The Pacific Mambo Orchestra is a Latin flavored orchestra full of celebration and celebrity. Now in their tenth year, PMO finally gained well-overdue recognition in 2014, when their crowd-funded, self-titled, debut album took home the GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album. No newcomer to the big band circuit, they have performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Stern Grove Jazz Jazz Festival, The Aspen Jazz Fest, and many more. They are a popular orchestra that recently sold out their run at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, California. The 20-piece orchestra is comprised of the Bay Area’s top talent featured with iconic names like Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock or Prince.
2014 GRAMMY® Winner the Pacific Mambo Orchestra (a.k.a. the PMO) is a 20 piece, San Francisco based musical group leading the rebirth of the Latin Big band Sound. The PMO uses the traditions of the classic mambo-craze orchestras of the 1950s to deliver their original music and clever, modern arrangements of hit songs. Currently, the only fully active Latin Big Band on the West Coast of the United States, this elite group of the Bay Area's finest musicians performs in both English and Spanish (French and Portuguese selections are also available).
PMO honors the Latin Big Bands of the 1940s through the 1960s, including artists such as Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez, while infusing them with intoxicating new energy and cleverly written modern arrangements. Richly textured arrangements flow through the entire production, with exquisite playing by ace musicians.
PMO plays a repertoire of mostly original scores and the selections move in a frenetic pace, pulsing with the sounds, rhythms, and beats that only a true Big Band is capable of producing.
Their GRAMMY® award crowned the PMO's first national tour of some of the most important Performing Art Centers in the US. The tour featured Tito Puente Jr. and was received with great acclaim by fans and critics alike. Their musical numbers spanned many Latin genres -- Salsa, Mambo, Latin Jazz, Cha Cha Cha along with a fusion of sounds that incorporated more modern genres (R&B, Hip Hop). The show also pays tribute to the pioneers of the classic mambo orchestras, all while paving the way to a bold new sound designed to reach the next generation of Big Band listeners.
The band's instrumentation consists of four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, piano, bass, timbales, congas, bongos and two lead singers, the lovely Ms. Christelle Durandy and Armando Cordoba. Powered by a sensational percussion section featuring 14 times Grammy Award Winner Karl Perazzo, Venezuelan Timbalero Omar Ledezma Jr., Congero Javier Cabanillas, and Peruvian Bongo expert Braulio Barrera, the band also showcases savvy improvisers forged in the region’s most celebrated Latin bands.
Also, a great honor to the PMO was to be voted as the BEST BAND of the “2014 Best of the Bay” in the San Francisco Guardian Reader's Poll. This Best of the Bay insert coincided with the last copy ever of the 48-year-old newspaper and the issue has become a collector's item.
Led by pianist Christian Tumalan and trumpeter Steffen Kuehn, PMO rejuvenates the Latin big band sounds of the 1940s through ‘60s, recalling the legendary works of Machito, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz. Their arrangements and original compositions proceed at an energetic face, creating a special kind of excitement that can only be delivered by a true Latin Big Band.