Ritmojito

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Sandra Aran (born in Mexico City, raised in LA, schooled at Berklee) leads this dynamic all-star latin sextet. The members of Ritmojito have played with a who’s who of local and international artists including Julio Iglesias, Tony Bennett, Jon Secada, Mike Marshall, Lavay Smith, Vivendo De Pao and many more. Visiting New York, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba & Brasil, "Ritmojito" present superbly crafted songs with deep latin jazz grooves. Whether it's Salsa, or Samba you'll be up on your feet from the start.

Vocals: Sandra Aran. After studying classical piano and composition at the National University of Mexico, Sandra completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she also organized and directed Latin Culture Week 2000 & 2001. In various jazz, latin & rock ensembles she has opened for blues legend B.B. King and jazz great George Benson, toured southern Mexico, performed all over both East & West coast USA, and is a sought-after vocal teacher. Sandra also created and directs the First and Second Annual Didactic Jazz Festivals at the National University of Mexico. (sandraaran.com)

Keys: Richard Nelson Hall. Richard Nelson Hall. Fully professional since1988, in 1989 Richard taught jazz theory and improvisation at Chichester Performing Arts College. San Francisco Bay Area performances include nightly appearances at Fisherman's Wharf's A. Sabella's then Club 36 on Union Square; weekly engagements include jazz clubs Storyville, Harry Denton's, The Black Cat, Moonshine and The Plumed Horse. Other shows include The Fillmore Auditorium (his quartet “ESQ”), The Great American Music Hall and Slim’s (latin funk band “Los Angelitos”), The Masonic Auditorium (with Tony Bennett), and The Mystic Theater (blues band “Stolen Bibles”). In 2001 his trio performed with Ballet California at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, in 2004 he opened for Chaka Khan at the Russian River Jazz Festival (“Arlington Houston Band”), and in 2005/6 was Musical Director, Pianist and Conductor for both the "Dirty Little Secret" show (60 performances at the Plush Room/Bimbo’s) and the “Rat Pack "Tribute" show (250 performances and USA tour). In 2007 he opened the Berkeley Jazz festival at the Greek Theater, in 2008 he performed at Yoshi's with vocalist Jonathan Poretz, and in Jan 2009 he played to a sell out crowd in the Spreckels Performing Arts Center with vocalist Rick Ellis. (libertyjazz.com)

Drums: Dan Foltz. Professional musician since 1990, Dan is also the power house behind the great brazilian dance band Boca Do Rio, the Latin Jazz band Jazz Caliente and multi-instrumentalist Natasha Miller. For five years he worked with Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers and between 1996-2000 toured the U.S. and Europe with singer, songwriter Linda Perry (former leader of multi-platinum rock group the 4 Non Blondes). He also toured the US with Storm and Her Dirty Mouth, toured with the rock group Black Lab and toured the US and Europe with Grammy winning artist Shelby Lynne. An endorsee of Vic Firth drumsticks, he also teaches drum and piano lessons. (danielfoltz.com)

Percussion: Brian Rice. Brian has a Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance and Ethnomusicology from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He has played in numerous salsa, reggae, and world beat bands, notably Balafon Marimba Ensemble a Zimbabwean marimba group, and Tiempo Caribe a folkloric drum and dance troupe specializing in South American/Carribean music; and with Brazilian artists Jovino Santos Neto, Paulo Sergio Santos, Danilo Brito, Dudu Maia and Jorge Alabe. While in Seattle he performed for about 120 schools across the state in the acclaimed production, "A Musical Tour of the Americas" and founded and directed both "Samba Seattle" and the "Afro-Cuban Folkloric Collective", both percussion and dance troupes. He teaches Brazilian percussion at The Jazzschool in Berkeley, has guest lectured at Stanford University, Oberlin Conservatory, Queens College and the University of Washington. As well as with Ritmojito he currently performs with Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, Antonio Calogero Quartet and Michael Smolens Earplay Jazz Quartet. (brian-rice.com)

Trumpet/Trombone: Joel Behrman. Joel & Richard first performed together in the Rat Pack Tribute show at the Post Street Theater. Impresario on both trombone & trumpet his performances include K.C. & The Sunshine Band (5 year tour), Boz Scaggs, Toni Tony Tone‘, Slick Rick The Ruler, Eddie Money, Jenifer Lopez, The Funk Brothers, The Four Tops, The O‘ Jays, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Etta James, Gladys Knight, Bono, Burnadette Peters, Rita Moreno, Joan Osbourne, Lidia Pense & Cold Blood, Helen Reddy, Joan Baez, Michael Franti, E.C. Scott, Jackie Payne. He has also performed In Concert with Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Tim Hagans, Bobby Mcferrin, Chico O’farrell, Maria Schneider, Jim Mcneeley, Lavay Smith, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra and Brass Monkey Brass Band. (myspace.com/joelbehrman)

Bass: Dan Feiszli. Virtuoso electric and acoustic bassist, Dan is also an in-demand recording engineer and producer. In 1994 he attended the University of Miami on a music scholarship completing a Bachelor of Music degree in studio music and jazz. He has performed and recorded with Raul Midón; and he has toured the world with Julio Iglesias. His distinctive tone, lyrical phrasing and technical fluency make him one of the busiest West Coast musicians with occasional international engagements such as Japan with Larry Dunlap & Bobbe Norris. (studiorhythm.com)