COMBO SABROSO / LOS 3
COMBO SABROSO (”tasty” combo) presents soul cleansing LATIN DANCE MUSIC and REGGAE! Lead by pianist Matt Jenson, the 3-7 piece group is committed to the hard hitting ’salsa dura’ sound of the 1970’s playing hits from the likes of Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Oscar D’leon, Sonora Poncena and also known for their inspired salsa arrangements of American R&B hits from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Santana. The group will then turn on a dime and hit you with reggae versions of massive pop hits by artists such as Elton John, Steve Miller, the Police. This combination of Salsa and Reggae is quite infectious and you will find yourself never wanting to leave the dance floor!
Take note: Sometimes we appear in a smaller format (as a trio or quartet) calling ourselves either “Los Three” or “Los Four”. It’s the same Afro-Cuban and reggae mash-up!
The group was formed during the summer of 1998 when band leader, pianist/vocalist, Matt Jenson, then living in Portsmouth, NH, made a decision to pursue a much deeper understanding of Afro-Cuban music. He assembled the best Latino musicians he could find in Boston, landed a weekly gig for the group and thus began a life-long love affair. Later, Matt saw no reason to separate Latin styles from his other musical love, reggae, and the rest is....history.
Combo Sabroso lists as their main influences the ensembles of Latin piano icon Eddie Palmieri (in fact Jenson studied with Palmieri), the grand percussionist Tito Puente and Bob Marley. (Matt also teaches a smash hit class on Marley at Berklee College of Music.) They follow in the tradition of these venerated maestros by incorporating their formula of layering exciting jazz solos over relentless, energetic dance rhythms. Their repertoire includes compositions that range in style from Cha Cha to Danzon, from Bolero to Salsa, from Latin jazz to Plena, and the one drop reggae riddim.
Combo Sabroso features, from Costa Rica, MANOLO MAIRENA, a well-known percussionist and singer who has performed internationally with La Timba Loca, the Latin Party Boys, pianist Rafael Alcala and leads his own group Curabande. On drum set and vocals is DAVID RIVERA, a Berklee College grad from Puerto Rico who plays with Mango Blue, Eugie Castrillo’s “Mambo Kings” orchestra, bassist Oscar Stagnaro and many more. Also on drumset from time to time is SEAN SKEETE, assistant chair of the ensemble department at Berkleee College of music with deep roots in Caribbean music. Performing on timbales and vocals is PABLO BENCID from Caracas, Venezuela. Pablo has been building his local, regional and international reputation as an exceptional percussionist and drummer performing with Gonzalo Grau (La Clave Secreta), the Either Orchestra, and European tour with the Lebeque sisters. Ecuadorian bassist and singer ALEX ALVEAR, is also an anchor of the Latin music scene in Boston and NYC and is known for his organic and infectious tumbao (groove) and amazing vocal work. He leads his own group, Mango Blue and has performed with many internationally known Latin artists including Paquito D’Rivera. Also on bass from time to time is WINSTON MACCOW from the island of Saint Marten. He teaches at Berklee and brings a heavy reggae foundation to the Combo Sabroso sound. On horns, Combo Sabroso presents trombonist ANGEL SUBERO and saxophonist MATT LANGLEY. Angel is an internationally known classical bass trombonist who has performed with nearly every major symphony in the world, and moonlights as an energetic (to say the least!) Salsa and Latin Jazz trombonist. Matt Langley’s relentless and soulful tenor playing is well-known throughout New England and especially in his recorded work with the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet is sublime.
At any one performance you may see a cross-section of the core band members listed above and:
Bebo Rodriguez – percussion, vocals
Edmar Colon - saxophones
Jeff Galindo – trombone
Squantch – trombone
Scott Flyn – trombone
Tim Mayer – saxophone, flute
Mondongo – trombone
Oscar Stagnaro – bass
Ernesto Diaz – congas, timbales
Paulo Stagnaro – percussion
Kalani Trinidad – flute, vocals
Karina Colis – timbales, vocals
Gabriel Lugo – percussion
Yaure Muniz – trumpet
Carlos Deleon – trumpet
Carlos Averoff – tenor sax
Woody Allen (not the film maker) - guitar
Van Martin - guitar
LOVE FOR COMBO SABROSO!
I hired Combo Sabroso for my birthday party a few years ago and have continued to hire them for many events. They are an extremely professional group of VERY talented musicians and their sound is huge due to the full and creative arrangements, including great vocal harmonies, of famous pop songs. I love Latin (i.e. Salsa) and reggae and they absolutely nail these two genre’s. They play for the love of music and that really shows when you see them play. I would highly recommend hiring them for any type of event.
-Michael Feldman, President and CEO, Harry R. Feldeman INC
As General Manager of Masa restaurant in Boston's South End, I have had the pleasure of working with the band's members and experiencing the sounds of Los Four every week. Their funky reggae interpretations of major pop hits, personal renditions of classics and Salsa/Latin favorites draws a listening crowd who inevitably cannot resist getting up and dancing in the aisles! A genuine enthusiasm from the crowd fills the room each time the band plays. Professionally, they are courteous, on time and attentive to the crowd's requests and vibe. Three cheers for LOS FOUR!
-Erin Surprenant, General Manager of Masa restaurant (Boston location)
Thanks to the incredible music of Combo Sabroso, my organization puts on a fundraiser every year that is wildly popular. People come to the Caribbean Nights Dance Party because it's a great night out, with super dancing and really, really good music. And meanwhile they are supporting a school in Haiti. It is wonderful that our event draws people not just to support a cause, but because they will have an absolutely fantastic evening listening to the kid of Latin and reggae vibes as good as you can find in New Englan and beyond.
-Amy Miller, director of Life and Hope Haiti
I have had the pleasure of working with Matt and Combo Sabroso for almost five years now. It is always amazing to me that no matter what the setting or who is in the audience, they find a way to totally enthrall the listeners. If I could have a "house band" to travel with me to all of our events, it would be Combo Sabroso.
-Chris Farris, Executive Vice President, Michael P. Wasserman, Inc.