Detroit JazzStage Presents Tumbao Bravo

Tumbao BravoAlthough Detroiters have the recent record setting heat wave behind them, things are about to heat up again.

This month, Detroit JazzStage presents the Latin Jazz group Tumbao Bravo, co-led by percussionist Alberto Nacif and Saxophonist/Flautist Paul
both of whom we interviewed for this month’s show. In addition to learning about the band we also gained a unique perspective on Latin Music. Alberto Nacif shares his insight on Latino music gleaned from his upbringing in Mexico and his many years in the Detroit area. Nacif has done research into Latino music, and shared that knowledge as a program host on WEMU-FM and through performances here and abroad.

Vornhagen, an established performer on the Detroit scene, has for many years felt an affinity with Latin music and this group benefits from his compositions, solos and organizational skills.

Our featured musical selections come from the group’s first recording Montuno Salad, (2005 Detroit Music Award winner for Best Jazz Album) and Amigos – From our Hands, their most recent release. Our featured music showcases several Latin styles as heard in compositions by Alberto Nacif, Paul Vornhagen and the wonderful but underexposed pianist/jazz educator Sven Anderson. Judging by the critical acclaim received thus far, Amigos is destined for even more success.

Other band members are multi-talented educator, composer, guitarist and bassist John Barron, veteran Detroit player Bob Mojica on Trumpet/Flugelhorn. Javier Barrios, who’s appeared with Latino luminaries such as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Benny Cruz brings his authentic timbale sound to the fold. Filling in for John Barron on some tracks is fellow bassist Jacob Chumura. Although new to the Detroit scene, Jacob has lived in Miami, Florida where he absorbed the Cuban sound. Trumpet ace Paul Finkbeiner, a mainstay of Phil Ogilvie’s Rhythm Kings, is heard as well.

For more information on Tumbao Bravo, go to


1. Excerpt from Sol Y Son – Vorhagen/Anderson from Amigos
2. Cumbia Del Cura* – Nacif from Amigos
3. Montuno Salad** – Vornhagen from Montuno Salad
4. E.P*. – Anderson from Amigos
5. Groove Chick** – Anderson from Montuno Salad
6. Clavier And The Doctor – Anderson from Amigos

Paul Vornhagen – Saxes, Flute, Piccolo
Alberto Nacif – Congas, Bongos, Percussion
Sven Anderson – Keys
Bob Mohica – Trumpet
Paul Finkbeiner – Trumpet**
Javier Barrios – Timbales, Percussion
John Barron – Bass
Jacob Chmara – Bass*


This episode is dedicated to memory of Latin Jazz great, Hilton Ruiz.

Opening Music – Mark Byerly’s Marks Mood available on the self titled CD Bop Culture
Closing Music – Mark Byerly’s Erroenious available on Bop Culture’s CD The E.P.
Jazz Festival Spot music – Mark Byerly’s Blues For The Morning Rush Hour available on the self titled CD Bop Culture
Go to for more information.

This episode is sponsored by the Detroit International Jazz Festival


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