The Edmund Velasco Latin Jazz Ensemble Present the Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Celebration


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The world class OC Pavilion will showcase The Edmund Velasco Latin Jazz Ensemble in its Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5, 2007, at 8:00 PM. Ticket prices range from $25-$35 and are on sale now through the OC Pavilion box office at 714-550-0880.

This one-night event will feature the talents of Edmund Velasco, Ruben Estrada, Rene Camacho, Mike Bennett, Bryan Brock and Mark Massey. The evening will also include a special guest appearance from Chris Williams, recipient of the 2007 Orange County Music Award for Best Latin.

Edmund Velasco - Saxophones and Flute

Edmund Velasco is a native Southern Californian that has been recognized as one of the top sax men in the area. He has played professionally for the past fifteen years with such top names as Mel Torme, Eddie Daniels, Ernie Andrews and many others. He has been named the top Tenor Sax Artist in Orange County in 1998 and 1999 by the Orange County Weekly. He is an accomplished songwriter and has been leading his own quintet for eight years. He has also produced three CDs.

Edmund has performed at many prominent local venues, including the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, Steamers Cafe in Fullerton, and L.A.'s Catalina Bar & Grill. He has also performed for arts and music festivals throughout the state, including The Day of Music in Long Beach and The San Jose Jazz Festival. He has performed internationally in Portugal at the Manoshinos Festival and the Funchal Jazz Festival. He was named the top Tenor Sax Artist in Orange County in 1998 and 1999 by the Orange County Weekly, and has performed twice at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ruben Estrada - Vibraphone

Ruben Estrada is leader of The Estrada Brothers Latin jazz band. Ruben's many groups have opened for such jazz legends and icons as Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz. He has also opened for Tito Puente, known as “El Rey," the king of latin-jazz, who has been called the Duke Ellington of latin-jazz. In 1995, band leader and former Tjader sideman Poncho Sanchez chose Ruben to play the vibes on his recording “Soul Sauce : Memories of Cal Tjader."

Rene Camacho - Bass

He has worked with many of outstanding national acts and local artists, including The Pointer Sisters, Celia Cruz, Dizzy Gillespie, Francisco Aguabella, Poncho Sanchez, Luis Conte, Buddy Collette, Bobby Matos, Conte Condoli, Bob Mintzer, Warren Vache, Lew Tabacken, Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Sepulveda, the Estrada Brothers, The Susie Hanson band, Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars, Scott Martin band, the Tucson Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony and numerous others.

Mike Bennett - Percussion

At only 23-years old, Mike Bennett is one of the nation's top young drummers. This award winning drummer has been recognized by Downbeat Magazine as a rising star and Los Angeles Jazz Scene Magazine say that his “perfectly accented and dynamic drumming makes him a standout." Already a first call live and session drummer and percussionist, Bennett's credits include work with Johnny Blas (CuBop Records), Tony Kaye (YES), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), Ron Powell (Madonna, Sergio Mendes), Luis Conte, Sandro Albert, Max Bennett (Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell), Joe Jewell, Reed Gratz, Michael O'Neill (George Benson), & many others. Bennett has also been featured on projects with producers such as Andy Goldmark (Jive) and Alex G (N'Sync). Mike Bennett is an internationally recognized Drummer and Percussionist based in Los Angeles, CA. Mike is currently on tour with superstar vocalist Hilary Duff.

Bryan Brock - Percussion

Bryan Brock specializes in traditional and contemporary applications of rhythms and instruments from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas. His performance and recording experience includes television and radio commercials for McDonald's, Kia, Oldsmobile, Pepsi and 7-Up, live performances with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Gabriela Anders, and Candi Sosa, and sessions for Joe McBride, Pieces of a Dream and producer Dr. Dre.

Mark Massey - Piano

Jazz pianist-composer Mark Massey graduated from California State University, Long Beach (with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music), where he was recipient of the Carmen Dragon Fellowship for composition and he was dubbed “A Young Giant" by the National Association Of Jazz Educators. He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, the former Soviet Union (in the 1980s), Russia (2001), the Far East and India, and he has worked with Larry Carlton, David Benoit, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Horn, Hubert Laws, Stphane Grappelli, Louie Bellson, Phil Upchurch, L. Subramaniam, Yehudi Menuin, Poncho Sanchez, Tony Williams, Maynard Ferguson, and many others. Mark played piano on the 2007 Orange County Music Award winning song for Latin, “Comes Love" by Chris Williams.

Chris Williams - Vocalist

Jazz vocalist Chris Williams has been touted for his vibrant stage presence and performs straight-ahead, bebop and Latin jazz, offering new twists on old standards. Chris recently was awarded a 2007 Orange County Music Award for Latin music for his Latin jazz rendition of “Comes Love" which is featured on his album, premodernism.

The concert begins at 8:00 PM and doors to the OC Pavilion and Ambrosia Restaurant open at 5:00 PM. Dinner reservations are highly recommended.

The OC Pavilion is home to an intimate 529-person capacity theatre and the five-star, world class restaurant Ambrosia. The Vault VIP Lounge is open before and after each theatre performance. It features a live jazz trio and offers appetizers, drinks and desserts. The Vault VIP Lounge, formerly a bank vault, retains its authenticity by keeping the original vault doors while incorporating the feel of an upscale lounge with custom leather seating and hightop pedestal tables.

About the OC Pavilion

From chandeliers to exquisite hand painted murals, the OC Pavilion is the most intimate and exclusive performing arts theater and restaurant complex in Orange County, California. Located in historic downtown Santa Ana, “the Golden City," our beautifully appointed theater with a capacity of only 528 seats assures you of an exceptional close up view of any event. With our state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and a myriad of high-resolution video screens, we are quickly becoming known as Orange County's own “jewel box." The theatre features various musical and theatrical events and is available for private leasing. For more information, contact 714-550-0880.

About the Edmund Velasco Latin Jazz Experience

Edmund Velasco is a native Southern Californian that has been recognized as one of the top sax men in the area. He is an accomplished songwriter and has been leading his own quintet for eight years. He has also produced three CDs. For more information on Edmund Velasco, visit http://www.edmundvelasco.com.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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