Chris Washburne and the Syotos Band Live in Washington D.C. - August 8th, 2010.


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Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band will be performing a special concert entitled “A Different Flavor: Latin Jazz at the Apollo" on Sunday, August 8, 6PM to 7PM, as part of Millennium Stage programming at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The concert is sponsored by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in association with its exhibition, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment and celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Apollo Theater. This concert features music premiered and performed at the Apollo and musicians who played a significant role in Latin music performance at the esteemed venue. Joining SYOTOS for the concert is Cuban percussion legend Candido Camero (who just celebrated his 89th birthday) and Panamanian saxophonist “Lord" Walter Gene Jefferson, a member of the Apollo house band in the 1960s.

The concert is sponsored by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. For more information, please check this website: nmaahc.si.edu; or kennedy-center.org or call 202.633-0070. Venue is located at 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC. Admission is free and open to the public.

About the SYOTOS:

Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band pushes the genre of Latin Jazz into uncharted waters with a postmodern mix that embraces dissonance, weaving contemporary up-tempo beats with a driving sound, or as the New York Times states “SYOTOS plays with fire with erudition!." Syotos was founded 20 years ago and has become what TimeOUT New York calls a “Latin Jazz institution." They have held the longest running Latin jazz gig in the City's history, playing every week for 19 years. They are the busiest and most in demand Latin jazz group in New York. Some of the band's members are alumni from the Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and Ray Barretto bands and they continue in those leader's footsteps, pushing the genre into the 21st century. Their release 'Paradise In Trouble" on Jazzheads Records was nominated as the best Latin jazz records of 2004. Their most recent release “Fields of Moons" was voted the best jazz release of the week by All About Jazz.

Chris Washburne—trombone
John Walsh—trumpet
Ole Mathisen—saxophone
Yeisson Villamar—piano
Armando Gola—bass
Ludwig Afonso—drums
Cristian Rivera—congas


At the age of 89, this elder statesman Candido Camero shows no sign of slowing down. His touch on congas is sure, his time is solid, his sound is uniquely his own, and his execution is as nimble as that of a man half his age.

Born in 1921 in a Havana barrio called El Cerro, Candido was initially a multi-instrumentalist, showing facility on tres, guitar, and bass-these being key instruments in the popular Son music of the day. A switch to bongos and congas led to a six-year spell with the CMQ Radio Orchestra and a residency at the famed Cabaret Tropicana.

Heralded as the father of the technique of coordinated independence, Candido had further accomplishments. For one, he pioneered the use of two congas and later three, whereas in past congueros were content with a single drum. His playing became distinctive owing to a tendency to tune, when possible, to the melody of the song. Equipped with three congas and a bongo, he was able to complement horn, piano, and bass lines with harmonic contributions. In fact, when he recorded “Tea for Two" with Joe Loco, Candido played the melody on congas and bongos.

A move to New York City in 1946 put him in high demand hot property and he soon began working with such premier jazz and Latin artists of our time, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and his Afro-Cubans, and Mario Bauza. Candido's uncanny ability to anchor with flare bands of all sizes, from trios to orchestras earned him the respect of musicians and critics. Further recognition came in 1954, when Candido joined the Stan Kenton Big Band and toured coast to coast. He became a familiar figure on television, appearing with Tommy Dorsey, Patti Page, Tony Bennett, Charo, Machito, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, and Dizzy Gillespie, on such shows as The Jackie Gleason Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Mike Wallace, and on many specials, including some as far a field as Panama and Tokyo. He soon eclipsed all other congueros in terms of popularity, including the late Chano Pozo. In 1954, pianist Billy Taylor wrote, “I have not heard anyone who even approaches the wonderful balance between jazz and Cuban elements that Candido demonstrates."

Candido's long list of recorded work includes sessions with Lena Horne, Billy Taylor, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Count Basie, Elvin Jones, George Shearing, Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Woody Herman, Doc Severinson, Marian McPartland, Lalo Schifrin. Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Charlie Parker, and Antonio Carlos Jobim-these in addition to a number of dates as leader.


Reverently dubbed as “Lord Gene" Gene Jefferson is known for his Afro-Caribbean flair.

A native son of Panama, Gene got his start with bandleader/bassist Clarence Martin in his Big Band “El Sonido Nuevo." Before migrating to the “Big Apple," Gene played with Martin for 5 years at the “El Panama" Hilton Hotel.

Once in the USA, Gene studied jazz performance with Alfred Gibbons. Since then he has performed, recorded and toured with various Latino, Afro-Caribe, R&B, Dance bands and Jazz groups.

He has recorded with famed musicians such as Arsenio Rodriquez, Lou Rawls, Alston Beckett, Jorge Sylvester's “Conceptual Motions," Bobby Sanabria's “Ascension," Roswell Rudd & Yomo Toro and others.

Major performances and tours include such greats as Orlando Marin, Charlie Palmieri, Kike Monsanto, Kako, Tito Rodriguez, Joe Cuba, Ray Santos Orchestra, Johnny Ray, The Lou Rawls Showband, Ramon Argueso/Roseland Ballroom, the Chibcha Nite Club Band, The Rainbow Room Band, Apollo Theater Band, and Ray Mantilla's “Space Station" at the San Remo, Italy Jazz Festival. Big Bands include Frank Foster & Stanley Cowell's Collective Black Artist (CBA) Big Jazz Bands, The Bill Baron /MUSE Jazz big Band, The Jabo Ware “We Me and Them" Jazz Band, and Bobby Sanabria's" Big Dream Band."

Other bands include Jack Brown Dance Band, Frank Anderson Dance Band, Ron Anderson Dance Band

Gene currently performs with Bobby Sanabria's “Ascension" and Orlando Marin. Gene Co-leads a Quintet for vocalist Enid Lowe and leads his own tentette called “El Combo Internacional" featuring dance music for all!

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