Apr 27, 2013 - Live Cinco De Mayo Celebration this Sunday

Live Cinco De Mayo Celebration this Sunday

Grupo Salsabor and Mundi Live Headlining at the Jazz Depot


            The bands Grupo Salsabor and Mundi Live, along with a performance by members of the Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theater, headline an expanded Sunday evening Cinco de Mayo celebration at Tulsa’s Jazz Depot. While the regular Spring Concert Series concerts begin at 5 p.m. and end around 7 p.m., this event offers patrons a

double helping of live music. Plans call for Grupo Salsabor to begin at 5 p.m., followed by the Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theater presentation, leading into a 7 p.m. performance by Mundi Live.

            “We want people to come on out and check out the music and the good vibes and the multicultural presentation focusing on Hispanic and Latino cultures here in Tulsa,” says musician Tim Shadley. “It’s going to be a great concert.”

            He should know, since he works with both of the bands. In fact, Shadley has been playing piano with many of the members of Grupo Salsabor.“Eight members of the band started with Salsa Rhythm Project,” he explains.

            “Tom Shannon is the saxophone player and the spiritual leader, who also does most of the arranging for the band,” adds Shadley. “He’s been with the group the longest. He brought me in all those years ago. Frankie Ramirez, our vocalist, has been with the group pretty much from the beginning, too.  And Willie Conde, on congas, is a founding member. He also played with Spectrum, [the late saxophonist] Earl Clark’s band.”

            Grupo Salsabor also includes Dave Johnson on trumpet, Rich Fisher on trombone, Jimmy “Sugar Bear” Loftin on bass, and John Dellavedova on timbales.

            “These guys are veterans,” says Shadley. “They’ve played with everybody. Rich Fisher has a resume that’s a mile long,”

            In addition to the impressive musical credentials held by its members, Grupo Salsabor boasts another distinguishing characteristic: according to Shadley, it’s the only salsa group in Oklahoma that performs completely live.

            “Some bands play karaoke style, with [recorded] tracks,” he explains. “You’ll hear pianos in the background, but you won’t see a keyboard player on stage. The same thing with horns.  But we do everything fully live.”

            While the groups are switching out on stage – with Shadley moving from piano to trombone -- the Jazz Depot audience will be entertained by the Tulsa Folkloric Theater. Shadley says there may be presentations from other groups as well.

            Then, at 7 p.m., it’s headliner Mundi Live – which, like Grupo Salsabor, has its roots in another Tulsa-based band. In this case, it’s the aggregation known as Citizen Mundi, which first came along in 2004. Citizen Mundi was generally perceived as a world-music group, but Shadley says the band fits perfectly into a Cinco de Mayo concert.

            “Founding member Jean-Michael Balaguer doesn’t live in the United States any more; he’s living in Africa.” Shadley notes.

            “The group had broken apart four or five years ago. They just recently were able to re-form, and decided to start playing. I’m not one of the original members, but I’m part of the group now.”

            “We’ve been rehearsing, and we’ve got a show together. We’ve done one other show, down on 18th and Boston, and it was a huge success.”

            Shadley says that the event will assit in supporting many of the Jazz Hall’s programs, such as our Latin jazz camp to be held this summer as a project of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. It’s designed to offer students a chance to study the genre’s traditions and the instruments used in playing its music. 

             This special Cinco de Mayo concert is set to begin at 5p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St.  Tickets can be purchased at the depot, from, or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-281-1008. General admission is $15, reserved table seating $20. Seniors and Jazz Hall members are admitted for $10, and high school and junior high students for $5.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

            The event is a part of the Jazz Hall’s Spring Concert Series.

            The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.