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01. El Moro
02. Tin Tin Deo
03. Ya Ya Bo
04. Obanlaese
05. Tabú
06. Lagrimas Negras
07. Mary Lou
08. Encantado

Taumbú: Congas, Bamboo Flute, Vocals, Percussion
Felicidad: Lead Vocals, Coro, Percussion
Phil Ranelin: Trombone
Michael Session: Tenor and Alto Saxophone
Steve Smith: Trumpet
Daniel Jackson: Tenor Saxophone
David Millard: Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Picallo, Flute
Johnny Polanco: Tres
Creg Fundyka: Marimbas, Vibraphone
Jeff Shelp: Piano, Bata
Jeff Littleton: Contra-Bass
Manny Silvera: Electric Bass
Skip Howlett: Timbales, Percussion
Harold Muñiz: Congas, Bongos, Bata, Perc, Coro
Beatric Muñiz: Perc, Coro
Jose Perico Hernandez: Vocals, Bomba, Percussion
Chana Smith: Coro
Imodoye Shabazz: Vocals, Prayer, Coro
Sarandonga: Vocals
Jaime Valenzuela: Percussion, Coro

Producer, Composer, Musician, Artist, Craftsman, Director and Originator of the Taumbu International Ensemble.
Taumbu is a native of Los Angeles and an international artist. He has over forty years in the music world performing and recording with numerous groups from many countries. It is from this rich accumulation of experiences (in folklore and jazz) that he has formed the exciting and exotic Taumbu International Ensemble. He produced and published the bands exciting CD Song to the Ancestors and their knew CD Encantado. [see music page]. Taumbu is also known internationally as an instrument maker and instructor. On our present website, we will feature him on some instructional videos on how to make and play bambu flutes and chekeres  [see workshop page]. Stop by the Taumbu Art Gallery and browse through his paintings and sketches.
Born from the ashes of the second world war,
raised in the urban jungle of south central Los Angeles,
this music is a testimony of our survival and
our struggle for a place in this world.

Thank you to the most high for this life
and the spirit world for guidance.
Also, a special thanks to all
the people who contributed their talent and creativity
to this endeavor.

Music in background from Phil Ranelin release "A Close Encounter of the Very Best Kind"
Phil Ranelin "I met Freddie Hubbard when we were both growing up in Indianapolis. We played in a grade school all city band together. Later on, I met Jimmy Spaulding, Larry Ridley and Melvin Rhyne. A couple of years later, Melvin introduced me to Wes Montgomery and I played with Wes, Melvin and Paul Parker at a club called the Hub Bub. Now that was school."
- Phil Ranelin

Phil Ranelin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana where he grew up under the influence of Wes Montgomery, Earmon Hubbard, Pookie Johnson, Willis Kirk, Jimmy Coe, and Melvin Rhyne.

Ranelin has studied and played with some of the most highly respected Jazz and classical educators in the business, including professors David N. Baker, Larry Ridley, Nathan Davis, Bunky Green, Dr. Louis Smith and Donald Byrd with whom in1976 he received the key to the city of Detroit. Ranelin's performance credits include: Norman Connors, Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wilson, Freddie Redd, Marcus Belgrave, Roy Brooks, Sarah Vaughan, Larry Gales, Tootie Heath and Freddie Hubbard with whom in 1981 he appeared on MISTRAL, Japan's #1 Jazz record of the year. As a leader, Ranelin has shared the bill with Les McCann, Leon Thomas, Stanley Clarke and McCoy Tyner.

