Tom Guarna : E. Guitar
Silvano Monasterios : Piano
Alex “Apolo” Ayala : Bass
Samuel Torres : Percussion
When the imposing talents of one of today’s most versatile Latin jazz artists meld with the organic richness of some of the world’s greatest cultural melting pots, the results are guaranteed to be as fresh and virtuosic as they are revealing and magical.
Shortly after arriving in the U.S., his career took a dramatic turn when he was tapped by famed Cuban trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval to join his group. Torres spent four years touring the world and recording with the jazz great, polishing his ever-expanding talents while attracting the attention of a long list of renowned artists with whom he would eventually collaborate. Over time, he would perform, arrange, produce and/or record with a veritable “who’s who” of the jazz, Latin pop and salsa world, including such luminaries as Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Chick Corea, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin, Don Byron, Richard Bona, Lila Downs, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Angelique Kidjo, Marc Anthony, Rubén Blades, Fonseca, Andrés Cepeda, Thalía, and his country’s own international superstar, Shakira. His talents have also been featured in concerts with classical orchestras as Berlin Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Boston Pops, Bogotá Philharmonic, Medellín Philharmonic, Delaware University Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony.
In 2006, Torres released Skin Tones, his debut recording as a leader and an album that quickly solidified his reputation as one of the most creative percussionists in Latin jazz today. The effort was trumpeted by JazzTimes magazine as “at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive.” Then comes Yaoundé, the much anticipated follow-up session. The recording is even more stylistically adventurous than its predecessor, with 13 invigorating tracks that draw from the seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of Colombian folkloric traditions Torres has cultivated as well as African sonorities and shadings of funk and avant-garde jazz. On 2012 Torres was awarded a New Jazz Works Grant by Chamber Music America, for which he wrote Forced Displacement, a profoundly deep 10 movement suite that addresses a tragic issue occurring in his beloved native country. This project was released on 2015 for the Zoho Label.
”Balanced and brimming with emotion, sophisticated and passionate” – Downbeat Magazine
“A percussionist with a genuine gift for piercing melody and provocative harmony” – Jazztimes Magazine
“music for social justice, built to inform, inspire, enrage, and explore” – All About Jazz