MetroTang, led by composer/percussionist Chacho Ramirez, brings a unique angle to jazz. Combining African drumming rhythms with funky bass lines and long flowing melodies, the music uses standard jazz forms. Some tunes sound more Latin than African, others keep the blues in mind.


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 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.


Coco Loco

Written By: Chacho Ramirez


Lights Out

Written By: Ramirez



"Lights Out" is MetroTang's premiere CD release.
Radio play out is coming from the following stations:
WGBH in Boston
WVOF in Fairfield, Connecticut web-based radio in Basel Switzerland
Radio Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina
KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska

Set List

MetroTang can also perform as a quartet or as a trio.

Lights Out
Funky Voyage
Full Moon in Philly
I'm Moanin' 2
Melba's Mambo
Blues for Y'All
Who's Smoking?
Irish Hill Mambo
Scarborough Fair

and all standards of Jazz, Latin(salsa), Brazilian, and soul.