Ranelin's discography is extensive. Recently Clint Eastwood produced MONTEREY JAZZ: 40 LEGENDARY YEARS (Warner Brothers 1997) which included Freddie Hubbard's 1980 performance featuring Ranelin on trombone. Another compilation featuring Joe Henderson, Eddie Harris, Eddie Henderson, Woody Shaw, Johnny Coles and Tom Harrell also features one of Ranelin's original compositions, "Ya Know What I Mean," the final cut from his latest CD. Currently Ranelin resides in Los Angeles and is proud to be a part of the great Jazz vortex emanating from the Leimert Park/Crenshaw district of South Central Los Angeles where he enjoys the trombone of choice seat in the Horace Tapscott Quintet, the Michael Session Sextet and Taumbu International Ensemble. He is also a founding member of the trombone choir collective, BoneSoir and Jazz Director of Caf‚ Americas, an innovative concept of a roving nite club. While maintaining an active performance schedule, Ranelin is currently focusing on developing an international performance season for his own group, The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble, and on securing a re-issue deal for his self-produced latest CD, A CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE VERY BEST KIND (Lifeforce, 1996).

01. Song to the Ancestors { Afro Jazz }     
02. Cabildo De Oya by Orestes Madraso { Afro Cuban }     
03. Little Desert Fairy Princess by Jesse Sharps { Afro Jazz }     
04. Mayambé by Taumbú { Afro Latin Jazz }     
05. Merci Bon Dieu by Franza Casseus { Haitian Folksong }     
06. Por Eso Canto by Taumbú { Salsa Jazz }     
07. Lito's Son by Emilio Perez { Bolero Son }     
08. Peace In The Middle East by Daniel Jackson { Afro Jazz }

Taumbú: Congas, Bambú Flute, Vocals, Percussion
Felicidad: Vocals, Percussion
Jesse Sharps: Soprano & Tenor Saxophone
Daniel Jackson: Tenor Saxophone, Picallo
Mike Turre: Tenor Saxophone
David Millard: Cello, Flute
Juanito Reyes: Trumpet
Sal Craciollo: Trumpet
Bobby Rodriques: Trumpet
Johnny Polanco: Tres
Guillermo Piñero: Guitar
Emlio Perez:  Piano
Gunner Biggs: Contra-Bass
Eddio Resto: Electric Bass
Harold Muñiz: Congas, Timbales, Bata Drums
Osvaldo Ocasio: Timbales, Ad-Lib Vocals
Ramon Banda: Timbales, Tap Drums
Raul Rivera: Bata Drums, Chekere, Percussion
Lazaro Galaraga: Ad-Lib Vocals
Chorus:   Ochun, Melena De Olga, Rachel Banda, Marina Bambino, Osvaldo

David Amper
David Amper David was born in East L.A. in 1951. He has has played piano his entire life. He began playing professional before he graduated from school. He studied piano with Eddie Cano. He is well versed in the music of Latin America as well as Popular and Jazz music. He has worked with most latin Jazz bands from the Los Angeles area. He has been working and traveling with Taumbú for three years.
Jeff Littleton
Jeff Littleton Jeff Littleton was born in Los Angeles California in 1950. He studied Contra-bass from High school. He became a professional at very young age, has traveled to Brazil, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada and etc. He is one of the most sought after bass players Living in Los Angeles. He has still been able to maintain his post in the Taumbú International Ensemble for the last ten years. Has worked with Nancy Wilson, Charles Loyd, Pharoah Saunders, Art Davis, Nate Morgan and etc. He is the featured bass player throughout the International Ensembles latest CD

Music in background from Micheal Session release "N' Session"
Micheal Session Born in South Central Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Ninety Third Street Elementary School, Mount Vernon Junior High and Los Angeles High. Grew up in the housing projects called the Avalon Gardens, with a lot of cool cats that use to gather at the youth center that was called the Teen Post. There he would listen to them play Jazz. Micheal was first exposed to Jazz listening to these friends and to his brother Jessie who played the clarinet. Micheal also listened to his brothers large record collection of Jazz. Michael remembers at the age of 18 he took his brothers clarinet out of the case and just began to play it without any formal instruction. After three months of playing the clarinet Michael was motivated to buy his own horn, which was a tenor sax.

