The Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Project
Roberto’s ten-piece orchestra, Roberto Ocasio’s Latin Jazz Project (ROLJP), grew rapidly in popularity with five consecutive years’ nominations as one of the five best jazz bands in northern Ohio and twice awarded the FREE TIMES Magazine Music Award. The group’s CD, “Algo Para Ti,” was released in 2001. All of the compositions were written, arranged, and produced by Roberto.
Roberto and the ROLJP introduced and popularized Latin jazz throughout Northeast Ohio, often featured by 107.3 THE WAVE FM radio station at many exciting events and concerts—above from THE WAVE summer stage set in Downtown Cleveland’s Playhouse Square are Band members (L to R): Nate Haskell (trumpet), Freddie Carrion (lead vocals and Latin percussion), Roberto Ocasio (piano/keyboards), Jim Roosa (trombone), Junior Beauchamp (congas), Dave Kochis (saxophones), Neil Chastain (drums, timbales, percussion), David Gonzalez (bass and vocals).
After Roberto’s passing, there were countless requests to keep his music and teachings alive. The Band carried on for many years with original and new musicians led by Directors Rolando Pizana, Nate Haskell, and Eric Dregne and Manager Bev Montie. Performing for a fundraiser at the Cleveland Metropark Zoo (L to R): Rolando Pizana (guitar/vocals), Nate Haskell (trumpet), Ed Stephens (bass), Neil Chastain (drums/percussion), Keith McKelley (saxophone), Andrew Goodloe (piano/keyboards), Nelson Martinez (congas/bongos), Dave Kochis (saxophone/flute), Eric Dregne (trombone), Rey Cintron (congas/Latin percussion).
More Photos to Come