Río Negro - Latin Music at It's Finest


Latin Percussion

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Río Negro - Latin Music at It's Finest

Meet the Musicians

In his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", Langston Hughes wrote, "My soul has grown deep like the rivers." From this beautiful poem comes the name Río Negro pronounced REEOO NAYGRO. Río Negro, a name given to the group by Broderick Santiago, means "Black River" in Spanish. More specifically, the name refers to a group of outstanding musicians who for more than eight years have played all around the world as Latin music ambassadors.

Percussion>> Broderick Santiago [broderick@rionegromusic.com], a native of New York, is the rythmic foundation of Río Negro. As a seasoned percussionist, Santiago has shared the stage with several great musicians including Giovanni Hidalgo, Myra Casales, Patato Valdés, Jimmy Delgado, Jonathan Butler, and others. As a music educator and a dance instructor, Santiago strives to educate people about the African roots prevalent in Latin music. Most recently, Santiago performed on the soundtrack to the HBO hit movie, Lackawanna Blues. Santiago is currently the bandleader of Río Negro.

Piano/Bass>> Kevin "Quino" Johnson [kevin@rionegromusic.com], raised in Boston, Massachusetts, comes from a musically talented family. He is encouraged by his older brother Richard Doron Johnson who plays jazz piano for Wynton Marsalis among others and his father who plays piano in church. While spending time in Spain and the Dominican Republic, Johnson studied music and developed his progressive writing style. He has shared the stage with such moguls as Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Agustín Díaz de los Muñeuqitos de Matanza, Jon Faddis, Antonio Hart, and George Bohannan. Surrounding himself with music of all forms, especially Latin and Caribbean influences, he uses his music as a means of expression, fusing the old with the new and the unexplored. Johnson is currently the musical director of Río Negro.

Drums/Percussion>> Joey Gonzales [joey@rionegromusic.com]

Trumpet>> Melvin Jones [melvin@rionegromusic.com]

Bass>> Eddie Cruz [eddie@rionegromusic.com]

Timbales>> Henry Velasquez [henry@rionegromusic.com]

Alto Saxophone/Flute>> Oliver Santana [oliver@rionegromusic.com]

Río Negro recently played for President Bill Clinton and national political dignitaries. The fundraiser included guests Nancy Pelosi, Rep. John Lewis, former CEO of Home Depot and Atlanta Falcon's owner Arthur Blank, Rep. Steny Hoyer and others. In the words of President Clinton himself: "You all sound great!" Thanks, Mr. President.

»  Lackawanna Blues, the HBO hit movie, featured Río Negro percussionist, Broderick Santiago, on the soundtrack.

»  Río Negro's next album will be released in 2019.

Río Negro has been quite busy. We enjoy performing for our fans and organizations. Check out some recent major performances below.

>  Aqua Vino - The Georgia Aquarium's Annual Fundraiser - Atlanta, Georgia

>  Atlanta Medical Hospital Health Fair - Atlanta, Georgia

>  Harvest Midtown Festival - Atlanta, Georgia

>  The Annual GRACE Awards - Georgia Restaurant Association - Atlanta, Georgia

>  Atlanta Jazz Festival - Atlanta, Georgia

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