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Contemporary Latin Jazz


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. The name of their band and its self-titled album, members explain, is Spanish for "rhythm joint" or "joining point."

The former full-time musicians are now working part time as a band because, says drummer Chris Webster, "the D.C. jazz scene is dying." He adds, "Our music now is better than in '92, [when] we used to pack 300 people into Fleetwood's."

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.