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BIO

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Perfomances highlights

  • Sydney Festival 2021/2022- Sunset Piazza

  • Sold out show at Sydney Festival Spiegeltent 2020

  • Manly Jazz Festival 2019,

  • Tropfest 2017

  • Sydney Festival 2017

  • VIVID 2017

  • Sydney Fringe

  • The Annual Darling Harbour Fiesta

  • Parramasala Festival

  • Canberra’s multicultural Arts Festival

  • Sold out many well known Australian venues - including Camelot Lounge, The Basement, Blue Beat, Venue 505, The Metro, NightCat ( Melb), The Triffid (Brisbane), Oxford Arts Factory, Paddington Eastside Arts and more...

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CO-FOUNDER/ GUITARIST - CARLOS ARANGO
Carlos Arango is a Sound Engineer, Guitarist, event promoter and music selector who has stretched his musical passion to different artistic realms forging a variety of successful projects in Australia. He is the original idea and Co- founder of well-known 15-piece Cumbia Orchestra Cumbiamuffin, Co-founder of the Maroubra Caves musical project that has open space to a number of outdoor performers to collaborate and share music in a refreshing and inviting atmosphere.

As a music selector and event promoter, Carlos performs as Tropicante Sound Sistema. Member of Sydney’s Underground DJ Collective Pineapple Republic,  a well renowned Selector, event promoter and host of some of the most iconic Tropical nights around the best Venues in Sydney. Part of Tropicante’s Credits includes hosting events with Internationals like Quantic Jose Marquez and Daniel Haaksman


Carlos currently works as part of Sydney’s Opera House Sound/ AV department as a in-house senior Sound Engineer and freelances with different bands and festivals as FOH or Monitors Engineer.

LEAD SINGER - ANGELA ROSERO
Angela is a Colombian artist who has captivated Australian audiences combining her talents of acting and singing. Lead singer of the well loved Sydney dance band CUMBIAMUFFIN, along with collaborations with PENA FLAMENCA, ARREBATO ENSAMBLE and ART OF CADENCIA productions.

Angela was Co founder, producer and actress of HISPANIC ARTISTIC EXPRESSION (HAE) a not-for-profit organisation created on 2008. The company was created
with the purpose of spreading amongst the public in Australia, the culture, idiosyncrasy, costumes and language of HISPANO AMERICA.

Later on 2010, HAE evolved and established a creative space called “La Sala” were they developed and presented high quality artistic events, with a positive impact on community development, not only by creating opportunities for local artists, but also supporting charity organisations with serious dedication in making a change for the better of people in need.

On 2013 she produced her first solo concert called “Viaje” a tribute to women composers from Latin America. Mother of Gabriel (2014), Juliana (2016) and Santiago (2018), Angela kept working on her music projects, produced her second solo concert “Vida” a tribute to motherhood, and now is inviting women to be part of “Ellas” a series of concerts to make a tribute to Latin American music, showing its roots through music, by different female singers in Australia

On 2019 Angela was selected to be part of SSI Sydney delegation for Australian Woman in Music Awards.

MC ALTAFARI - ALFONSO MOSQUERA
Born in Cali-Colombia specialises in Afro-Caribbean Rhythms, Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop.
Starting as an Mc in some local sounds systems;  Jah Baya Sounds of Revolution, Jay Jay Roberts, Ras Rony,, Basslines Crew, Bump Crew, DJ Johna- 4:20 productions, Rebel Soul System alongside Ras Roni and more local acts goes to Collaborated with touring bands like Third World, Luciano Lee’s Scratch, Perry, O- Yaba, Arrested Development. them joint Sydney’s first Cumbia Orchestra Cumbiamuffin and the rest is history. Alfonso -aka- Altafari is also A Reggae Dj and Radio broadcaster

 


BASS - TINA HARRIS
Bassist Tina Harris straddles the disparate musical worlds of Afro Latin music, playing across a number of styles (Afro Cuban, Colombian, Haitian, and West African), and Musical Theatre and Cabaret. She also leads several projects, (currently Tijuana Taxi – a Tribute to the Music of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass) and was recently musical director of Hair The Musical - National and Regional Tour (2019) as well as bassist on Betty Blokkbuster Reimagined - Sydney Festival (2020), and Come From Away - The Comedy Theatre in Melbourne (2020).

