Sierra Nevada World Music Festival - 2004

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2004 Performers

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Brewing a spicy concoction of Urban Hip Hop Soul and Afro Latin grooves, O-maya was formed in San Francisco in 1999 and includes a fierce combination of Bay Area talent, representing various urban perspectives. This 10-piece Afro-Latin, Hip-Hop band, voted BEST of the BAY 2003 by SF Weekly, combines music from around the globe into its original and tasty compositions. Their goal is to take all of the band members’ collective musical experience and create an original, cohesive, and interesting fusion, while their poetic lyrics help carry messages of positivity and social change. A composition might meld Son, Hip-Hop, Samba, Salsa, or Reggae in a way that inspires their ecstatic audiences. Their debut album O-maya, is burning down walls between genres and gaining lots of praise from the most diverse of musical circles.

The formidable talent of this Berkeley/San Francisco based collective includes:

Rico Pabon: (Vocalist/MC) Hard times and beauty come together where the stage meets the dance floor. For Rico Pabón, Hip Hop is a form of oral history -- one that passes along the details that schoolbooks leave out. Pabón is the lead member of Project Bridge (formerly Prophets of Rage) and MC for S.F.-Bay Area Afro-Latin Hip Hop band O-Maya. His poetic lyrics, bound by the theme that struggle feeds beauty, combined with his rhythmic delivery, make him one of the Bay’s favorite MCs. Through his music, he seeks out righteous action, raising a fist for activists and challenging oppression and injustice everywhere. He has shared the stage with renowned artists such as RUN DMC, PIRI THOMAS, SPEARHEAD, DEAD PREZ, GANGSTARR, NICE & SMOOTH, WU TANG CLAN, FUGEES, ZION I, TITO NIEVES, and YOMO TORO.

Destani Wolf: (Vocalist/Lyricist) Cultivated with music since birth, Destani’s voice leads her down many paths, from Berkeley High School, formal training since 11 yrs old, a BA in music @ San Francisco State Univ., to sharing her voice and inspiration with her community and all around the world. Destani composes music for all the groups she’s involved in, including her self entitled group, music of world soul beats. For four years she performed, released two albums, and toured internationally with SoVoSó an a cappella band, the offshoot of Bobby Mcferrin’s Voicestra. Her vocals were featured on “My Flesh and Blood”, a HBO documentary that won the audience award of Sundance 2003. Wolf also sang on John Santos’ album “SF Bay” recently nominated for a 2003 Grammy and 2003 California Music Award. She has recorded and/or continues playing with John Santos, Benny Rietveld (Santana), Bobi Cespedes “Rezos”, Pharcyde, Crown City Rockers (MISSION), Omar Sosa, and rides with many other Bay Area Treasures including the O-maya crew.

Jorge Martinez: (Vocalist/Guitar/Cuatro) Continuing the familial musical legacy catalyzed by his great-uncle (singer/composer Salvador Cardenas) in his native Mexico, Jorge's musical training began with guitar and vocal lessons from his father at age six. Raised in the Bay Area, further musical instruction followed at U.C. Berkeley's Young Musicians' Program and Music Department. And thanks to the Artist in Residence program at Berkeley's La Pena Cultural Center, he was afforded the opportunity to study son jarocho under the tutelage of Mono Blanco founding-member Gilberto Gutierrez. Jorge continues to perform and explore the varied repertoire of traditional Mexican Trio music with his father's long-time Bay Area based Trio Cardenal. And although still a novice, Jorge has recently undertaken the study of the Puerto Rican cuatro in homage to the rich musical history of his mother's native land.

B. Quincy Griffin: (Saxophone/Bandleader/Producer) Producer and Composer for Berkeley-based Random Cubes Productions specializes in creating music for film and is responsible for the majority of the production on O-Maya’s current CD. Quincy and Hector collaboratively form Griffin Pérez music and scored the film “Daughter From Danang” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003, and the HBO Documentary “My Flesh and Blood” which won the documentary audience award at Sundance 2003 and is on the 2004 academy award short list for “Best Documentary”. Quincy also recently scored the PBS film “Brother Outsider” (Sundance Film Festival 2003 official selection), multiple other film projects and is currently contributing mixes for the upcoming Crown City Rockers album. Further info available at


