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THE NEW YORK TIMES
named it #6 in the top ten Jazz Albums of 2023

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RICANO is the very 1st original Afro-Caribbean experience that combines

Puerto Rican and Dominican rhythms within a potent new Jazz Sound.

 

On RICANO, saxophonist / composer / culturist Jonathan Suazo offers us a captivating Afro-Caribbean experience that presents themes of exploration, integration, and self-acceptance. The title RICANO combines the words Puertorriqueño & Dominicano, highlighting the artists' creative concept and his two heritages in a unique fusion that carves a new sound within the world of Latin Jazz.

 The journey in this 1st album takes us back and forth from the potent sounds of Puerto Rican plena with "Somos más que tú"  to the exhilarating hits of Dominican Salve with “Heroes”. Strong vocals, chants and soaring solos add depth and emotion to tracks like "Don't take kindly", "Seguimos Luchando", "AFRO DOMI" and the uplifting "Dharma"; RICANO showcases the Afro-Caribbean experience by bringing the past, present, and future of this cultural heritage to the listener. ​

TOP ALBUM PICKS:
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"This is richly built, effusively played Latin jazz, written from the heart and packed with complexity, always seeking the next level of altitude."

GIOVANNNI RUSSONELLO

(THE NEW YORK TIMES)

"Suazo envelops us in
a soundscape propelled by lyrical sax playing"

CATALINA MARIA JOHNSON  (DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE)

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Beyond the stage

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Jonathan has developed a sociocultural module linked to his Ricano project that has impacted more that 500 student lives from 2022 - 2023.

By sharing his cultural heritage with students through unique interactive residencies that include drum circles, open conversation, singing, and ensemble workshops, Jonathan strives to keep his afro caribbean roots alive in creative ways, while motivating other students to do the same with their own roots.

Photo & VIDEO by @alejandrinopr

A GREATER MISSION

TESTIMONIALS

"RICANO gave our students the opportunity to learn more about each other's cultures

while enjoying and interacting with a new sound in Afro-Caribbean music.

Awesome experience for staff too!" 

Carlos Hernandez

Founder & Executive Director 

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance 

(Chicago, IL)

FEATURED IN THE ALBUM

JIM HYNES

(MAKING A SCENE)

 "Debuts don’t usually earn awards, but Suazo has delivered a remarkable project more than worthy of consideration.  This writer is not backing off from the opening sentence.  That said, this also presages a boundless future for Suazo".

GIOVANNNI RUSSONELLO

(THE NEW YORK TIMES)

"Everything on the saxophonist and composer Jonathan Suazo’s new LP, “Ricano” — which finds him mining the intersections between his Puerto Rican and Dominican bloodlines — seems to be spilling energy out the top. This is richly built, effusively played Latin jazz, written from the heart and packed with complexity, always seeking the next level of altitude. On “Don’t Take Kindly,” as Tanicha López sings in billowy open vowel sounds and long, held tones, the ensemble’s three percussionists play around with a rhythm based in Puerto Rican bomba, while Suazo’s alto saxophone douses them in minor blues"

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