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About our Founder
Bobby Ramirez

Bobby Ramirez“God and Jesus Christ are first in my life; then everything else.”

“My Talent is not mine; it is the talent that God gave me to inspire, give love and happiness to 1,000,000 kids and families per year!

Thanks be to God for my talent!”

The story and music of Maestro Bobby Ramirez is a true testament of perseverance. Born in Camajuani, Santa Clara, Cuba, virtuoso musician, vocalist, composer, flutist, saxophonist, arranger, and bandleader, Maestro Bobby Ramirez was raised in Hialeah (Miami) Florida where he initiated his musical career, expanding over 3 decades since 1979.

Maestro Bobby Ramirez is a unique and charismatic artist that performs original Jazz compositions influenced by Afro-Cuban, Swing, Bebop, Bossa Nova, and Funk, including some popular classic Jazz standards and Latin American compositions.

Maestro Bobby Ramirez is blessed with a humble and enthusiastic personality that give forth a strong sense of gratitude and humility towards people and service to the community.

For over 30 years as a performing artist, Bobby Ramirez's creative artistic visions have had a significant impact on audiences worldwide through his volunteer work in the community, providing opportunity to many wonderful musicians and artists, as well as helping to define the Florida Jazz sound.

Maestro Bobby Ramirez has over 30 recordings mostly released on iTunes ranging from Jazz to classical music.

A powerful performer and improviser on the saxophone and flute, Ramirez holds a firm command of the language of jazz drawing from an intensive vocabulary of colorful sounds and rhythms, as well as equally capable with his skills as a Jazz composer and arranger.

 

“Early in my development as a musician, the most significant thing that happened to me was my mother buying me my first saxophone. I will always thank my Mom as the person who first gave me encouragement and love of music. At the time, my mother who was single worked 7 days a week in a clothing factory in Hialeah. The pay was meager; but we always had food on the table. Through long hours of labor, she managed to save some money to buy me the saxophone. The love of my mother to nurture my talent at an early age is and always will be the most significant thing that ever happened to my in music. That is what really made the difference. Thank you Mon.”

"I especially thank my Dad for nurturing my Christian faith and family values that Jesus Christ is the way, and God is the light of all.!"

From very humble beginnings at age 14 growing up in the City of Hialeah, Miami, Florida, Bobby Ramirez began learning how to play the saxophone at Brownsville Jr. High School. He then took an interest in playing the flute, guitar, as well as arranging and composing. At age 16, while attending Filler Jr. High School in Hialeah, he wrote his first full big band arrangement for an 18-piece orchestra. Ramirez also attended Miami Springs Sr. High where he was a featured soloist as well as leading various small Jazz combos and big Band ensemble at rehearsals and concerts.

"My first professional gig was in 1977 in Hialeah at a theater in called Teatro Ernesto Lecuona performing with as part of a band that featured an Elvis Presley impersonator."

From there he continued his studies at Miami-Dade Community College, Florida International University, as well as individual private music lessons in a variety of styles from Jazz (Gary Campbell, Ed Meina, Tom McCormick, J.B. Dyas, Brian Cook) to classical flute (Althea Kaplan, Lisa LaCross). Other instructors included Don Chippinelli, Gene Greco and Richard Dumbscum.

Since then, Ramirez has performed in many music festivals and special events for all kinds of audiences from around the world.

Ramirez’s first musical influence was the Jazz saxophone icon, Charlie Parker. A powerful performer and improviser on the saxophone and flute, Ramirez holds a firm command of the language of jazz drawing from an intensive vocabulary of colorful sounds and rhythms, as well as equally capable with his skills as a Jazz composer and arranger.

While perhaps considered equally proficient on both the flute as well as the saxophone, Ramirez's performance as a flautist is said to be of much higher dimension. Some of his musical influences on flute include: Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Eric Dolphy, Jose Fajardo, Richard Egues, Mario Rivera, Dave Valentin, among others.

Maestro Bobby Ramirez has also performed as guest soloist and/or as an opening act for some of today's most notable musicians and past Latin Jazz legends--some of which include late great Tito Puente and Mario Bauza, also Patato Valdez, Cachao, Israel "Kantor", Gato Barbieri, Danilo Perez, Federico Britos Ruiz, Giovanni Hidalgo, Arturo Sandoval and the Florida International University Concert Jazz Band, and many others.