DRUMS - JAMIE CAMERON
Extensive live and studio experience with jazz groups, songwriters, rock bands and percussion ensembles, with performances throughout Australia and New Zealand, and in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Notable activities include multiple tours with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (with Maria Schneider, Chris Potter, Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue), tours with B'Tutta & The Sousaphonics (Musica Viva In Schools), Denzel Curry's viral "Like a Version" for Triple J, and festival appearances and recordings with Clayton Doley's "Bayou Billabong", Luke Escombe's "The Vegetable Plot", Amphibious, James Valentine, Cameron Undy's 20th Century Dog, Song Fwaa, and Joe Kelly, amongst many others.

TAMBORA - FRANCISCO CASTILLO
Born in Bogota – Colombia, Francisco is a passionate Percussionist who graduated from the Faculty of Arts with a Diploma in Music with an emphasis on folkloric music. He has spent a great deal of his musical career studying the native Colombian rhythms and other traditional styles with the objective of interpreting and representing them to different audiences. He currently plays a combination of Tambora (big drum mic), Alegre (jembe similar a drum with animal skin) and Maracones (large Shakers)



CONGAS - AYKHO AKHRIF
Raised in Holland percussionist and drummer Aykho Akhrif has played alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and the Gypsy Kings in countries ranging from Cuba to America to most of Europe. Now an Australian resident he is one of the most in demand session drummers in the country playing regularly with James Morrison. Recently he’s been joining DJ Levi 5Star, adding a percussive element to his house sets, locking in a groove that lasts all night long.
He loves to combine his talents, working with different bands, jazz Latin, African, and Flamenco, or a combination of all the above. Aykho has been playing percussion for 25 years, there is no one that can rock the conga’s quite like Aykho Akhrif in Cumbiamuffin.

SHAKERS ( Maracones ) - ALEJANDRO CARDOSO
Alejo Cardoso, Colombian born musician currently resides in Sydney Australia and is a connoisseur of traditional Colombian rhythms and a master of a number of Colombian instruments including flauta traversa, gaita macho and hembra, maracas, tambora; all unique to rhythms from the Colombian Caribbean.  His vast knowledge expands all folkloric interpretations including all rhythms from the Caribbean, Pacific Region and the Andean Region of Colombia. This styles include Cumbia, Porro, Puya, Currulao, Passillo and many more.

TRUMPET 1- MARTY FARRUGIA
Youngest endorsee of Selmer Paris for brass instruments. Appeared at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival with the Zoo Big Band. Employed by the Sydney Olympics committee to play several events during the games. Toured and performed with various internationally renowned pop and world music acts including TLC, James Morrison, Human Nature, Jessica Mauboy, Joe Bataan, Cecelia Noël, Bill Summers and OsvaldoChacon. Numerous television appearances including X Factor, A Place To Call Home, Love Child, Sunrise and Mornings with Kerri-Anne. Speaking and trumpet playing role in the Sapphires Movie.

