The powerhouse orchestra of Colombian pianist, composer, and Folklore Urbano NYC artistic director Pablo Mayor.

Pablo Mayor redefined Colombian music with his first three albums, seamlessly fusing the danceable swing of traditional Colombian rhythms with the lush subtleties of contemporary jazz harmonies and unique arrangements.  Folklore Urbano Orchestra’s latest spectacle of music and dance celebrates the roots and traditions of Latin America. After launching his fourth album with sounds from NYC’s rich salsa history, versatile composer and pianist Pablo Mayor takes his band into new territories, crossing continents and cultures, blending sounds and dance from West Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and NYC with authenticity and flair only possible with the skill of this native Colombian “Caleño.” As band leader he is unmatched, with skills as jazz composer and arranger with Grammy credits on Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra album “Offense of the Drum,” a career as pianist with both the legendary Cuban charango Orquesta Broadway and the folkloric establishment Los Pleneros de la 21, with music recorded by Colombian’s most renowned folk singer Totó la Momponsina. The high energy show brings together Newyorican vocalists Jainardo Batista and Deborah Resto, Puerto Rican/Cuban percussionist Oreste Abrantes, Colombian maestro Nestor Gómez on percussion, and members of NYC’s elite jazz and Latin instrumentalists, with world-renowned modern, salsa and Colombian dancer Daniel Fetecua and partner.

The Folklore Urbano Orchestra and dancers have toured extensively, performing throughout Canada, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Colombia, and Pablo’s highly-acclaimed CD’s, Aviso, Baile/Dance, Corazón, and the newest El Barrio Project-SALSA, have been broadcast throughout the world. #GlobalMusicToUnifyeatured renowned jazz and traditional Colombian vocalists like Sofía Rei and Ronald Polo and a host of NYC’s elite Colombian folkloric and jazz artists.

Stay tuned for Pablo Mayor’s current production “El Barrio Project-CARIBE” which brings back Colombian sounds, as well as Cuban and Puerto Rican styles.

/Pablo Mayor’s fourth album, “El Barrio Project-SALSA” crosses cultural boundaries, taking his renowned band into the heart of NYC’s barrios (ethnic neighborhoods), the first collaboration with songwriter and Co-Executive Director Nick Chavarria.  Think “Folklore Urbano” in “Salsa” format, featuring Parisian/Beninese singer Laurent Hounsavi, vocalists Newyoricans Jainardo Batista and Deborah Resto, with Puerto Rican/Cuban percussionist Oreste Abrantes, Rubén Rodríguez on bass, and members of NYC’s elite jazz and Latin instrumentalists. 

“Black is Beautiful” from Folklore Urbano Orchestra’s El Barrio Project-SALSA album
Watch on YouTube

Pablo’s first highly-acclaimed CD’s, Aviso, Baile/Dance, and Corazón, have been broadcast throughout the World.

“…The twelve-member collective known as Folklore Urbano swings like a fine-tuned big band as it takes the roots of Colombian rhythms on a rollercoaster ride of sophisticated arrangements and liberating jazzy applications…Mayor…creates compelling music, full of textural complexity…” Rudy Mangual, Latin Beat Magazine, 

“…Folklore Urbano’s 12 members perform material that is authentic and refreshing, due in no small part to Mayor’s amazing way of synthesizing jazz with Colombian folkloric music, taking Latin music to an entirely new dimension” Vicky Sola, Latin Beat Magazine

“…Their CD Baile/Dance ranked among the top ten albums of 2005” World Music Central

“…Their first CD Aviso, featuring Andy Gonzales on bass, nominated as one of the top ten Latin music albums of 2003” Vicky Sola, Latin Beat Mag.

Photo on left courtesy of Harlem Stage, by Paula Lobo