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Latin Jazz Straight from New York



Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye will be bringing their powerhouse big band sound to Yoshi's Jazz Club for 2 shows. 


What? Sunday July 29,2001

 2pm matinee $5 kids, $10 adult plus one kid                            8 pm show $20

Where?    Yoshi's is located at 510 Embarcadero West  in the hip Waterfront District of Oakland’s Jack London Square

For more information call 510.238-9200

Why will you be  singing and dancing?


Ralph Irizarry, timbalero and bandleader, who brings his distinctive, swinging big band style to the Bay Area this weekend. His group Timbalaye is part of the new wave of original and innovative Latin jazz groups that are gaining national and international attention.

Ralph Irizarry (of Puerto Rican descent) was born in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem and grew up in Brooklyn. At age 16 he became very interested in music, began listening intensely to his brother's music albums and sneaking into nightclubs. He said his passion for music was ignited when he first saw the Fania All-Stars. He remembers being particularly inspired by recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ismael Rivera and descargas by Cachao. As a self-taught timbalero, Ralph Irizarry, early on demonstrated a special gift for music and soon he was playing with groups such as La Terriffica, and sitting in with El Gran Combo, Sonora Ponceña and many others.

At age 19 Ralph Irrizary was recruited by Ray Barretto, with whom he has made five recordings since. Later he went onto record with other artists including, Paul Simon, Harry Belafonte, Juan Luis Guerra, Cachao, Celia Cruz and Yomo Toro. Many Latin Jazz fans will recognize him from his work with Ruben Blades and Seis Del Solar with whom he recorded and toured internationally for 13 years. Ralph Irizarry’s talents extend beyond music and have spawned his career as a movie actor. He appeared in the role of Pito Fernandez, the butcher, in the major motion picture "The Mambo Kings" and also plays timbales in the film. He has also appeared in other films and documentaries such as "Cachao", "Como Mi Ritmo No Hay Dos" with Andy Garcia, "The roots of Rhythm" with Harry Belafonte, and with Ruben Blades "The Life and Times of Ruben Blades". One of the highlights of his career was his 1996 appearance with Tito Puente at New York's SOB's club in a dynamic performance entitled "Master Timbaleros".

In 1997 Ralph formed his current Latin Jazz septet called Timbalaye. Timbalaye combines contemporary Latin jazz chord changes and structure with the latest tropical rhythms such as timba and songo, as well as more traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythm styles such as Bomba, Cha Cha cha and Son Montuno. He says his sound is unique because his rhythm section timbales and conga (ala Willie colon and Mongo Santamaria) and does not have the trap drum set. Their 1998 debut recording "Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye" and their most recent offering "Best Kept Secret" are attracting a devoted following of listeners.

The dance floor will be open at Yoshi’s this Sunday. So come on down, bring your dance shoes and check out the sizzling sounds of Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye live and in person.