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Welcome to Philadelphia Jazz Project

Pablo Batista Latin Jazz Ensemble


The 7 x 7 Venice Island Concert Series takes place at the new and beautiful performance facility: Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center in Manayunk. This series introduces the artists and the audience to a must-see Philadelphia area venue. It is through these kinds of efforts that we support and enable the Philadelphia Jazz music scene to thrive into the future.


The second performance in the series presents the Pablo Batista Latin Jazz Ensemble. Led by Philadelphia native and percussion master, Pablo Batista, who has worked with such artists as Manny Oquendo, Grover Washington Jr, and Alicia Keys, this group is a six-piece musical family that beautifully merges straight ahead and Latin Jazz. The audience will have the pleasure of hearing an ensemble of musicians that brings forth the authenticity of Latin Jazz with emphasis on clave: The African-rooted rhythmic source of much of New World popular music. Batista’s ensemble will showcase 30 years of perfecting Afro-Caribbean folkloric and world rhythms, combining them to create a funky, entertaining and informative musical fusion.


Coming May 22nd at 8pm

Pablo Batista Latin Jazz Ensemble

Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center

7 Lock Street,

Philadelphia, PA 19127

*Directions Here


Tickets: $15 in advance / More at the door

*Buy Tickets Here


Philadelphia Jazz Project recently spoke with Pablo Batista about his work.


pablo4PJP: Briefly describe your musical direction?

Batista: My musical direction is from the roof to the galaxy. I use all of my years of experience to provide the best possible performance for my people, the people who come and hear me play. I have studied my roots all of my life and I apply what I have learned to my Latin Jazz. I try to hire performers that are at high level musically and spiritually, so we can all vibe on the same plane. 


PJP: What and whom are pivotal musical influences on your creative approach?

Batista: My life long experiences, the artists I have played with: Grover Washington, Manny Oquendo, Conjunto Libre, and Alicia Keys. They were all mentors mentors.


PJP: How do you manage the task of creating and encouraging fresh, new, forward moving musical ideas, while simultaneously exploring, celebrating and documenting the past?

Batista: I extract new ideas from what I hear on the spot, I am always coming from a place, that is the root, my raíces. My research into folkloric music has provided me with a solid base. Studying and knowing different genres, gives you a wider base to derive from. In addition, working with young cats with fresh ideas, provides our situation with a unique tar mat to begin the journey of every performance. The musicians I play with, I derive from their experiences: Khary Shaheed on drums and Chico Huff on bass, I’ve worked with him for many years. Tal Shtuhl on sax, he plays a very cool fresh vibe, and my Musical Director, pianist Dennis Guevara. We are always trying to find ways to stretch the music and create some cool things.


If you are gonna play swing, play swing play, if you’re gonna play rumba, play rumba, if your gonna create or do both, you have to have the right amount of ingredients, it’s a recipe!


PJP: When listening to your music, what advice would you give to audiences to aide with greater understanding and enjoyment?

Batista: Come with the expectation of seeing someone whose dedicated his whole life doing what he does, someone who prides himself and puts his heart into every show, and maybe take me home with them via CD so they can use it as a reference to aide them in their journey. 

PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why Jazz?


Batista: The marriage of Latin and Jazz music was established with Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo many years ago and even before then. It’s a perfect combination, because it opens itself up and lends i