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Direct from Cuba, via the United States, the AC JAZZ PROJECT, is a Who’s Who of former members of some of Cuba’s greatest Jazz and dance bands (Haila, Maraca, NG La Banda, Orchestra Reve, and Grupo Afrocuba) who throw down some serious Rumba, Timba, Salsa Cubana and Afro Cuban Jazz.
Since it’s formation in 2001 by it’s former leader, late great world class Cuban Percussionist Long John Oliva (who passed away on June 21, 2004) and his wife PJ Oliva, the band has made some major strides! Aside from being crowned the 88.1FM KJAZZ Latin Jazz artists of the Year by the Long Beach Jazz Competition, Nelson Rodriguez of Latin Beat Magazine listed their LUCUMI Cd as the top 100 Latin Jazz Recordings of All Time!
Shortly after Long John's passing, the band had made efforts to continue in his honor, and in December of 2004 they made a TV appearance on KCET'S 24th Annual Dorothy Chandler Holiday Christmas Celebration, in 2005 participated at a highly profile fundraiser at L.A.’s MOCA with host Paula Abdul, and in 2006 had an amazing showcase at the IAJE Conference in New York City (after receiving best Latin Jazz Award).
In 2013, the AC Jazz Project recorded and released "Conga Buena", on JPJ Records, a partnered venture produced by Cuban trumpeter Josiel Perez and PJ Oliva and William Tilford who were the Executive producers, which included the HIT single "Tamayo Tumbao" composed and arranged by Cuban Sonero Vocalist Alberto Tamayo, arranged by Josiel Perez, which held the #5 spot on the Latin American charts for over 10 weeks.
Other amazing songs on the Cd collaboration included; “El Daño ya esta Hecho” by Josiel Perez, "Sunlight" by Fermin Sifontes, and Three Nuts Rumba which featured world famous drummers Dennis Chambers, Jimmy Branly and percussionist Luis Conte.
In total, Conga Buena was envisioned by Peggy Jo (PJ) Oliva, yet musically directed and implemented by Josiel Perez who carried out her vision. A very special guest performance also included Saxophone extraordinaire who is on the Flying Lotus Brainfeeder Label "Kamasi Washington", ex-band mate of Maraca, Cuban bassist Yosmel Montejo and Cuban pianist Fermin Sifontes.
In 2016, the AC Jazz Project will be putting a super group together consisting of the best players out of Cuba and the United States to present the LUCUMI tribute to Long John Oliva, performing songs from the Lucumi CD, as well as, recording and performing new unheard music! It's going to be a Superstar Lineup and Show! 2016, also marks LUCUMI's 15th Year Anniversary, and the LATIN JAZZ NETWORK is naming it to be one of the most ESSENTIAL LATIN JAZZ CDS OF ALL TIME!
For our brother Long John Oliva "Penalty", “Ibaé Tonú Abure”, which means, “Rest in Peace Brother”.