe, I implore you please


Baby don’t, please change
Baby don’t go changing please
I like you like that, like that
Like that

Song That You're Gone

Written By: Steven Sater

Let me write in my dreams
Whatever still might be,
Even though I know
that we are done.

There are such fairy-tale chords
I still hear
in the song that youre gone.
No more -- my hearts too unsure,
Wont believe
in the song that youre gone.

Somethings there that listens
To whispers, to wishes
Softer than the song
The song that youre gone

Once upon I loved you,
I never thought of you --
You, the one I thought of as home
Once upon I knew you,
I knew that I'd lose you --
You, the one who felt so alone... .

Too near -- this terrible fear --
And I hear
such a song that youre gone.
Stay here forever, my dear,
Make believe

theres no song that youre gone
Theres no song that youre gone...
Theres this song that youre gone...

Second Chance

Written By: Alex Petrounov, Jamba

Don't be pretentious
I'm not that naive
I know you're planning
To leave

Don't stay one more day
I won't be deceived
But if there's a chance then
I plead

Is suppose to be all you need
Will bring you back to me
With only a
Second chance

You say you're happy
To be on your way
How long can you stay

Home is where the heart is
So where is your heart?
You told me once
It was mine

Say Goodbye

Written By: Alex Petrounov, Jamba

Life is so wonderfully uncertain.
You can’t see far beyond the curtain.
And we move along making it rhyme.
Maybe different songs, it’s the rhythm of time;
and it’s beautiful…someday we will understand.

Seasons change like autumn leaves.
Suddenly, packing up memories,
and it’s all right, time to say goodbye.

One day we’ll have to rendezvous
and share a memory or two.
All the summer days and tears that we cried;
all the different ways you stood by my side;
and we made it through…you’ll always be close to me.

Seasons change like autumn leaves.
Suddenly, packing up memories,
and it’s all right, time to say goodbye.
Heaven knows I wanna stay.
Can’t believe we must take separate ways,
but it’s all right, time to say goodbye.

Always You

Written By: Alex Petrounov, Jamba

Part of me is locked inside
Hide and seek but never find
Always monday always shades of blue
Without you

It''s hard for me to open up
Afraid to fall and slow to trust
Always rainy always out of view
Without you

Only the love you've shown
Could open this heart of stone
Suddenly i'm alive
What can i say it was ...
Always you

Barren walls and spiders lace
Haunting once familiar place
Memories of a life that i once knew
Without you

Now everyday is a melody
A song of love our tapestry
And baby i don't know what i would do
Without you


Jamba's EP which was co-produced by Grammy winning producer, Michael Omartian, and his second release, JAMBA - Live From The Cutting Room are available for purchase on I-tunes, Rhapsody, E-music, as well as his myspace through Snocap.

'I Like You Like That' is being played in several clubs in the South of France, Brazil and in Jersey City, NJ.

Spinning on:

www.GrooveSuite.com - San Francisco, CA
www.rushhoursmoothjams.com - Harrisburg, PA
Chico's Radio - Mobile, AL
My Love Of Jazz - Suffolk, VA
Bossa2Nova - Seattle, WA
DaJazz - Denver, CO
Rocco's Musica Musica - British Columbia, CA
Paris on Air - Paris, France
Jazz FM - KSBR - Mission Viego, CA
www.cimradio.com - NY, NY
Radio Crystal Blue - Brooklyn, NY
Smooth Soul Online - Bonaire, GA
Beauty Radio - Tampa, FL
WAJM Smooth Jazz - Stone Mountain, GA
KCN Radio - Livingston Manor, NY
Smooth Jazz Beach Radio - Long Beach, CA
www.smoothgroovers.com - London, UK
KCN - Love Radio - New York, NY
Atlanta Movement Radio - 'Supreme Saturdays' - Atlanta, GA
Groove.collection - Pittsburgh, PA

Set List

Second Chance
Always You
City Love
I Like You Like That
Song That You're Gone
Careless Whispers - cover (only sometimes)
Say Goodbye
Everybody Needs Love
45 min to 1 hour set with some jam in there