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Ramírez, Humberto

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Humberto Ramírez has graced the Latin jazz scene with his talent as a musician (trumpet and flugelhorn), composer and arranger, since his professional debut as trumpeter with Willie Rosario.

He went on as a producer for such well known artists as Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tony Vega. His work earned him a contract as a solo artist.

Leading a band called “Jazz Project”, Ramírez impressed the critics around the world with his debut recording, Jazz Project released in 1992. He followed up the very next year with the release of Aspects, which also won wide praise and expected stardom.

His third album on the Tropi-Jazz label, Portrait of a Stranger was released in 1996, helped secure his spot as a leading artist in the crowded and competitive latin jazz genre. Some critics even put his name up in the ranks of jazz greats, such as the Jazz Times which said that Ramírez “..has a mature tasteful sound, that evokes Miles Davis..”. Ramírez composed 8 of the 12 tracks on the album, including the superlative work in “Un Tipo con Suerte”.

The “sound” the critics referred to, has ranged from straight jazz, to jazz with the unequivocal Latin influence of afro-caribbean rhythms, to boleros. a span of genres and styles that demonstrate his great talent. That wide span of interest and talent is also evident in the various artists that Ramírez has collaborated with over the years, such as salsa sensation Marc Anthony, the venerable mambo king, Tito Puente, Cuban jazz great, Paquito D’Rivera, the versatile Jose Feliciano and merengue star, Olga Tañon.

Ramirez also worked with notable jazz percussionist, Giovanni Hildalgo with whom he released Best Friends in 1999. The album featured consistently good latin jazz based on a creative mix of salsa, jazz, mambo, rumba and even cha-cha-cha genres. The result underscored the great talent of these two artists, joined by standout musicians such as Papo Lucca on piano. Ramirez wote five of the eight songs on the release, while Hidalgo wrote two.

Ramírez most recent recording was Dos Almas, released in 2002, accompanied by a sextet of outstanding musicians including Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mario Rivera, Ignacio Berroa and Eddie Gómez. The album is the last in the trilogy that began with Canciones de Amor and Con el Corazón. These recordings were dedicated to reinterpreting classic boleros in a mellow and imminently suitable style of jazz, such as this interpretation of the classic bolero song written by Julio Gutierrez, Inolvidable.

Discography

Dos Almas (2003)

Passions of Latin Jazz (2002)

Paradise (2002)

Best Friends (1999)

The Best of Humberto Ramirez (1998)

Treasures (1998)

Jazz Latino, Vol. 2 (1997)

Portrait of a Stranger (1996)

Canciones de Amor (1996)

Aspects (1993)

Jazz Project (1992)

Ramirez (----)

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