One of the leading figures in the world of Latin Jazz, trumpeter/conguero Jerry González is well known for his years of experience with jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner and Jaco Pastorius and Latin music greats Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri, as well as founding member of “Manny Oquendo y su Conjunto Libre” and “Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino”, but it is as leader of "Jerry González and the Fort Apache Band" that his status as one of the music’s most innovative voices and the greatness of his artistic vision became widely recognized.
The legendary “Fort Apache Band”, has been active for over three decades, with Jerry González on trumpet and congas, his brother Andy González on bass, Larry Willis on piano, Joe Ford on saxophone and Steve Berrios on drums. The ensemble's first two albums were recorded live at European jazz festivals: “The River is Deep” (1982) and “Obatalá” (1988). In 1989, the band recorded the groundbreaking “Rumba Para Monk”, named album of the year by the French Academie du Jazz. That year the group was voted the Word Beat Group of the Year in DownBeat's 55th Annual Readers Poll. After that, they recorded “Earthdance” (1991), “Moliendo Cafe” (1992) and the three Grammy nominated albums “Crossroads” (1994), “Pensativo” (1995) and “Firedance” (1996). On the heels of these Grammy nominations, the ensemble was awarded the Beyond Group of the Year by both DownBeat Magazine's Readers and Critics Polls in 1995 and 1996 and won the award for Best Jazz Group in Playboy Magazine's Readers Poll for 1997. In 1998, the ensemble swept the Latin jazz category at the New York Jazz Awards, winning both the Industry and Journalist Polls. In 1999, the group again swept the Critics and Readers Polls for Beyond Group of the Year in DownBeat Magazine. In 2003, they released “Rumba a Buhaina”, a tribute to Art Blakey.
In year 2000, following Jerry and Fort Apache’s portrayal in the critically acclaimed documentary “Calle 54” by the Oscar awarded Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba, Jerry González moved to Spain. In Spain he became one of the pioneers of the fusion between Latin Jazz and flamenco and collaborated with musicians such as Paco de Lucía, Chano Domínguez, Diego “El Cigala”, Niño Josele and the Spanish National Jazz Orchestra. In 2001, he recorded “Jerry González y Los Piratas del Flamenco” (2003), nominated to the Grammy Awards and the Latin Grammy Awards and given the Critics and Industry Awards in the New York Jazz Awards. From duo (“A Primera Vista” with Federico Lechner) to large ensembles (“Music for Big Band” with Miguel Blanco) each new recording by the trumpeter/conguero has represented another distinctive trail on the world music map. In recent years, González's most consistent work has been as the leader of his Madrid based quartet “Jerry González y El Comando de la Clave”. Their self-titled album was nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards 2012.
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