In 2001, Bobby formed his award winning Jazz band, Pan Con Bistec, a multi-dimensional musical odyssey that features Afro-Cuban Jazz, Swing, Bebop, and traditional Jazz sounds. Check out at www.panconbistec.net

“Jazz is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In 1999, Ramirez used his prolific creative writing skills to promote his love of Jazz and Latin rhythm and pioneered a revolution of information by establishing the first internet magazine devoted exclusively to Latin Jazz, called LatinJazzClub. See at www.latinjazzclub.com.

A giant literary cyber-emporium of related music news, articles, interviews, CD reviews and learning resource, LatinJazzClub is a virtual on-line magazine dedicated to the advancement, education and historical preservation of Latin Jazz.

As part of its mission, LatinJazzClub magazine also pioneered awareness for Women in Latin Jazz worldwide by publishing a database of such amazing musicians and interviews.

Today, LatinJazzClub Magazine remains as the most influential reliable source and guiding light for Latin Jazz music fans everywhere, as well as the home and voice for many Latin Jazz artists worldwide.

LatinJazzClub Magazine is the result of Bobby's vision stemming from his passion to continuously honor the memory and work of many musicians from the past who gave their love and life for this music--some of which included: Machito and his Afro-Cubans, Tito Puente, Alberto Socarras, Mario Bauza, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Charlie Palmieri, and many others who gracefully contributed to the evolution of Latin Jazz.

As part of his lifelong exploration, and effort to create clarity and awareness for fans of Latin Jazz, Bobby Ramirez launched an educational initiative called LatinJazzPlayer, a one page presentation and illustration about the birth and evolution of Latin Jazz based on his ground-breaking article: What is Latin Jazz? www.latinsheetmusic.com/latinjazz.html

As part of his educational initiatives, Bobby leads his summer-camp called, ALL THAT LATIN JAZZ!, which provides opportunity for young musicians to practice learn about Latin Jazz, as well as perform with seasoned professional masters of this unique musical artform.

In recent years, Ramirez has founded an online magazine that highlight the Jazz scene, called Miami Jazz Heritage.

In 1990, Ramirez founded a Latin band and dance show called RITMO! Caliente Del Caribe. As a result, Ramirez gave birth to the RITMO! Brand: Interactive Latin Theme entertainment. RITMO! has been a part of many special events that celebrate the music, dance and rhythm of many countries from the Caribbean, Central and South America.

In September 25th, 2002, Ramirez broke ground in New York City where he performed a series of successful concerts at the Triad Theater as well as the Blue Lounge (Gonzalez & Gonzalez Restaurant). Since then, he has returned to the Big Apple to perform at various venues including Nells and La Maganette as guest with the Chico Alvarez Orchestra, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Smoke as guest with trombonist Chris Washburrne's Latin Jazz ensemble. Bobby has also performed with a host of top NYC musicians including: drummer Dafnis Prieto, percussionist William "Chembo" Corniel, bassist Harvie S, pianist Daniel Kelly, percussionist Gene Golden, pianist Edy Martinez, bassist Ruben Gonzalez, percussionist Ralpth Iryzarry, vocalist Chico Alvarez (mentioned above), trombonist Chris Washburn (mentioned above), and many others.

In 2003, Ramirez visualized an interactive entertainment where the audience would become part of the entertainment experience. That vision gave birth to RITMO!PALOOZA. Bobby also created RITMO! FUNHOUSE, a Latin themed entertainment drumming experience for kids; and two theatrical Latin Shows: RUMBACOPA and RITMO! AZUCAR.

“I am grateful for the abundance of work that I have received which has benefited and contributed financially to the livelihoods of many families of entertainers, musicians, dancers, and event staff throughout the world as part of my creative visions. Thank you!”

Ramirez is also a prolific composer and arranger. He has writing many arrangements for all kinds of music ensembles, specializing in Jazz Big Band orchestra. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by many school orchestras; many are available for sale online at LatinSheetMusic.com.

Since the start of his career, making a positive impact on people's lives through music and the arts has been a guiding principle in Bobby's life.

While Ramirez keeps a busy schedule of performances, he has donated his time and talent to many local South Florida charities--some of which have included: Camillus House, American Cancer Society, Association for Retarded Citizens of South Florida, Informed families of Dade County, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, as well as supporting local cultural organizations like The Sunshine Jazz Organization, WLRN Public Radio, WDNA Community Radio, The Cultural Council of South Dade and his LatinJazzClub Charities which benefits the Jazz Foundation of America.

Mr. Ramirez is the creative visionary, Founder and President of the non-profit JAZZONIAN - Jazz Museum of Florida, Inc and the South Florida Jazz Summit. In 2011, Mr. Ramirez also founded the Young Jazz Leaders Institute - Inspiring and empowering young individuals to become high achievers!

