Rolando Matias & Afro-Rican Ensemble

Rolando Matias & Afro-Rican Ensemble


Everything from Afro-Latin-BeBop, Grooves, Jams and beyond!


Closed to a decade ago, Rolando conceptualize The Afro-Rican Ensemble, with a vision and direction the Ensemble followed to national and international recognition. As an entertainer and musician, Rolando cannot be denied: a Multi-talented percussionist, Afro-Caribbean musicologist, Ethno-Folklorist and a great blues harmonica player. Rolando has traveled the U.S. playing in a wide variety of groups, performing everything from the blues to Latin rock, and everything in between. A self-taught musician, Rolando, applied his formal training as an Architect into his musical education, seeking perfection, has sought out the greats during his travels in order to perfect his techniques. Rolando started playing percussion at a young age in Cupey Alto, at the local "Bembes" of the neighborhood. "Bembe" is a gathering of "rumberos" jamming and improvising together. "We started with percussion grooves, pretty soon a trombone player joined in, a trumpeter and all of a sudden the place was kicking, it was a great scene." His performances range from the playful to the passionate, making this powerful Puerto Rican presence a pleasure worth watching. Rolando has performed or recorded with the likes of Chuchito Valdez, Benny Maupin, Billy Harper, Leon Ndugu Chadler, Azar Lawrence, Othello Molineaux, guitarist Mimmi Fox, percussionists: Bobby Matos, Bobby Sanabria, Bill Summers and Lenny Castro, bluesmen: Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, Kenny Neal, Duke Robillard, Australian Dave Hole, Debbie Davies and Howard Scott and the World Band, the late great pianist from Cleveland Roberto Ocasio,multi-grammy winner: David Sanchez, Brazilian reedman Carlos Malta, the B-3 madman Ron Levy, Pam Williams, trumpeters: Pharez Whitted, Derek Gardner and Ray Vega, Los Hombres Calientes, guitarist Jim Savitt, Hector Martignon, Greg Abate, Andy Gonzalez, Adela Dalto, Kim Pencyl, The Navigators , the master of the spoken word the legenday Umar Hassan from The Last Poets among others.


Real Music....
what's real and honest always respects and reflects its roots and origin
regardless of genre...and this origin, this AFRICA...
but if you really want to know:

Cachao y su ritmo Caliente, Jerry Gonzalez, Andy Gonzalez, Fela Kuti, Osibisa, Azteca, Mandrill, El Chicano, Malo, Santana, Palmieri Brothers, Kako, Totico, Bobby Matos, King Chango, 'Ton Jobin, Ozomatli, Arsenio, Barretto, Fort Apache, Rabi Abdul Khalil, Badal Roy, T-Bone Walker, Trilok Gurtu, Toots Thileman, Ukati, Oregon, Cachaito, Tjader, Tito Puente, Mongo, Bootsy Collins, Tata Guines, Patato, Giovanni, Satchmo, El Alcalde de la Perla "Manegue", Frank Emilio, Little Walter Jacobs, Noro Morales, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Machito, Fania Records, Mario Bauza, Fela Kuti, Jimmy Smith "Prayer Meeting", Irakere, Raicez, Grand Master Flash, Cortijo & the time machine, Mcoy Tyner, Dr. Dre "The Chronic", Muddy Waters, B.B.King, Patato, Roy Brown, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Roy Brown y Aires Bucaneros, Norton Buffalo, Haciendo Punto, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Umar Bin Hassan & The Last Poets, Pharaoh Sanders, James Brown, Lockjaws Davis, Kenny Dorham, Bird Parker, el Rumbero Thelonious Monk, Dj Charlie Chase, Celia Cruz, El Sonero Mayor Maelo el incomprendido, Los Munequitos de Matanza, Howard "Skokie Slim" Levy, Jack Dejohnnette and New Directions, Dizzy, James Brown, The Meters, King Sunny Ade, Herbie Hancock "Inventions & Dimesions", Franco, Rocherau, Weather Report, Funkadelic, Donald Byrd "A New Perspective", Lambert-Hendricks & Ross, Batacumbele, the master Nuyorican poet Jesus Abraham "Tato Laviera", Luis Pales Matos, Juan Boria, Mariposa, Pedro Pietri, Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuyorquino, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Grupo Taone en Cuba, Frank Ferrer y Puerto Rico 2010.

please visit us at :

My Space also:


Cherry Blossom Records: Latin-Soul-sa and Jazz 1999

CuBop Records: CuBop Jazz the Afro-Cuban way-compilation-2000

Jamlet Records: Jazz and Blues at the Biltmore Winery-2000

CuBop Records: Fruit from the Rhythm Tree-2001

Cherry Blossom Records: " search of new directions"-2006

Life Force Jazz: "Volunteered Slavery....Vol. 1"-2007

Set List


Rolo's Jump, Beautiful Alana, Ahi Caramba!!, Adagio Lamentoso for Her, Cristo Azul, The Shroud, Son for Jud, Chango's Dance, NY-Rican Bogaloo, Involuntary Emancipation". Also add latin -groove arregements of Voluntereed Slavery, Love Supreme, Thembi, Mamacita,others...tradional cuban: El Cumbanchero, Tumbao