John Roberts y Pan Blanco
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John Roberts y Pan Blanco

Billings, MT | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Billings, MT
Established on Jan, 2013
Band World Funk





To say this artist is proficient with the Latin jazz idiom is not enough - listen to tracks like 'Agua De Beber" to witness the instrumental genius that issues when experts sidestep the cadence to conjure a watch-synchronized polyrhythmic intrigue.' - Akademia Music Awards

"Solar Latin Club"

7 numbers were enough for John Roberts to make one of the best productions of the Latin-Jazz in 2016. As a good cook, Roberts understands that to cook a good menu does not need much pepper or salt, just the exact amount. American trombonist and vocalist John Roberts should receive a Michelin star immediately. This native of Montana is a musical genius who moves like a fish in the water with different sonic currents, Bobby Womack, Ricardo Lemvo, Los Pinguos, Dr. Dre, Chaka Khan, and The Temptations can attest to it.
Of the 7 numbers in the production, John Roberts decided to include only two covers: Antonio Carlos Jobim did not live to hear one of the best re-interpretations of his classic Agua De Beber. With salsa arrangements written by Roberts, we hear the trombone solo of John Roberts and trumpet solo of Stephen Giraldo, for a version that is sublime.
Soul y Pimienta, which also includes 5 original numbers - naturally from the pen of Roberts - is a musical journey through different Latin American, African rhythms, an eclectic mix where funk and soul can also be appreciated in perfect harmony with the key. Bimwela, in the style of Soukous, vocalized by Ricardo Lemvo, is in homage to the congolese guitarist Huit Kilos, who is also outstanding in this court. Pajarita, a number dedicated to a very special person, is a son montuno, perhaps the best recorded this year, in which the same Roberts executes an explosive trombone solo.

7 números le bastaron a John Roberts para realizar una de las mejores producciones del Latin- Jazz en este 2016. Como un buen cocinero, Roberts entiende que para cocinar un buen menú no se necesita ni mucha pimienta ni mucha sal, solo la cantidad exacta. El trombonista y vocalista estadounidense John Roberts debe recibir una estrella Michelin inmediatamente. Este musico nativo de Montana es un genio musical que se mueve como pez en el agua por diferentes corrientes sonoras, Bobby Womack, Ricardo Lemvo, Los Pinguos, Dr. Dre, Chaka Khan, The Temptations pueden dar fe de ello.
De los 7 numeros en la produccion, John Roberts decidio incluir solo dos covers: Antonio Carlos Jobim no vivió para escuchar una de las mejores re-interpretaciones que se hiciesen de su clásico Agua De Beber. Con arreglos a la salsa escritos por Roberts, en donde escuchamos los solos de trombón del mismo Roberts y de trompeta de Stephen Giraldo, la versión es realmente sublime.
Soul y Pimienta, el cual también incluye 5 numero originales -naturalmente de la pluma de Roberts-, es un viaje musical por diferentes ritmos latinoamericanos, africanos, una mezcla ecléctica donde el funk y el soul también pueden ser apreciados en una perfecta armonia con la clave. Bimwela, un ritmo de Soukous vocalizado por Ricardo Lemvo, es un homenaje al guitarrista congoles Huit Kilos, quien es también destacado en este corte. Pajarita, un numero dedicado a una persona muy especial de Roberts, es un son montuno, quizás el mejor grabado este año, en el que el mismo Roberts ejecuta un solo explosivo en el trombón. - DJ El Chino

"Magic Magazine"

There is no shortness of soul in this new CD by Billings transplant John Roberts. Consider yourself dared not to dance as you listen to every arrangement (you won't be able to stop at one). The album features traditional jazz elements like upbeat tempos, horns, piano and moody vocals. With the infusion of Cuban Son and Congolese Soukous influence, these tunes will have you ringing in 2017 with style! - Tiffany Gallant


