One of the San Francisco bay area’s best salsa/jazz bands is “El Grupo SINIGUAL”. Led by sonera (improvisational singer of salsa music), Maria Medina Serafin , on both West coast and East coast for over 33 years, “SINIGUAL” features some of the most prolific musicians in the bay area. Veteran latin/jazz pianist , Patricia Thumas playing has been compared to a combination of musical greats, Eddie Palmieri-McCoy Tyner. Jose Saucedo offers rich bass stylings holding down the “tumbao” which inspires dancers.
SINIGUAL features a tight percussion section with bay area favorite, Norman Downing on congas, the electrifying Carmen Cansino on timbales, and scintillating salsa great, Rafael “Ray” Martinez on bongos. Add to this two swinging trumpet players, Matt Kelly and Jeff Warroll and two trombone stylings of Oakland Public Conservatory founder, Angela Wellman and Tom Kyrimis to round out the horn section.
SINIGUAL arrangements are unique and mainly original compositions and arrangements by Maria Medina Serafin and Jules Rowell among others.
This year marks their 34th year as a bay area mainstay. Look for this band to be in the salsa scene in 2017!
"The band's recent concert at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mt. View received rave reviews among audience and student members."
Maria Medina Serafin is the leader and sonera (lead vocalist) of the band. A Broadcast Communications Arts graduate of S.F. State University, Maria is former producer of "The Latin Jazz Quarter" for WDNA FM, the Public Radio Affiliate in Miami. She was also an Assistant Program Coordinator for the Center for Family & Child Enrichment's "Tutorial and Cultural Awareness after school program.
Angela M. Wellman Trombonist, scholar, educator and activist Angela Wellman has performed with the McCoy Tyner Big Band, Joe Williams, Al Grey, Slide Hampton, and other noted musicians. Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Wellman was nurtured in a musical family, and is a third generation musician and music educator.
Ms. Wellman is a recipient of national, state, and city Arts awards and fellowships for performance study and music education. Among these awards is the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Fellowship to study with trombonist Steve Turre.
In 2005 she founded the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music to provide quality, affordable music education for underserved and under-resourced populations. Since opening its doors in 2005, OPC has become one of the Bay Area’s vanguard institutions in community music education and cultural preservation through music.
Jose Saucedo self-described as a bassist of the "Old school" style influenced by Israel Lopez "Cachao" Victor Venegasand Al McKibbon. Jose studied music with Carlos Federico and at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and Laney College. Open to many styles, Jose played salsa with "Alma del Barrio" as well as Brazilian and Blues. He was principal bassist with Negio DeGracia's "Mambo Jazz Connection" for 4 years.
Carmen has been performing, recording, and teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. She moved to San Jose in the late 1970’s to study classical percussion with Anthony J. Cirone at San Jose State University. Her later studies of Latin and Jazz percussion were with Scott Morris, Vince Lateano, Daniel Sabanovich, Alan Hall, Carlos Federico, and Louis Romero.
Carmen led the “Listen Here Jazz Ensemble” throughout the 1980’s. She co-produced their CD “In Motion” on the Cansino Production’s label, and recorded three cds with Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz band, including a live recording with the Dynamic Miss Faye Carol at Yoshi’s Jazz House in Oakland, CA.
Carmen is a faculty member at the Community School of Music and Art in Mt. View, CA. where she teaches percussion lessons, workshops, and group ensembles.
Patricia Thumas is a native San Franciscan who started performing as a teen with one of the most popular bands of the times, "Ritmo 74", with John Santos and Tipica Cienfuegos. She was pianist with Afro Cuban master drummer, Francisco Aguqbella and toured nationally with Julio Bravo. She was also the co-leader and arranger for the bands "Chevere" and "Bahia"
Her extensive career spans over 40 years and recorded "Blazing Redheads" and "Crazed Women" with the Blazing Redheads. A core member of "Sinigual" in the 80's & 90's, she's reunited with the band to perform and record salsa/jazz compositions and arrangements of prolific trombonist/arranger, Jules Rowell and Maria Medina Serafin.
Norman Downing is a percussionist and lead vocalist who has performed in the bay area for over forty years! He studied and honed his percussion skills on congas, timbales and bongos with Karl Perazzo of Santana, Jose Flores and New York salsa timbalero, Louie Romero.
Matt Kelly is an east coast trumpet player who recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.
A graduate of Bard College he was introduced to the jazz scene in New York by teachers Erica Lindsay and Greg Glassman and cut his teeth at the clubs downtown and in Brooklyn.
He has performed with numerous ensembles of all styles as well as leading his own group the Matt Kelly Quartet.
He is currently performing with notable Salsa bands in San Francisco , including the legendary El Grupo Sinigual.