Jose Rizo's "Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars" is a 15-piece all-star ensemble made up of legendary figures, world-class studio musicians, great jazz artists, and popular bandleaders. This tight ensemble was formed a few months after a big jam session at B. B. Kings on the Universal City Walk in the Los Angeles area.
Bandleader/jazz radio announcer Jose Rizo named the band after his latin jazz radio program "Jazz on the Latin Side" on KKJZ 88.1 FM (KJazz) in Long Beach, California. The "Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars" proudly represent KJazz where ever they perform. This versatile ensemble feels as comfortable playing progressive latin jazz as it does playing tremendous salsa dura.
Ensemble members and rotating members include Justo Almario (tenor sax), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums), Danilo Lozano (flute / musical director), Francisco Aguabella (congas), Poncho Sanchez (congas), Alex Acuna (drums), Freddie Crespo (lead vocals / timbales), Francisco Torres (trombone / prime arranger), Rene Camacho (bass), Bijon Watson (trumpet), Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet), Robert Incelli (alto sax), Scott Martin (baritone sax), Gilbert Castellanos (trumpet), Eric Jorgensen (trombone), Joey De Leon (congas), Alfredo Ortiz (bongo / vocals), Andy Martin (trombone), Jimmy Branly (timbales), Joe Rotondi (piano),and Luis Eric Gonzalez (trumpet).
"The Last Bullfighter", their first recording as an ensemble, reached #10 on the national jazz charts (Jazz Week). This CD included popular originals like "The Last Bullfighter", "Sun God", "Cozumel", "Justo's Trane Ride", "Mr. Drop", "Ironman James", and "Chupacabras", as well as recording exciting versions of Dizzy's "Bebop", Lee Morgan's "Caramba", Machito's "Yo Soy la Rumba" and "Saoco".
The "Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars" have recently performed at "The Playboy Jazz Festival" at the Hollywood Bowl, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Jazz at Drew, Yoshi's in Oakland, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, The Jazz Bakery, Catalina Jazz Club, Steamer's Jazz Club, The Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival, Latin Grammy After Party, and Santa Monica Pier Concerts.
Their new CD "Tambolero" is steadily climbing the national top-50 jazz charts (Jazz Week), debuting at #29. "Tambolero" includes a new set of originals like "Granizo", "Amanecer", "Danilo en la Flauta", "Senor Olmos" (dedicated to actor Edward James Olmos), and the rumba "Buscando al Curandero" (featuring Francisco Aguabella). "Tambolero" also includes exciting versions of Wayne Shorter's "Yes or No", Charlie Parker's "Ah Leu Cha", Poncho Sanchez's "Baila Mi Gente" (with Poncho Sanchez), and little-recorded salsa classics like "El Eco del Tambo" and "Mama Vieja". Many consider the "Tambolero" CD as the best-to-date from this historically significant jazz ensemble.