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Contemporary Latin Jazz


The Washington Post - Friday, June 27, 1997
By Mike Joyce

...unlike most of what passes for easy-listening jazz these days, it's surprisingly fresh and colorful. ...It isn't everyday, after all, that one encounters a band that draws inspiration freely and equally from pop, jazz and Afro-Cuban sources, or that adjusts the size of the ensemble to meet its musical needs. ...Teegarden, Ridgway and Webster have their moments as players too, though in the end their biggest contributions to the album come as writers who share a fondness for ignoring stylistic boundaries. Read the complete review...


The Daily News - * Critic's * Choice *
By David Hinkley

...worth the attention of fans from all over the spectrum ...Ritmojunction is a trio out of Washington DC, and they salute the town in tunes like "G'town Groove" and "18th Street Cha Cha." Read the complete review...


Electronic Musician - RHYTHM SPACE
By Diane Lowery

With a nod to legendary percussionists Machito and Tito Puente, Ritmo Junction features some awesome groovers and shakers on its new album, Ritmo Junction. Read the complete review...


The Washington Times - Arts Section
Sunday, February 8, 1998
Sounds that go jump in the night - and 10 bands playing them
by Shira Levine

The seven members of the Latin jazz band Ritmo Junction have played together for nine years.

Ritmo Junction brings in a large mix of baby boomers and Generation Xers. Mr. Webster, pianist Stuart Ridgway and guitarist Rob Teegarden studied jazz in college, where they discovered Afro-Cuban music.

Ritmo Junction has been nominated for a number of jazz and Latino Wammies and for other awards. Read the complete review...


DC Music Web
by Grant Moser

Do you know the feeling when you are so excited about something you can't wait to share it with someone, anyone? When you can't help smiling and feeling like weights are being lifted off of you? When I walked out of Latin Jazz Alley on Columbia Rd. in Adams Morgan late Friday night, that is how I felt.

I had just seen Ritmo Junction perform, a Latin jazz band. I don't know if perform is the right word. Perhaps inspire, move, invigorate would be a better choice. The sound and life they created in that small environment was unbelievable. Their talent is obvious, the solid jazz musicians they are shining through. With the band sitting at the front of the long narrow bar, the music came barreling down at the audience, wrapping around and sweeping you up and entrancing all.

...While we were there, a few musicians they knew jumped up with them and joined them in the music. Ritmo Junction was very receptive, enjoying the comadreship. Apparently due to certain basic rules in Latin music, if you know the guidelines you can jump in no problem with anyone playing it. The band told me it happens often while they play live.

And it is playing live where their true talents are released. Experimentation and improvisation are such an intregal part of their show. They don't try to suppress it at all. If one of the members begins going off and getting on something, the band lets him go, learning and enjoying and supporting him all at the same time.

That enjoyment carries across the most of all. When you are in the room with them and the passion they play with is there in front of you, you cannot help but be touched by the music.

...Inside the simple structure that hooks you there is a complexity that is challenging to the musician. And it is fun. Audiences love it. You can't help it. Read the complete review...


Journal Newspapers - LISTEN UP
By Louis King

Three suburban-looking white guys start a jazz band called Ritmo Junction, claiming to base their songs on "authentic Cuban rhythms." Could this be some kind of salsified Spinal Tap, or are these guys for real? Well, one listen to the Maryland-based group's debut, self-titled effort ought to convince even the most skeptical of the latter.

...Marshall Keys, Tim Eyermann, Frankie Addison, David Sanchez, Larry Seals, Tom Williams and Brian Lynch all lend their talents to various outstanding cuts on the disc, with Addison's soprano saxophone on the funky "You'd Think" and Lynch's trumpet on "La Taberna" two of the most noteworthy. In perhaps the ultimate testament to Ritmo Junction's networking prowess, Spyro Gyra bassist Scott Ambush provides the bottom line on every cut but one.

For the record, the last song, "Pocket Change," is a trio-only snippet that proves the band can be-bop on command, and isn't a one-trick pony. Combined with the informative and not overly scholarly liner notes, the 14 songs on Ritmo Junction's debut should provide a nice primer for anyone who's wanted to head to an all-nighter in Adams Morgan but didn't know where to begin. Read the complete review...


Middletown Music
By Dan Williams

It was a cozy winter night when Ritmo hit the stage in Columbia. It was almost as if you'd spent the day skiing and the band was there to wrap up another perfect day. The club was packed with a very attentive crowd that did not leave until the show was over. The food was good, but they were definitely there for the band. Read the complete review...

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