Twelve Tales from
The Mambo Surfers share the joy of creating original, eclectic music which they call 'world rhythm jazz folk'. Their wide reach is influenced by styles such as rock, bluegrass, Piedmont (finger-style) blues, 'hot' gypsy jazz, Latin, Andean cantos and folk music. They are multi-lingual and each member is multi-instrumental. Ron 'Rojo' Jones, of Hochungara descent, is a luthier (guitar builder/repairer) and contributes Native American soul and tradition to the bands' sound. He plays steel slide, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, harmonica and mandolin, and his clear baritone delivers songs with emotive authority. Rojo also plays with the Native American duo, Acoustic Warriors. Saji Villoth, originally from southern India, is constantly introducing new ideas and sounds that challenge the group to experiment with new instruments. He brings Middle Eastern lore and sensibilities to the music and currently plays 6 and 12 string guitars, bass, charango (an Andian stringed instrument), banjo, flute, foot bells and sings. His ambition is to write at least one song in each of the 20 major languages. The Mambo Surfers currently perform songs in Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Malayalam and German. Finally, multi-talented percussionist Bo Johnson adds spicy beats to the trio. Bo is also a seasoned actor and comedian, inserting his humorous side at every opportunity. Additionally, he works with the Dead Alewives improv comedy troupe, the Screaming Penguins theater group (as well as other Wisconsin theater groups), and plays with the band Random Maxx. The band's world roots bring a strong social consciousness to everything they perform and makes them a thoughtful and highly unique crew. About their just released CD, 'twelve tales from', Jim Donovan, the drummer from Rusted Root, has this to say - 'Very cool stuff! Kinda reminds me of the Jerry Garcia Band. I especially like the instrumentals.' Winners: WAMI 2000 'Best Ethnic/World Group' Nominees: WAMI 2001 'Best Ethnic/World Group'
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