Carli Munoz Trio with Opening Act by Imer Santiago
Pianist-composer Carli Muñoz has the rare distinction of having astounding careers in jazz and pop. He’s a masterful musician with the technique and imagination to dig in deep with jazz giants such as Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd, George Benson, and the creative discipline to work alongside pop icons like The Beach Boys, Wilson Pickett, and Peter Cetera. After 50 years and six critically acclaimed jazz albums; a stunning rock debut, In My Soul; and now his magnum opus, Follow Me, Carli is at the prime of his career.
Carli Muñoz grew up in Puerto Rico immersed in the tropical jazz sounds of the region, along with Ragtime, Boogie-woogie, 50s Rock and Jazz, and Avant Garde Classical. After a successful stint in NY with his popular Puerto Rican rock band The Living End (not to be confused with the Australian punk band of the same name) during the mid 60s, he moved to Los Angeles in 1969, where he quickly earned a reputation for his chops and his flair, garnering working relationships with pop’s biggest names. After over a decade with The Beach Boys, whom he toured/recorded with and produced, Muñoz left the pop world behind for over 30 years, devoting himself to a career in jazz—his achievements in that world alone merit a separate bio! Notably, Carli's fourth solo album Maverick marks his pinnacle in the mainstream jazz arena with an all star cast including Jack DeJohnette on drums and Eddie Gómez on contrabass, in addition to two Grammy Award recipients for 2005, and was featured among the best CD's of 2006 on Downbeat Magazine; January 2007 issue. In addition, it drew national attention and got rave reviews, including an invitation for Muñoz to be featured on the legendary Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio show on National Public Radio In February of 2007.
Flash forward to the mid ‘80s after taking a detour into film and television production, and Muñoz relocated from Los Angeles to San Juan to raise his family. But when Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989 and destroyed all of his belongings, he turned the tragedy into an opportunity to focus on what mattered to him most – his music. Muñoz formed a jazz trio that played at festivals and local venues in Puerto Rico, and eventually opened Carli’s Fine Bistro and Piano in 1998, a popular jazz club and restaurant in Old San Juan where he still performs several nights a week. It was then that he began recording albums under his own name, releasing his first solo album in 2000, Love Tales – a collection of his own material and jazz standards. Since then he has released five studio albums and three live albums, and now his 2018 magnum opus, Follow Me.
“It is exciting for me to be involved in a project like this at this time” says Carli, “there is purpose beyond my own needs and passion to burn, especially after just going through hurricanes Irma and Maria—I’m more than ready to share my experience through music with the world… a rare privilege indeed!”.
Part of Carli Muñoz’s initiative as pianist and leader has been to mentor and to incorporate into his jazz trio the finest young musicians available in Puerto Rico. Some of these musicians remained playing with Muñoz’s trio, getting the necessary experience to eventually take flight to the mainland, prepared to further and to excel in their music careers which has often proved to be rewarding and successful.
Both, bassist Jesus Colón and drummer William Garcia, are perfect examples of young upcoming jazz musicians. They have both been performing with the Carli Muñoz Trio during the last three and two years respectively, and they certainly bring a fresh, dynamic, and exciting approach in musicianship to the stage.
Jesus Colon––double bass, has been playing 3 years with The Carli Muñoz Trio
Being part of the local jazz music scene in Puerto Rico for the past 6 years, Puertorrican bassist Jesus Colon has performed frequently with musical talents such as Jonathan Suazo, Richard Peña, Eduardo Zayas, Gabriel Vicens, Leonardo Osuna, Kachiro Thompson, Carli Muñoz, Raul Maldonado, Rafael Rosa, Sin Cabaret Show, and many others. For the past three years Colon has been working steadily as a jazz musician playing steady at Carli’s Fine Bistro and Piano with master pianist Carli Muñoz, as well as performing regularly at the various clubs, special events, concerts and musicals in the San Juan area, and is currently completing his bachelor's degree on Music with a concentration on Jazz and Caribbean Performance at the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory.
William Harry Garcia––drums, has been playing 2 years with The Carli Muñoz Trio
Puertorrican drummer William Harry Garcia Rodriguez started playing music at the early age of four with his family, The Garcia’s Band. They performed frequently at churches, parks, coliseums, festivals and theaters locally. As William’s career evolved, he performed with various recognized artists and ensembles such as Miguel Zenon, John Patituchi, Carli Muñoz, Charlie Sepulveda and The San Juan Collective, among others. Most recently he recorded on Richard Peña’s album “Hey, Don Rey” and a live album with Zacchaeus Paul. William received awards in different musical competitions winning first place in the Bandas American Sabor and Drum Fest competitions. In 2016, he represented Puerto Rico at the Berklee High School Jazz Fest in Boston with the ELMERA Jazz Ensemble winning first place and also was bestowed with the Judges Choice Award and the Superior Musicianship Award. Out of that same performance he received a scholarship to participate at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute Workshop, at the Newport Jazz Festival, where he also had the opportunity to perform. He is currently a drum student, specializing in Performance in Jazz and Caribbean Music at the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory. Links to Music, Video and Bio:
Video ~ Who is Carli Muñoz?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0baP9N2rhyo
The Making of Wangari Maathai From Follow Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBDhZ0WD6TI
Billboard Magazine Article (9-24-18) ~ “Carli Muñoz Talks Recording In Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria Hit, Shares 'Wangari Maathai': https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8476527/carli-munoz-wangari-maathai-follow-me
Forbes (10-16-18) ~ Video Premiere: Carli Muñoz Talks 'Wangari Maathai' And Puerto Rico Recovery: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebaltin/2018/10/16/video-premiere-carli-munoz-talks-wangari-maathai-and-puerto-rico-recovery/#7c61d5242ac3
Soundcloud ~ Follow Me (full songs): https://soundcloud.com/carlimunoz
Both Sides Now ~ Full Album with Eddie Gomez (b), Jeremy Steig (flute), Joe Chambers (d): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ1_TwFWhsc&index=1&list=OLAK5uy_kpRLZUkGTldgzoEaNcp3DrsxZ39wZ6m-I
OPENING ACT BY IMER SANTIAGO, a Lorain, Ohio native, first began playing trumpet in the 5th grade in the Lorain City Schools District. After high school, Imer attended The Ohio State University, where he earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Jazz Studies (June 1999) & Atmospheric Sciences (June 2000). At OSU, Imer studied under several great teachers, including trumpet master, Pharez Whitted, & Jazz Studies Chair, Dr. Ted McDaniel. He then moved to “The Crescent City” and continued his education at The University of New Orleans, where he studied under the late trumpeter Clyde Kerr, Jr., Preservation Hall’s Wendell Brunious, and renowned pianist & educator, Ellis Marsalis. Santiago concluded his graduate program with an independent study of the music of Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines (under Marsalis), and received his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies in December 2000.
Since his college days, Imer has had the opportunity to tour, perform, and record with various artists, such as Salvador, Jaci Velasquez, Kirk Franklin, TobyMac, & Group One Crew. Santiago, who is quadralingual (English, Spanish, French, & Portuguese), feels equally at home stylistically, whether performing Jazz, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Merengue, Funk, Gospel, or even Orchestral literature.