-One cannot talk about Colombian music these days without referencing Pablo Mayor. One of the contemporary voices of Colombia outside its borders, Pablo has dedicated the last seventeen years to writing, producing, and promoting Colombian music in New York City. From Cali, Colombia, Pablo Mayor (B.A., M.A. Jazz Arranging/University of North Texas), formerly Professor of Jazz—Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, has produced three CD’s with his band the Folklore Urbano Orchestra and taken the band to both national and international venues. Mayor’s music has been featured by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (annual commissions over the past four years, his Colombian porro Mercado en Domingo recorded on ALJO’s Grammy award-winning album released 2014 Offense of the Drum), and his arrangements recorded by Totó la Momposina. He is founder and producer of NYC’s annual 14-year running Colombian music festival Encuentro NYC. He now works out of the South Bronx, at ArtsLatinoNY, a multi-disciplinary alliance of ID Studio Theater and Pajarillo Pinta’o dance company, where he teaches and has a recording studio to record live music in the space.
“Pablo Mayor is the prototype musician of the future. He is a craftsman informed in the traditions and techniques of the very best that American jazz education offers but is committed to filtering this skill through the amazing colors of his indigenous culture. In this sense, he follows in the traditions of all great composers, expanding the palette of an art form by opening it up to the larger planet and its vast array of possibilities. He does this with the skill of a master, with the humor of a poet, and the vision of an explorer. I am thrilled to perform his compositions and honored by his friendship.”-Pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O’Farrill, founder/Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and director/ Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in Westchester Magazine Oct. /2014
As composer, Pablo Mayor was commissioned to write for symphony orchestra on the political event based on Jorge Eliécer Gaitán and the event known as “El Bogotazo” , commissioned by Multicultural Music Group, which was premiered in NYC in June 2014. As resident composer of ID Studio Theatre Performance and Research Center (director German Jaramillo), various works were premiered at Colombia’s Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá, in 2012, and his music heard in the following live theatre productions since 2004: Pais en Bicicleta; El Cruce Sobre el Niagra; A Clear Midnight; El Patio; El Pesebre; Guadalupe-Años Sin Cuenta (in conjunction with artist Omar Rayo); a trilogy of Juan Rulfo that includes El Paso del Norte, Diles que no me Maten, and the Foolish Disciple; Allende: The Death of a President; among others, altogether featuring more than eighty original musical works.
-Former pianist and arranger for the 50-year old Cuban charanga band Orquesta Broadway, Mayor’s arrangements and piano-playing are featured on the band’s forty-year celebration CD, and his piano playing and arrangements were featured in their 50th anniversary concert at Lincoln Center.
-As an educator, Mayor held the position of Performing Arts, Jazz and Colombian Music Coordinator at the Harbor Conservatory in Harlem until 2016, where he served as the Harbor’s representative to the Berklee City Network, a certified “Pulse” instructor, and was on the national Berklee Summit committee which organized the national Berklee City Network conference in NYC in 2015. Pablo is currently working on a project in conjunction with Berklee City Network’s Pulse Latino program, writing and producing music to teach students how to learn Latin American styles. He has been training teachers in Colombia, and will be traveling to various countries in South America including Chile in January. His highly acclaimed Latin ensemble was featured at the Berklee City Network Summit in NYC in November 2015. As Latin jazz ensemble director and Latin piano professor, he worked educating the Harlem community (adults and youth) for over 16 years. He is co-founder, co-artistic director, and musical director of Folklore Urbano’s program Cumbia for Kids and Cumbia for All and is co-director of Turtle Bay Music School’s annual Colombian music and dance residency at multiple schools in NYC, with whom he also has worked teaching composition in their Saturday Music Program. Mr. Mayor worked closely for many years with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, co-founder of its Community Cultural Initiative project FolkColombia-Música y Danza and co-producer of FolkColombia en el Parque. He has been a part of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections and Neighborhood Concerts programs, and has taught jazz arranging at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory. Mr. Mayor has produced and arranged for musicians, such as Totó La Momposina and Armando Manzanero, in Dallas, New York, Colombia, Chicago, and Mexico.