One of Bobby’s most notable achievements was to create and established the JAZZONIAN Kids Club, an educational initiative that inspires family values as part of a Jazz and music curriculum.

The Jazzonian Kids Club is a fun experiential arts education program centered around TouchJazz that inspires and reinforces family values, creativity, perseverance, positive self-esteem, freedom of expression, leadership, and community service.

TouchJazz is a concept created by El Maestro Bobby Ramirez that helps individuals articulate and internalize the feeling and sensation of everything that is part of the artistry of Jazz; thereby becoming part of the totally interactive Jazzonian sensory experience.

The Bobby Ramirez Foundation is dedicated to children's charities, helping the homeless, providing music performances, leadership and music workshops, as well as donating instruments, and music arrangements to underserved schools.

My Journey to America

Says Bobby: "I'm often asked: why did I come to the US from Cuba?"

My favorite America Holiday, besides Christmas (Happy Birthday Jesus Christ), is Thanksgivings. I can identify with the Pilgrims who first came here to this great country of America seeking religious freedom.

My father was a Christian missionary who sold Bibles for a living. Our family lived happy in Cuba. But, because of our Christian religious faith, we where let out of Cuba by the evil communist regime.

The conerstone of the Communist and Socialist ideology is the antithesis of Christian faith. Their mission is to destroy your faith in God, and put your faith in the State. One of their most potent weapons is class warfare: divide and conquer. They are experts in manipulating the masses especially people of lower income with their "rich vs poor" propaganda.

This was not unusual. It is a fact that soon after the communist dictator Fidel took over Cuba, they made it a purpose to escort all the priests and people of high religious faith out of Cuba.

But the plan that the communist regime devised was even more deadly: It was a sinister plan to systematically exterminate and destroy God's most profound creation: the Family. Thus, they succeeded in dividing families.

As part of their journey to the United States, Fathers were divided from Wives and children; Fathers would be sent to Spain or other places while wives and children where sent to the United States.

Of course, my Father was considered a threat for selling Bibles. My Father and Mother (my brother and I) where victims of this evil Family genocide and religious persecution. Thus, my Father was exiled to Spain for 5 years while we where put on a plane to the United States.

“I came from Cuba to the America at age 7 in 1971 with just the clothes I was wearing; actually stayed for two weeks at Freedom Tower because my mom, brother and I did not have family here in Miami that would claim us. We were alone, scared, and the future was uncertain. By a miracle, a friend heard that we were staying there and claimed us. From then, I embraced the American dream that if you work hard and focus on your goals, the possibilities are endless...always in the forefront is the passion to succeed empowered by God’s blessings of liberty; thus, continuously tempered with and wonderful sense of service to the community; inspire others around me.”

“Growing up in Hialeah in a single parent home, I would hang with street kids sometimes getting myself into trouble doing stupid things, close to drugs, gangs, and violence. I was a troubled young teen with very bad associations and no direction, purpose, and no positive role model to look up to. No doubt, I was heading fast towards the wrong path.”

“Then at age 14, something unexpected and amazing happened through the grace of God: music and Jazz found me. At first I resisted not realizing that this was my destiny. Soon I realized that with God’s blessing through music and Jazz, I can become exceptional.”

Quotes
"Bobby Ramirez is one of the best flutists and saxophonists from Cuba. His recording (Pan Con Bistec) is an example of a new and fresh sound in Latin Jazz fusion." Elvira Dominguez, El Diario La Prensa (NYC)

"If this stirring little hurricane of an album is any indication, Ramirez may one day inherit Dave Valentin's throne as top Latin flute player." Jonathan Widran, AM

"Ramirez exhibits the strength found in some of the already established Latin Jazz musicians." Egidio Leitao, JazzTimes Magazine

Thank you! - Gracias!

Other links:
Bobby Ramirez Official Website

 


Letter from the Founder and President of Jazzonian: Bobby Ramirez

"Part of our mission is to inspire, empower, and give love to 1,000,000 kids and families per year, said Bobby Ramirez, Founder and President of Jazzonian.

"Jazz is a window to the human experience that enables each person to achieve his/her full potential as part of this wonderful American artform; set the bar high; make a conscience choice to become exceptional at whatever each individual decides to do in life."

"In that spirit, Jazz has the potential to inspire family values, creativity, perseverance, positive self-esteem, freedom of expression, leadership, and community service." br

 

 

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