“OAKLAND, Calif. — Of all the surprises when Grammys were handed out in January, perhaps the biggest came in the “tropical music” category for salsa, merengue and related styles. Up against stars like Marc Anthony and Carlos Vives, the winner was the virtually unknown Pacific Mambo Orchestra, based here, a continent away from the Caribbean, geographically and culturally...”
- Larry Rother
“Pacific Mambo Orchestra Takes Tropical GRAMMY From Marc Anthony Kickstarter-funded debut album “Pacific Mambo Orchestra” wins Best Latin Tropical Album The Pacific Mambo Orchestra, a San Francisco-based Latin big band, won last night’s GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album, beating favorite Marc Anthony and other Latin music stars. “We did everything in house,” Christian Tumalan, a classical and jazz-trained pianist originally from Mexico, told Billboard. “This GRAMMY is a victory not just for us but for independent artists everywhere. We want it to deliver hope to all of those artists in their home studios and garages. We’re independent and we made it happen.”More - See more at: http://pacificmambo.com/top_news/#sthash.aOIKqRRg.dpuf”
- Judy Cantor-NAvas
“Bay Area’s Pacific Mambo Orchestra Wins Grammy! SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — At the Seahorse Supper Club in Sausalito the joint is jumping, the floor is packed and the music is smoking hot. Crammed onstage is an unusual sight — a full-blown 19 piece traditional Latin big band called the Pacific Mambo Orchestra or PMO for short.“Just to start having that many people, that much energy on the stage – it really creates something! You can imagine,” exclaimed co-founder Christian Tumalan. “You get up and boogie – -for sure ” laughed his colleague, and the other co-founder of the band Steffen Kuehn. More - See more at: http://pacificmambo.com/top_news/#sthash.aOIKqRRg.dpuf”
- Michelle Griego
“Grammy winner Pacific Mambo Orchestra leads the rebirth of Latin Big Band sound Pacific Mambo Orchestra (PMO) is leading the renaissance of the Big Band and live music. This 19-piece Latin Big Band plays Salsa, Mambo, Latin Jazz, Cha Cha, along with a fusion of sounds that incorporate more modern genres (R&B, Hip Hop) with traditional Jazz and Salsa. More...”
- Jennifer Oliver O'Connel
“'The Mambo has returned for real. A new and exciting Big Band, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, is establishing a presence in California, and it is just a matter of time before it receives much wider recognition as well. Modern touches aside, the thing that really makes this recording work for us is the depth and beauty of the arrangements, particularly in the saxophone section. This is what Big Bands are supposed to be about - a full, rich sound that leaves you and the room satisfied. Right now, this ensemble is primarily a Bay Area phenomenon, but if it survives the perils that constantly threaten all groups of this size, we think that it's just a matter of time before it achieves national attention.' (Bill Tilford, Timba.com, September 2012).”
- Bill Tilford
“The PMO is bristling with kinetic energy. The arrangements are sparkling, the rhythm section is hard core, outstanding vocalists, soloists and guests. We are proud to welcome the PMO into the family of great Latin Orchestras. You do us proud!’ ”
- Arturo O'Farrill
“'Pacific Mambo Orchestra’s star-studded, groundbreaking studio debut takes Latin Big Band to dizzying new heights. Led by pianist Christian Tumalan and trumpeter Steffen Kuehn, this 19-piece ensemble injects the Big Band music of the 1940s through 1960s with a fresh, bold and contemporary sound, designed to reach the next generation of Big Band listeners.
This sizzling debut may be attributed to the hard work, passion and determination of visionary bandleaders Tumalan and Kuehn, who founded the group two years ago with the aspiration of growing PMO into the most active Latin Big Band in the nation.
The resulting compilation is the first project of its kind to emerge from the San Francisco music scene and a unique, welcome contribution to the music world. Tumalan and Kuehn not only produced the album, but also performed, composed, and wrote the music and lyrics for many of the tracks. One of their biggest accomplishments was gathering the impressive roster of international, award-winning talent that appears on the album. Together, band members and contributors bring forth decades of collective experience playing with a variety of musical greats, from Dizzy Gillespie, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, to Art Garfunkel, Blood Sweat and Tears, Jerry Garcia and Mariah Carey. The resulting tracks showcase fresh songwriting, inspired arrangements, clever improvisations, and superlative vocals.' (Maryann Lorusso, Redtypewriter.com, August 2012)”
- Maryann Lorusso
“I must say that you guys played awesome on Saturday, it was mesmerizing to watch you play and see/feel the passion of each musician. I went to NYC las week and saw some pretty good salsa bands there, PMO is certainly up there as one of the best! The brass section definitely makes a big difference in making it sound great! I wish PMO much more success.”
- Dina Austin
“Pacific Mambo Orchestra has changed the salsa landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area.
This 19-person band plays one set on Mondays, from 9:30 to 11pm, at Café Cocomo in San Francisco. It plays salsa, mambo, bolero and cha-cha with the unique and full sound only a well-synchronized group of talented musicians can. Many are well-known in the salsa scene while others are less so, but one exposure to their collective sound makes it evident that every single member is a contributing and solid part of the whole.
The talent is palpable. PMO’s members include: co-founders Christian Tumalan (keyboard) and Steffen Kuehn (trumpet), the great timbalero Karl Perazzo, trombonists Mike Rinta, Jamie Dubberly and Greg Saul, multi-talented horn player Adam Theis, sax players Aaron Lington, Tony Peebles and Pete Cornell, bass player Abo Gumroyan, percussion/congas and vocalist Omar Ledezma, Jr., bongocero/vocalist Braulio Barrera, and salsa vocalist Alexis Guillen, among others. Well-known guest performers have included Master Percussionist Louie Romero, and trombonist Ed Neumeister.
A less-known fact is that PMO on Mondays has become ‘the day/time/place to be’ for dancers who have wised up to the perfect conditions and opportunity that this great band and venue provide. Dancers of all levels – from novice to performance – come alone, accompanied or in group, to teach, learn, try out new moves, or to just plain shine.
If you have not yet had the chance to see/hear this great band, I suggest you make a plan, mark your calendar, and come by on Monday. They are a treat not to be missed. ”
- Ines Vargas