Grammy winners to play at Latin jazz concert

California State University, Sacramanto’s Latin Jazz Ensemble is experiencing a rebirth after falling off the charts during the state’s economic crisis and its first major concert in five years features two notable guest performers who also happen to be recent Grammy winners.

Trombonist Jamie Dubberly and percussionist Carlos Caro, both of whom won Grammys this year as part of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, will join the ensemble at 8 p.m. Monday, March 10, at the campus Music Recital Hall.

The program includes several songs written or arranged by Dubberly for his Orquesta Dharma, including “Elsa’s Blues,” “Mambo Pacific” and Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing.”

Tickets are $10 general, $7 seniors and $5 students, at the university ticket office, 916-278-4323 or

In 2008, the Latin Jazz Ensemble fell victim to state budget cutbacks. Some independent student Latin jazz combos still made occasional appearances but it wasn’t until 2012 that the ensemble saw its first stirrings of resurgence. It was then that Professor Steve Roach, director of Sac State’s jazz program, approached graduate student Carlos McCoy about leading the group.

“This has been like a small seed that has blossomed,” McCoy said.

Even though he had extensive training in jazz, McCoy says he was looking for something that connected more with his Latin culture because that was the music he grew up with. That and Roach’s invitation were a fortuitous coincidence.

“Latin jazz allows you to connect with people through the dance movement but it still retains the complexity of jazz,” McCoy said.

Recruiting musicians for the University’s Latin Jazz Ensemble did not prove too daunting for McCoy.

“I just called people I had already worked with,” McCoy said. “Right now, there are many students interested in performing with the group.”

For more about the music department’s programs visit or call 916-278-5191.

California State Unversity, Sacramento

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