He continued his education as a printer at Los Angeles Technical College in 1970, but he also continued to practice his sax. He went to listen to the players and also bought and studied thier records. In 1973 he attended Los Angeles City College and studied Music Fundementals, Theory, and Harmony. In 1974 he joined the Horace Tapscott Pan African Peoples Arkestra and the Horace Tapscott Quintet. Under the training of Horace, Micheals skills began to develope at an excellerating pace. He learned to write as well as to read music.

In 1979 Micheal joined the U.S. Army. He was transfered to Germany and there he served as a Mucisian in the Army Orchestra for three years. When he was discharged from the Army, he stayed in Europe where he started his own Jazz band and played around in other bands. He worked all over Europe and recorded with a number of European Jazz bands.

In 1987 he returned to the United States to Los Angeles and began to mix in with the American Jazz scene. He rejoined the Horace Tapscott Quintet, Quartet and Duo. He played with the Art Davis Quartet, Lester Robertson, John Carter, Billy Childs, Stanly Crouch, Sunship Theus, Bobby Bradford, Arthur Blythe, Teddy Edwards, Oscar Brashier, and Thurman Green.

Throughout the nineties he worked and traveled throughout Europe with Horace Tappscott. In 1992 he joined the Taumbú International Ensemble based in Los Angeles and has remained a prominent member ever since. He traveled with Taumbu to the Virgen Islands and to Can Cun and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In 1998, Horace Tappscott left us to play in the big orchestra in the sky and Micheal Session was chosen to carry on the legacy of the Pan African Peoples Arkestra. During the nineties he also produced his first C.D. "Micheal Session N' Session".

Mr. Session is Jazz endowed. He is an excellent Jazz saxophonist, who has mastered the alto, soprano and tenor saxophone. He is also a composer, arranger and a band leader.

Music in the background is from the Taumbú Release "Encantado"
Steve Smith Steven Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to South Central Los Angeles when he was five years old. He has become one of the predominant Jazz players in the Lemiert Park area which has been a breeding ground for some of the most excellent and world renown Jazz musicians in this century and country. He is a current member of the Michael Session Jazz Quintet and the Pan African Peoples Arkestra, as well as Bley Ambolay, and Micheal McDaniels Jazz Ensemble.

Steve has been a stable member of the Taumbú International Ensemble for ten years and can be heard on Taumbú's latest release "Encantado". He is being featured on the track "Mary Lou". Steve has also had a long history playing and traveling with such popular bands as Patty La Belle, Marvin Gay, and Bobby Womack.

He has asserted that Horace Tapscott was his greatest influence

Vocalist, Dancer
Chana Smith Chana Smith-Balloffet is a native of Detroit, Michigan, where she began studying dance at the age of 6. She moved to New York City at age 18 where she studied a variety of dance techniques including ballet, jazz, modern and West African. She was a member of Impulse Theatre and Dance Company and the Rod Rodgers Performing Ensemble. During this period, Ms. Smith-Balloffet took the time to obtain her B.A. in Anthropology from NYU and made the first of many future trips to Africa. After nearly a decade in New York, Ms. Smith-Balloffet relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies at UCLA.

She continued her artistic endeavors and became a founding member of several Los Angeles-based Afro-Brazilian dance and music groups. Among them are Grupo Afro-Bahia, Soul of Brasil Dance Company, and the Ballet Folclórico do Brasil with which Ms. Smith-Balloffet performed and toured for 6 years. Ms. Smith-Balloffet also performed and recorded in many languages (Spanish, Portuguese and French) as a background vocalist for numerous artists.

Her credits include Brazilian artist Katia Moraes' debut album, Ten Feet and the Sun and André Manga and Dumazz' "Mother Rhythm" released in 1998 on the Narada label. She is a featured vocalist on husband Franck Balloffet's release, Tea. Ms. Smith-Balloffet joined the Taumbú International Ensemble in 1995, and is featured as a background vocalist on their second release "Encantado". She is also Featured as a Dancer and singer on live performances


Especial Agradecimientos A Mi Socio *Rumbero Anonimo*