The vibraphone-centric format echoes the sounds of an era of Latin Music where big bands gave way over time to smaller and hipper club-sized ensembles. The smoothness of the vibraphone embraces the intimacy of a compact group that connects with its surroundings in small clubs where dancers are very close to the stage. Swing is “king,” in these settings, and VibraSÓN glorifies the tightness of a band made up of percussion instruments, adding to the vocal character of modern songs.
The band was founded by Jake Jacobs, a Salsa dancer/instructor in the Bay Area for over 20 years, whose father was a pianist and whose uncle played xylophone/vibes. Veteran musicians Marco Diaz on piano, Saúl Sierra on bass, along with experienced percussionists Carlos Caro and Julio Perez bring a crew of players long seasoned in diverse styles of Latin music. Vibraphonist Charlie Barreda was heavily influenced by Cal Tjader, a Bay Area legend and role model for many generations of Latin players. Multi-percussionist Christian Pepin, from a legendary musical family in New York, gives a contemporary sound to the rhythm section. Manny Martinez sings with the band, coming from a rich musical history of performing legendary salsa songs. Luis Morales, with a rich past singing salsa, R&B and alternative rock, rounds out the group.
VibraSÓN collaborates with other top Bay Area maestros including Edgardo Cambon, who has been producing great music for over 30 years in the Bay Area through his band Candela; Erick Peralta, an amazing young pianist from the Berklee College of Music and vocalists Christelle Durandy, Juan Luis Perez, and Orlando Toriente. Other contributors include Santana percussionist and native Bay Area legend Karl Perazzo, bassist Steve Herrera, vocalist Carlos Xavier, bassist Ernesto Mazar Kindelan, and Dan Neville, a fantastic young new vibes artist.
Since VibraSON’s debut in November 2013, they’ve played numerous shows around the Bay area, including performances to audiences of thousands for the Redwood City Salsa Festival, the San Francisco International Salsa Festival, opening for the legendary Tito Rojas, and the Bay Area Latin Jazz Festival. They appeared weekly at the long-running Latin Vibe Tuesdays/Thursdays event at the beautiful Bar Fluxus in San Francisco for just under 4 years.
Like to dance? Be sure to check out VibraSÓN’s salsa set on Saturday, August 12 at 6pm at the Latin Tropical Stage.