Afro Cuban Jazz Project / Bio

The AC JAZZ PROJECT is the legacy of the late great Cuban percussionist LONG JOHN OLIVA.
It is a mix of World, Jazz and Cuban music.

Long John grew up with Havana Cuba’s finest Rumberos and Percussionists, Pancho Quinto, Tata Guines, Changuito and Jorge Alfonso “El Nino”, and was greatly influenced by Contemporary and Jazz music, such as Chucho Valdes & Irakere, and Earth Wind and Fire. He later performed, recorded and toured with many greats such as, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’ Rivera, Andy Garcia, Strunz and Farah, Jackson Browne, Anthony Jackson, Dave Weckl, Kenny Loggins, Frank Emilio Flynn, Hilario Duran, Omar Sosa, Changuito, Jane Burnett & Spirits of Havana, Batacumbele, Orishas and Willie Bobo, who baptized him “Long John” (for his ability to play lengthy conga solos). By this time, Long John had created his own language of the drum and eclectic sound, referring to himself as the “Jazz Rumbero”. His unparalleled energy, grace and style are the result of his traditional training and his love affair with contemporary music.

In 2002, Long John and wife Peggy Jo released the AC Jazz Project’s critically acclaimed “LUCUMI” on their indie label "Orishas Records". It featured Long John, Omar Sosa, Changuito, Orlando Puntilla Rios and Jesus Diaz. In that same year, “LUCUMI” was listed in Latin Beat Magazine as one of the top 100 Latin Jazz Recordings of all Time.

On June 20, 2004, two weeks after being crowned 88.1FM KJAZZ Latin Jazz artists of the Year, six months after Long John and his wife Peggy Jo moved into their new home, Long John unexpectedly died of a massive heart. It was shocking and devastating, for he and his wife spent the last 5 years of his life working rigorously to create the “AC Jazz Project” (his lifelong musical vision). It was a tragic loss...

Shortly after his passing and with the strength of God and Love, Peggy Jo continued to carry out Long John's vision and dream... The band appeared on the KCET 24th Annual Holiday Christmas Celebration, performed at a high profile fundraiser for MOCA with host Paula Abdul, showcased the IAJE Conference in NYC (after receiving best Latin Jazz Award) and received a standing ovation at the Long Beach Jazz and Playboy Jazz Festival (Pasadena Rose Bowl) and has performed at festivals such as the Jazz Aspen Snowmass,
Utah Arts Festival, Glenwood Springs, New Mexico Jazz and many more...

Currently, Peggy Jo, along with award winning composer / producer / trumpeter Luis Eric Gonzalez (who is known for his work with Bayalo, Celia Cruz, Al McKay and Andy Garcia), joined forces to create the newly reformed AC Jazz Project, which is a super group of top notch musicians consisting of the best players out of Cuba and the United States (extracts composed of the Al McKay Allstars, Buena Vista Social Club
and Ricardo Lemvo & Makina).

2016 marks the 15th Year Anniversary of” LUCUMI” and the Latin Jazz Network has named it to be one of the most ESSENTIAL LATIN JAZZ CDS OF ALL TIME!

Today, the AC Jazz Project continues to grow and thrive, through love, passion and inspiration.
Peggy Jo continues to work hard to keep the light going in honor of “Long John”, who lived, loved and died for what he believed in, and she continues to keep the AC Jazz Project (his lifelong musical vision), live on...

Website / Social Media / Sound Cloud

General Info

Band Members
Artist Name
Afro Cuban Jazz Project
Profile Page
Active Since
World / Rumba / Son / Salsa / Timba / Afro Cuban Jazz / Latin

Contact Info

Los Angeles, CA
Peggy Jo Oliva