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Papo Ross

About Papo Ross: Jorge (Papo) Ross was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. At the age of 18, he became musical director for his first professional group known as Orquesta La Moderna of San Pedro; a few years later he was acting as the musical director of Sui Generis. Later on, he founded a group by the name of Sony’s Power, and soon his reputation spread over the island where he had the opportunity to play on many occasions with some of the best musicians in the country among the likes of July Mateo Rasputin, Marcos Caminero, Sergio Vargas, Ruby Perez, and others. Papo quotes, among his many musical influences, Felix Del Rosario , Johny Ventura, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Rivera, Celia Cruz, Wilfrido Vargas, Silvio Rodriguez, Joan Manuel Serrat, Luis Segura, Cieguito de Nagua, and many others.

Papo Ross moved to Montreal (Canada) in 1990 to serve as a musical director for another Dominican group based in the city. In April 1992 he founded Pambiche. Since then, this 13-piece powerhouse has established itself as a leader of Canada’s latin music scene with its' groovin’ Afro-Latin rhythms deeply rooted in the Caribbean tradition. Papo Ross & Orquestra Pambiche have performed over 500 concerts and have received rave reviews for their shows at the International Hispanic Fiesta (Toronto), Montreal’s ¡Oy?! Series, the 1994 Detroit/Montreux Jazz Festival and for explosive performances in front of 20,000 people at the 1993, 94, 96 and 99 editions of the Montreal Internacional Jazz Festival.

Pambiche is a derivation from the Dominican rhythm Merengue, and its roots can be easily traced back to 1916, the year that marked the first United States intervention in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Most of the American soldiers were tempted by the intensity of Merengue, but could not dance to the fast tempo. A reduction of the rhythm was then accommodated to make it easier for the Americans to keep up to the beat. Hence this new musical version of Merengue became known as “El Palm Beach”. For most Dominicans however, it was difficult to pronounce this word in Spanish. Over the years, a new expression was adopted, and whenever people talked about this particular style it was simply referred to as Pambiche.

Papo Ross & Orquesta Pambiche have toured extensively in support of their Juno nomination debut CD, Vamo’ a Pambicha’ . The infectious combination of Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Cumbia and other latin rhythms makes Papo Ross & Orquestra Pambiche the hottest Latin act north of the border. Production of the group’s second album is currently underway.

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