© 2013 Gabriel Manzo / MANZO RALLY. All rights reserved.
Though well known for his many contributions to jazz and
salsa music, including a Grammy Award with Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Jorge Pomar has always had a heart for Rock n Roll.
Yet, when Jorge came from South America to San Francisco
in 1973, he quickly made his mark playing jazz, Latin Jazz and salsa, and is considered one of the Bay Area’s most sought after musicians in those genres.
“I play lots of salsa and jazz, and I love all kinds of music very much. But since I was a kid, more than anything, I’ve always loved to rock!” Jorge reveals.
Growing up in his native Peru, Jorge became a professional musician by age 15, and soon found himself playing rock n roll on Polydor and EMI - a part of his musical career which may come as somewhat of a surprise to the scores of jazz and
Latin musicians who know him today.
Among his many credits, Jorge has recorded and toured with Pharaoh Saunders, Richie Cole, Kitty Margolis and Joyce Cooling. He has also played with Latin greats Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri, as well as being a long-time member of the Cesar Latin All Stars and Benny Velarde’s Super Combo.
Jorge has also worked with San Francisco salsa group Avance, led by Santana percussionist, Karl Perazzo. In January 2010, when Perazzo was asked to direct the annual gathering of San Francisco’s music elite for the Voices Of Latin Rock / Alex Speaks Foundation Autism Awareness Benefit, Perazzo chose both Jorge Pomar and Gabriel Manzo for the VOLR band. Though Jorge and Gabriel knew of each other, this was the first opportunity they had to play together in the same group.
“This guy can hold a groove like crazy - he’s what I call an A+ player,” Gabriel said of Jorge. “In the Voices sets we did everything from Latin Rock to jazz to funk to straight up rock n roll, and Jorge did it all exactly the way it needed to be done, whether that meant tasteful finesse, funky grooves, or kick you in your face rock – he did it all.”
Fast-forward to MANZO RALLY when, with the majority of
the songs still unrecorded, Gabriel decided to give Jorge a call.
“He came down to rehearsal, and it just fell in place right away,” Gabriel recalls. “Jorge's playing brought all the songs together
in a way I’ve always envisioned because he understood all
the elements of the material.”
Jorge felt the vibe right away as well, and immediately liked the music – especially the strong element of rock on which Gabriel’s style of Latin Rock leans so heavily.
“I love it!” Jorge exclaimed. “It feels good to be rockin’ again, because that’s where I come from.”