Hector Pérez: (Percussion, Vocals, Guitars, Samplers) Hailing from the prestigious Hamilton High Music Academyin Los Angeles, and born to a family of musicians, Hector's musical life was taking form at a very early age. As a teenage lead jazz trombonist, Pérez shared the stage with legends such as Henri Mancini, Dizzy Gillespie, and Doc Severinson. His professional career started at A&M Records assisting on sessions for top bill bands. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Pérez went on to become the chief recording engineer for UC Berkeley’s music department. In 1996, he was hired as a composer and sound designer for Michael Boyd Music, a national music production company. After four years of composing music for clients such as Coca Cola, Nike, Reebok, Levi's, and Chrysler, Hector was promoted to Creative Director of west-coast operations for MBM. With Oscar-nominated and Award winning films under his belt, Hector has since launched a new music company, Music Orange, in San Francisco, California. His eclectic and diverse musical compositions can be found on three albums of his former band MOX and on countless TV and radio commercials. Check him out at

Steve Hogan: (electric bass) - Born and raised in the Bay Area, Steve credits his parents - both musicians involved in world music - with exposing him and his brothers (also musicians) to a large variety of music from around the globe at an early age. In high school Steve began to study the bass seriously, and was quickly drawn to various latin styles as well as jazz and funk. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley, all the while developing his career as a gigging musician around the Bay Area and beyond. Some of the acts that Steve has performed with include: Goapele, The Coup, Zion-I, Heuman Flavor and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. In addition to O-Maya, Steve currently performs with Project Bridge (formerly Prophets of Rage) and latin-pop singer Victor Soleil. Steve also beatboxes (vocal percussion) with the all-body band Slammin'.

Bill Artola: (Keys, Accordion) This Nicaraguan born composer, teacher and graphic artist has performed with several Bay Area groups including Orquestra Borinquen, Wild Mango, Tierra Morena, Caña Roja, Mas Cabezas and Organic Creations. Bill also performs Café Milonga, a tango duo with Argentinean guitarist Marcelo Puig. Currently, Bill is a completing an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of the Pacific.

Valentino Pellizzer-Salgado:( drums) is a Northern California Native who has molded and refined his drumming style through his involvement with the world renowned Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and followed up with his studies at the New School for Social Reaserch's Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in New York. Valentino has performed with Zion-I, Takitha of WuTang and Money-B from Digital Underground, with local Jazz legend Ed Kelly, Robert Stewart, David Gilmore and Branford Marsalis, Pete Escovedo, Gino Blackwell (formerly with Parliament), and Nelson Braxton (Braxton Brothers). If you love good music, Keep your eyes, ears and potatoes peeled for Mr. Pellizzer-Salgado's future works.

Isaac Peña: (trumpet/vocals) is a trumpeter, guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer/arranger who has recently arrived to the Bay Area. Though originally a Californian, he spent many years in Austin, Texas where he was the bandleader of a couple locally renowned music ensembles: Trio Los Vigilantes, an acoustic trio singing boleros in 3-voice harmony; and Mambo Red, a cuban style salsa orchestra. In the 2 years since he has arrived in the Bay Area, he has made a name for himself as a musician playing with groups such as Omaya, La Familia, Project Bridge, The Dynatones, Mariachi Picante, and others.

David M. Flores: (Timbales) Drummer, percussionist & educator. For over 13 years David has shared his passion for music with elementary, high school and adult students. Not only has David had the opportunity to perform internationally, he has shared the stage with San Francisco’s foremost musicians including Mark Levine, Orestes Vilato, Jesus Diaz, John Santos, Peter Erskine, Mary Wells and Pete Escovedo. Constantly inspired by the talent that surrounds him, he continues to flourish, create and share his love of music.

Ali “Choco “Luna: (percussion) has been performing since he was ten years old. At fifteen Ali was playing with local Latin bands like Rice & beans Latin Jazz group and was also a member of Orquesta Pabon a salsa band and was a founding member of Grupo Guanina a folkloric Bomba collective. Ali has studied under Israel Pabon, Jorge Arce and Tito Ayala. His Styles range from Latin jazz, hip-hop, salsa and folkloric afro-Boricua Bomba and Plena. Currently Ali plays with such groups as Project Bridge a Puerto Rican hip- hop group and Son Borikua, a traditional bomba and plena ensemble. Ali is also the musical director for Grupo Paule. He has had the honors to share the stage with artist such as Edwin pabon, Chichito Cepeda, Ito Carrillo and John Santos.

O-MAYA has played at or is currently booked at such venues as The Great American Music Hall, The Getty Museum of Los Angeles, The Elbo Room, The Ashkenaz, Brunos, La Pena Cultural Center, The Velvet Lounge, Butterfly, The Last Day Saloon, The North Beach Jazz Festival, The San Francisco jazz Festival, Sacramento Heritage Festival, Roccopulco, California Plaza, The Temple Bar and more.

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