Hired by Emanuel School as lead trumpet in various musical theatre productions including Oklahoma,
Fiddler on the Roof, Legally Blonde and Into The Woods. Recording sessions for various studios including 301, Sony, Hercules Street, ABC and Song Zu. Performed on main stages of various Australian festivals including Blues and Roots, Woodford Folk, Festival, Homebake, A Day on the Green and Womadelaide. Based in London for 2 years whilst touring the European festival circuit 2006 - 2007. Multiple residencies at The Venetian Macau 2009 - 2010. Toured and performed regularly with band such as The Marvin Gaye experience, Kriola Collective, Cumbia Muffin, Los Gringos, Son Veneno and Tijuana Taxi


TRUMPET 2 - SIMON FERENCI
Simon Ferenci is a Sydney-based trumpeter who has been a finalist in the National Jazz Awards in 2003, 2010 and 2017. He regularly performs in Sydney and has performed around Australia and internationally. As a member of the award-winning Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, he has also performed with many leading international jazz musicians including Grammy winner Maria Schneider (US) and nominees Darcy James Argue (US) and Chris Potter (US). In addition he has toured and/or recorded with musicians/bands such as Passenger (UK), Joanna Newsom (US), Aloe Blacc (US), The Beautiful Girls, The Herd, Watussi and many more.
His self-titled release from 2013, an album of his own compositions and improvisations, has been described as "an excellent blend of jazz sensibilities with more abstract textures. All four of the musicians contribute great things" - Lloyd Swanton (The Necks, The Catholics).

ALTO SAX - DAN JUNOR
Danny plays saxophones in a variety of Sydney ensembles. Kriola Collective, Unity Hall Jazz Band, Sonic Mayhem Orchestra to name a few. He's happiest when he's playing something that feels good, hasn't been heard that much lately and has people dancing.
Lately, Danny resides in Canberra and he's happy to know that this helps extend the breadth of Cumbiamuffin's multicultural mix just a tiny bit further.


BARITONE SAX - JAMES LOUGHNAN
James Loughnan is a saxophonist and music educator based on the NSW Central Coast. His work in the Australian jazz scene has seen him as co-leader of Felucca and The Acronym Orchestra, as well as working with The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, James Morrison and Dan Barnett. James is also busy as a session musician, performing and recording with Guy Sebastian, Aloe Blacc, TLC, Freindly Fires, the Hilltop Hoods. He is a founding member of Cumbiamuffin.

CLARINET - ROSS HARRINGTON
Musical performer, teacher & composer.
Originally a classically trained saxophonist Ross is now an in demand multi-instrumentalist on the Sydney jazz and world music scene. Ross’ passion for jazz is largely due to his school work experience that he completed at the Australian Army Band which inspired him to pursue further musical study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he completed a Bachelor of Jazz Performance. He has also been the recipient of a number of musical scholarships in his career. As well as playing in a variety of Sydney based ensembles, Ross composes and performs in his own project, Midnight Tea Party, which is inspired by the sounds of the balkans and dub/reggae.

PIANO - LAUTARO VELOSO
Musician and music educator, playing the piano since the age of 9. Lautaro is classically trained who ventured in discovering his musical roots by performing indigenous Chilean music and moved into studying the folkloric music of Latin America having toured the world playing music in various ensembles including Cumbiamuffin, Salsa Kingz, Veneno, Jungle Boogie, Barrio Soul, Armandito Productions among many others. Lautaro also composes for a variety of genres.



 

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MUSICAL DIRECTOR / TROMBONE - MICHAEL RAPER


Trombonist Michael Raper musically leads Cumbiamuffin. Mike has spent his professional career playing between Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas with such acts as Son Veneno (AUS), Osvaldo Chacon (Bamboleo), Wilson Saoko (CLO), Enrique Pla (Irakere), Watussi (AUS), Mucho Mambo (AUS), Batucada Sound Machine (NZL) and Kenny Wheeler (ENG), TLC (U.S) amongst many others. Mike Studied a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and he is a musical educator.

PRESS RELEASE

It was only a matter of time before cumbia hit Australia. After humbly coming to life on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, this rhythm—and everything it represents: its multi-ethnicity, its danceable pulse, its resilience—snaked its way up the mountains to reach Colombia’s urban capitals, Bogotá and Medellín, who transmitted the signal to Mexico, Peru, Argentina... Cumbia travelled, and wherever it landed it took hold; Charles Mingus got his fill in the 70s, Mexicans brought it across the US border in the 80s, Joe Strummer couldn’t get enough of it in the 90s; and wherever it landed, it has shown its flexibility, its ability to adapt to new environments.

