Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band
"They deliver the Latin-inflected jazz gospel truth with sparkling radiance and explosive rhythmic flash." - DOWN BEAT
The Fort Apache Band, led by conga and trumpet player Jerry Gonzalez, has created an unparalleled synthesis of jazz and Afro-Cuban music. The New York Times states, "The sextet's music sounds evolutionary, the product of improvisation. Where much of Latin jazz features a jazz musician soloing over a Latin rhythm section, the Fort Apache Band has instead brought a jazz flexibility to the Latin rhythm section." And that rhythm is grounded by Andy Gonzalez, one of the strongest bassists playing today. Brothers Andy and Jerry have been playing professionally for more than 30 years, starting as teenagers playing in various Latin groups before Andy left to tour with Dizzy Gillespie.
They were reunited on the bandstand by Eddie Palmieri in 1971. The band has received two Grammy nominations (Pensativo, 1996 and Crossroads, 1995) and their first release, Rumba Para Monk was awarded the Jazz Record of the Year by the French Acadume du Jazz. In addition, the band has received Downbeat Awards for the Beyond Group of the Year in Downbeat's Readers Poll, 1995 and Critic's Poll in 1994 and 1995; World Beat Group in the Reader's Poll, 1990; and Jerry Gonzalez has been chosen as Percussionist of the Year and World Beat Artist of the Year, 1990. In addition to the Gonzalez brothers, the group includes Larry Willis, piano; Steve Berrios, drums; and John Stubblefield and Joe Ford, saxophones.
[text and photo quoted from web page at The Fermilab Arts Series]