Trombonist, bandleader, session player and composer John Roberts, who spoke about the influence of Africa in all forms of music, brought a collection of musicians with him to perform. The group, called John Roberts Y Pan Blanco, played a funky mix of West African beats and classic salsa.
“Why can a bunch of boys from Montana be playing African music?” Roberts asked. “Because we have been playing it our whole lives.” African music is heard in metal, rock and roll, the blues and jazz—even classical, Roberts said.
Roberts advocated for every possible tool to be used by music students to be successful in the competitive world.
“Especially with YouTube, students can hear everything at all times,” he said. “There is no reason to separate these styles, and they should all be taught with equal style and worth.” - Last Best News

"CD Release"

Cajun food and world music will be highlighted during the John Roberts y Pan Blanco CD release show on Friday, Nov. 4, at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.'s Garage Pub.

The music starts at 5 p.m. The show celebrates the new CD "Soul y Pimienta."

"Can't wait to play the Garage again," Roberts said.

The CD features multicultural music production with musicians from Montana and California as well as Angola, Congo, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina and Mexico.

"The vision of the project was to gather voices from around the world and share musical diversity with the frenetically dancing masses," Roberts said. “It’s great to see the Billings- and Montana-based musicians on the album credits with others from around the world.”

The CD title, “Soul y Pimienta,” is a play on the Spanish phrase “sal y pimienta,” which means salt and pepper.

John Roberts y Pan Blanco will be performing the songs from the album as well as other material at the CD release party, where CDs will be available. The music is also available for download on iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon and CD Baby. - Billings Gazette

"Billings Gazette"

Casey's pick

Don't miss John Roberts y Pan Blanco on Saturday night at the Garage Pub. Featuring some of the hottest jazz cats in town, the show will surely get your salsa moves going — or at least pretending to dance! - Billings Gazette

"St John's Summer Concert"

St. John Lutheran Ministries free summer concert series is an event the Billings community looks forward to year after year. The music lineup always consists of the best, and certainly the most fun, local musicians and bands. There’s plenty of room to park your lawn chairs and gaze out over the valley while you dine on local food and let the music wash over you.

Two fantastic local bands entertained. Will and Becky Sappington- Sibling Rivalry- serenaded the crowd as an opener and John Roberts- Y Pan Blanco lit a fire with their spicy world music and salsa numbers. Concert-goers sat back and relaxed or grabbed a dance partner. It’s an atmosphere that encourages both and perfect for a family outing. - Jodie Tenicin Smith

"Last Best News - Lively jazz Scene Thrills"

Moncure said Roberts’ return to Billings added a new flavor to the local jazz scene. Roberts is a native of Malta who studied music at MSUB and then played funk and Latin jazz professionally in Los Angeles for 16 years.

The Latin music Roberts introduced has encouraged more dancing and bigger crowds, and it just seems to fire up an audience. - Ed Kemmick


Still working on that hot first release.



An energetic band of high level musicians, John Roberts y Pan Blanco is an original sounding ensemble that is designed to make the audience move! Many years of international touring and performing experiences with West African, Funk, Soul, Salsa, Jazz and R&B ensembles have led to this project. John Roberts y Pan Blanco is melding high energy, danceable Funk, African and Salsa grooves with blistering instrumental solos and Cuban percussion, all aimed at sharing the love diversity and music with the audience. Lyrics are in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  The band is continuously recording and booking while promoting the new cd:  Soul y Pimienta.

Feeling equally comfortable in orchestral and commercial music realms, as a trombonist, vocalist and keyboardist, John  Roberts has been touring, recording, and performing in Los Angeles, around the U.S. and around the world, including Mexico, India, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and Africa. Tours and albums include Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca (Congolese/Cuban), Bobby Womack (Soul), Los Pinguos (Argentina),The Temptations, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and others. Other performances and recordings include Straight Outta Compton,  2008 and 2009 Grammys, Chris Botti, Feist, Sting, Dr. Dre, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Frank Sinatra Jr., Chaka Khan, Burt Bacharach, The Ojays, Christina Aguilera, NPR, PBS and Disney.

Band Members