 

Cumbiamuffin are the perfect example of what happens when cumbia arrives in a completely different continent. Since forming in 2010, they have become Australia’s premier large format cumbia orchestra, offering a twist on the genre that no one saw coming. They take their inspiration from cumbia’s brass band traditions, when the genre was adopted by orchestras in the 1940s, the start of its golden age, but they do not stop there. They also look further afield, to the big bands of Mexico and Peru, and even to the Caribbean, which is how their name came about. Cumbiamuffin represents the contraction of two musical styles that the group seamlessly bring together in one big, vibrant, joyous experience: cumbia and raggamuffin reggae. This is a group that can inject even more life into a bona fide Colombian classic like Lucho Bermudez’s “Salsipuedes,” take a Greek club version of a Mexican banda track written by an Argentine accordionist and come up with the cohesively international “Ritmo de Sinaloa,” and then there’s that unmistakable ragga skank all over “La Promesa,” with “La Cabezona” being an instrumental descarga that has no right to rumble so low, designed with dance halls and sound systems in mind.

 

Armed with the collective energy of two authentic Colombian vocalists, a seriously massive brass section, heavy bass, funky guitar, salsa piano and equally authentic percussion, the 15-piece band combines elements of reggae, dancehall and roots from the Colombian Caribbean in a deft mix that is both retro and futuristic, authentically traditional and yet also experimental. Put together by a collective of Colombian and Australian musicians, the project has the common vision of introducing the purest sounds of the golden era of orchestrated cumbia to Australian audiences, but with a little something more added to the formula to keep things fresh.

 

Having triumphantly conquered their home country’s competitive music scene with sold out shows at numerous festivals and well-known venues all over Down Under, Cumbiamuffin are poised to break out to a global audience with their debut self-titled LP.

 

The Story Behind The Album

 

A lot of virtual connections were made during the pandemic, especially in the first year when it was much harder to travel and engage with the rest of the world physically. This was true in all aspects of life, and within the music industry, especially for independent record labels like Peace & Rhythm, it was no different. Though concerts, record fairs and DJ gigs had dried up and stores and concert venues had closed with no sign of light at the end of the tunnel, the label was in constant contact with a virtual network of musical friends both old and new, from DJs and store owners to musicians and writers. During those dark days of lockdown, a number of bands contacted Peace & Rhythm with projects, inquiring whether the label wanted to collaborate and release new recordings. Several of these artists were international and were unknown to the label. During this time, mutual friends in Colombia put Peace & Rhythm together with Cumbiamuffin, a large tropical band from Australia that had recorded a number of songs. Impressed, we decided it was only right that these tracks should be released, and together we began reaching out to remixers willing to add even more flavor to the final LP. Cumbiamuffin’s Australian DJ/producer/musician colleague OYOBI was first on board. We also contacted our Canadian friends Hyperopia and UK amigos Sounds & Colours, with the idea of an international partnership for producing and releasing the record, creating a truly Pan-Latin collaboration. Sounds & Colours, always at the forefront of discovering new talent, suggested a few other remixers and a final lineup was agreed upon. With side A made up of studio recordings, the plan was to devote the B side to remixes. In addition to OYOBI, remixes came from Prince of Queens (USA), Rizomagic (Colombia) and Turbo Sonidero (USA/Mexico). For the cover, we contacted the Colombian muralist and graffiti artist Yurika, who also happens to be a music fan and vinyl collector specializing in the tropical sounds of his country and was excited to join the project. With these elements all in place, the final piece was getting the record made, which, due to current economic and post-pandemic conditions, took far longer than expected, but now the album is complete, with vibrantly beautiful color variations to match Yurika’s cover art, skillfully created by Burlington Record Plant.

 

Peace & Rhythm / Sounds and Colours