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About the Performers
GRAMMY-NOMINATED Percussionist Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, Jr. studied music at The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in New York City, Pastore Music in New Jersey, and also attended La Escuela National de Arte (ENA) in Havana, Cuba in 1997 and 1999 under the direction of Chucho Valdez, Chembo taught at Purchase College, Drummer’s Collective in NYC and also teaches privately. Chembo had the pleasure of working/touring and or recording with many artists such as Chucho Valdes, Larry Harlow, Tito Puente, Machito, Celia Cruz, Grady Tate, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Hilton Ruiz, Dave Valentin, Willie Colon, Angela Bofill, Steve Wilson, Ray Vega, Buddy Montogmery, Bob Baldwin, Chico Freeman and many more. Chembo now leads his own Latin Jazz quintet since October 2001 and also started his record company “Chemboro Records, Inc.” in 2004. Chembo Corniel has landed a nomination from the 52nd NARAS GRAMMY AWARDS for the cd “Things I Wanted To Do” for “BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM” 2010. His fifth and latest 2016 cd “Land Of The Descendants” with invited guests Kat Gang (vocals) and James Zollar (trumpet) on this cd are getting great reviews around the world. Chembo Corniel endorses Latin Percussion (LP) products, REMO Heads, Vic Firth Sticks and Sabian Cymbals. Chembo has 50 years’ experience in music and percussion as well as being a leader, producer, composer, promoter of events he’s also a member of NARAS and LARAS Grammys and a member of ASCAP.
Saxophonist and composer Paul Carlon grew up in rural central New York and started playing music in the 4th grade at public school. Paul attempted to follow in the footsteps of his older string-playing siblings by taking cello lessons, but the vibrant timbre and mystery of the sax called to him more, so he switched. Studying under saxophone virtuoso Joseph Procopio, Paul performed throughout middle school and high school with the Cazenovia Central School Concert Band and Jazz Band. From there his experience with music was a mixture of schooled and self-taught. While finishing a degree in English Literature at Cornell University, Paul worked with the Joe Salzano Big Band, performed with the Cornell Jazz Ensemble conducted by John LaBarbera, and studied with tenor titan George Garzone in Boston during the summers. After graduating from Cornell in 1991, Paul moved to NYC and became part of the thriving 90’s underground jazz scene, joining bassist Phil Bowler’s band Pocket Jungle and Cuban trombonist Juan Pablo Torres’ quintet. Paul has since toured all over the world and performed and/or recorded with a wide variety of artists such as Harvie S, Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, the Ileana Santamaría Orchestra, Pedrito Martinez, JP Torres, Clave y Guaguancó, and Chembo Corniel. Paul currently performs with the Schapiro 17 jazz orchestra, Bronx Conexión latin jazz big band, Nation Beat brass band, and his own Trio and Quintet.
Puerto Rican Bassist Alex “Apolo” Ayala-Berríos embodies the spirit of the multi-lingual musician. His vast knowledge of both Latin music and Jazz languages makes him one of the few bi-lingual bassists in the music scene. A native from San Juan,Puerto Rico, he blends his Afro-Caribbean roots with the Jazz language, which enables him to pace himself through Swing, Bebop, Blues, Bomba, Plena, Rumba, and explorations of other Latin-American expressions (Samba/Bossa, Tango, Afro-Peruvian, Afro- Colombian, Afro-Venezuelan). With a professional career of 20 years, his body of work includes performances, tours, recordings, and Grammy-Nominations with a vast majority of Latin music giants and world-renowned Jazz musicians.
Check out the Chembo Corniel Trio performing at the Tenement Museum’s Grand Reopening Block Party on June 12, 2021.