RUMBACHÉ. This SF Bay Area Latin dance band, led by percussionist Patricio Angulo, mixes up a delightful blend of salsa and tiraba that bubbles with youthful vibrancy and excellent musicality. Rumbaché has an outstanding resumé, having performed at the San José Jazz Festival and at New Orleans By the Bay, in addition to a steady string of club dates at Jelly's, Café Cocomo, Elbo Room, Glas Kat, La Peña Cultural Center, The Cigar Bar & Grill, Montero's and Shattuck Down-Low Lounge. From original songs to Cuban classics, they are considered one of the few bands in the U.S. playing Cuban timba. As Timbaologist Kevin Moore has described: "One of the highlights of last weekend's San José Jazz Festival was an electrifying and deeply timbafied version of Adalberto Alvarez's Sí No Vas a Cocinar, played by the Northern California band Rumbaché, one of the few (North) American groups to take up the challenge of playing timba."
PATRICIO ANGULO. Originally from Los Angeles, Patricio studied classical percussion before discovering the world of Latin rhythms. In the Bay Area, he has studied under world-renowned percussionist Michael Spiro, and has performed with local bands such as Dr. Loco and his Rockin' Jalapeño Band, Fito Reinoso's Ritmo y Armonía, Charanson, OMaya and Orquesta D'Soul. He is also the director and founder of the critically acclaimed Latin jazz group called Sonando. I recently caught up with Patricio for the following Q&A.
Jesse Varela: Rumbaché tore up this year's San José Jazz Festival (SJJF). Tell us about the current manifestation of the group and the chemistry within it.
Patricio Angulo: Rumbaché's lineup has been very consistent in the last couple of years, and that has really allowed the chemistry of the group to manifest. Having subs all the time really just doesn't cut it for me. As a bandleader, I've pushed for that consistent lineup and I've been very happy with the results.
That consistency has also allowed us to write and work up our original material, which has been extremely exciting. Rumbaché's rhythm section includes Jason Moen on keys and arrangements, Sam Bevan on bass and arrangements, Colin Douglas on traps, Omar Ledezma on congas (and iead vocals) and myself on timbal (although, we three percussionists do trade instruments, depending on the gig).
I've designed lots of cues to shift into various gears and breaks on the fly, so that adds to the overall stage show as well as keeps things fresh...