Zongo All-Stars has been lighting up dance floors all over the Central Coast with with our unique blend of Afro-Latin / Afro-Caribbean / Funk / Reggae / Calypso music that we like to call "CaliCubano". The foundation starts with the drums. Then add in congas, timbales, and other percussion. To round out the ryhthm section, add in top talent on electric bass & electric guitar. Melodic elements come from a strong horn section, featuring trumpet, alto, tenor, and bari saxes, flutes, and the sweet sound of the steel drum transporting you straight to the Caribbean for a hot, fun, and exciting music & dance experience!
The Zongo players have been making music together under different groups for over 20 years! Most notably, 6 of the 7 players were in Mozaic, the very popular Central Coast Afro-Funk band back in the early 90's. After the breakup of Mozaic, the horn section (Andrew Wise - sax/flute and Paul Irving - trumpet) got together and developed over 50 of Andrew's original compostions. Bass player Dylan Johnson went on to study music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and then received his masters in jazz studies from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Guitarist Jacob Odell also went to Berklee for his bachelors in jazz studies. Drummer Jennings Jacobsen went on to tour professionally with Rock Steady Posse and then with Damon Castillo Band. Justin Perkins kept on developing his percussion & steel drum skills playing with various groups.
A decade later, Dylan decided to come back to the Central Coast from New York. Hearing the news, Paul and Andrew invited him to help launch the new group. He accepted. Jacob and Justin were also interested. Drummer Sean Sullivan was pulled in, as was John Lee, a multi-instrumentalist with a masters in Latin Jazz. The group quickly put it all together and opened up the beautiful Back Bay Inn Garden concert venue for the Baywood Park Oktoberfest in 2007 for it 1st of many great shows to follow. After a couple of years, Sean went on to pursue other interests, and Jennings rejoined the group. That's the story & we're sticking to it!
Zongo All-Stars is now a Central Coast staple in the live music & fun business, playing at select outdoor festivals, concert houses, corporate events, weddings, and other private parties. Please join us for one of our upcoming events, and please contact us to explore working together to make your next event one to remember!
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- Andrew Wise: Alto Saxophone, Wood & Bamboo Flutes
- Paul Irving: Trumpet
- Dylan Johnson: Bass
- Jacob Odell: Guitar
- Jennings Jacobsen: Drum Kit
- Justin Perkins: Percussion / Steel Drums
- John Lee: Percussion / Flute / Tenor & Baritone Saxophones