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Jose Rizo

Updated: 10/7/2017 07:08

Jose Rizo
Jazz on the Latin Side
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Jose Rizo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Oxnard, California. He played trumpet in high school, but it was not until he was a student at U.C. Santa Barbara that he developed his passion for jazz. In the late 70's, Jose was the founder of "Radio Chicano", a student and community broadcasting organization based on the Santa Barbara campus at KCSB, where he served as program director for two years. His Sunday night show at KCSB was called "Barrio Salsoul", where he explored latin-jazz music and salsa. In 1975, Jose also hosted the weekly music/public affairs radio show "La Vos de la Raza" at Santa Barbara's top-40 radio station KIST. As a UCSB student, Jose produced the yearly Cinco de Mayo Dance Concerts, where he began to work with such artists as Poncho Sanchez and Los Lobos.

Rizo began hosting "Jazz on the Latin Side" on KLON (now KJazz) on January 6, 1990. He was intricately involved on KLON's "Latin Jazz Club Caravans" and served as a member of the Grammy's Screening committee for Latin Jazz. He was also the artistic director of the Luckman Fine Arts Latin Jazz Concert Series, where he worked with Eddie Palmieri, Poncho Sanchez, Dianne Reeves, Jerry Gonzalez, David Sanchez", Ozomatli, Los Lobos, Giovanni Hidalgo, and many others. Jose also founded the memorable KJazz High School Jazz Festival".

Jose has been involved with the "Central Avenue Jazz Festival" since its inception. For the last 10 years, he has served as the festival's artistic director, sharing those duties in the past with Buddy Collette and Teddy Edwards. The "Central Avenue Jazz Festival" focuses on showcasing great Los Angeles-based jazz musicians like Gerald Wilson, Barbara Morrison, Ernie Andrews, Poncho Sanchez, Anthony Wilson, and Carmen Lundy.

The "Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars" is a power-house Latin jazz ensemble founded and led by Jose Rizo. The "Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars" was formed a few months after a jam session at B.B. King's, celebrating 10 years of "Jazz on the Latin Side" on KJazz in January of 2000. This group has recorded two Jazz Week-top 10 CDs, "The Last Bullfighter" and "Tambolero", on the Saungu Record label. Ensemble members include luminaries like Justo Almario, Danilo Lozano, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Francisco Aguabella, Alex Acuna, Poncho Sanchez, Gilbert Castellanos, and many others. They have performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Yoshi's, The Greek Theatre and at all the top local jazz venues.

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