Berardo “Chacho” Ramirez, co-leader of La Banda Ramirez, has toured and performed with such greats as Ahmad Jamal, Jymie Merritt, Hal Galper, Lee Wiley, Jose Fajardo, Babatunde Olatunji, Bill Jacobs, and Alex Blake. He has recorded with the Ron Gill Group, Richie Vitale, Bill Jacobs, Alex Blake and Sweet Plantain Quartet. Commissioned by the New York State Council on the Arts to write his “Nubia Suite,” his compositions have been performed by Sweet Plantain String Quartet, the Hofstra University Percussion Ensemble, and others. He has taught in workshops, drum clinics and Master Classes alongside Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Joe Morello, Bernard Purdie, and Jim Chapin. He wrote a guide on the history of salsa music for use by public school teachers. Chacho and his wife Carolyn Steinberg formed La Banda Ramirez in 2013.
Jack Glottman studied music in his native Colombia and then in Israel. He has performed with touring jazz artists Louis Hayes, Eddie Marshall, Walter Blanding, Eric Alexander and Miles Griffith, Christian McBride, Ron Blake, and Wes Anderson. Holding artist residencies at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at the Steans Institute for Young Artists in Ravinia, Illinois, Jack moved to New York City in 2003, where he pursued jazz studies at the New School. An active freelancer in the New York City jazz and Latin scenes, he has worked regularly with La Banda Ramirez since 2015, and other groups, including vocalist Melissa Walker, trombonist Rafi Malkiel, and “Grupo Cachimba,” playing at venues such as Fat Cat/Cellar Dogs, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz Standard, Sweet Rhythm, Lenox Lounge, Paris Blues, and Smalls. Mr. Glottman's compositions and arrangements are featured on two independently produced CD's, and are included in the music collective entitled "Migrant Workers." On our "Cuban Butterflies" release, the song "Si tu vieras con mis ojos" was composed by Jack, with lyrics by his sister, Dora Glottman.
Michael O'Brien, bassist, composer, and co-producer of La Banda Ramirez's "Cuban Butterflies" album, studied bass with Anthony Cox, and West African and Haitian percussion with Marc Anderson. For two decades, he has been performing internationally with such notables as Harry Connick Jr., Ruben Blades, The Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Gene Pitney, Dave Samuels, Pablo Ziegler, Steve Wilson, Victor Lewis, Gene Jackson, Portinho, Ted Nash, and many others, at festivals and workshops at Lincoln Center, Jazz Educators conferences, and concert performance in many countries, including Russia, Belarus, Haiti, Mexico, Norway, Ukraine, Japan, and others. A busy freelancer and studio musician in New York City, Michael has been working with La Banda Ramirez since 2014.
Carolyn Steinberg Ramirez, flutist, composer, arranger, and producer, is co-leader of La Banda Ramirez. Her repertoire ranges from European classical and contemporary music to Cuban, Latin jazz and salsa. She studied music composition in Siena, Italy, and Freiburg, Germany, where she also taught ear training at the Freiburg Musikhochshule, and earned her Bachelor's degree in music theory at North Texas State, Masters in composition at Manhattan School of Music, associate diploma at the Freiburg Musikhochschule, and doctoral degree in music composition from The Juilliard School. Awarded the Goddard Lieberson prize of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1989. La Banda Ramirez plays many of her arrangements of salsa and Latin jazz covers, as well as originals. The tunes "Yambú for Two" and "2020" on the "Cuban Butterflies" release are among her many compositions.