Oscar Stagnaro – Bass
Oscar Stagnaro, originally from Peru, is considered one of the most versatile bass players on the East Coast. His mastery of playing a variety of styles ranging from jazz and fusion to Latin jazz, Brazilian jazz, and South American music has helped him travel the world performing with the very best Latin jazz artists. Says Bass Player magazine, "Oscar’s technical agility, advanced harmonic and melodic knowledge, and grounding in funk and R&B – as well as his dedication to Latin traditions – give him the ultimate flexibility when it comes time to lay down a groove." In addition to his performing career he has developed Latin Bass curricula at both the Berklee College of Music, where he is an associate professor, and at the New England Conservatory. Oscar joined Paquito’s group in 1990.
Diego Urcola – Trumpet/Trombone
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, three – time Grammy Award nominee Diego Urcola has been a member of the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet since 1991. This in-demand trumpeter also performs regularly with the legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band. "A disciplined technician blessed with classical and jazz chops – but when he lets his bebop loose, this guy is pure excitement, with passionate range and attack." (Jesse Varela, Latin Beat)
Mark Walker -Drummer/Percussionist
Drummer/composer/educator Mark Walker began his tenure with Paquito D’Rivera in 1989, when Paquito needed a drummer who could handle a variety of rhythmic styles with an authentic feel. Since then Mark has toured extensively around the globe and recorded many Grammy award-winning albums with Paquito, Oregon, Caribbean Jazz Project, Michel Camilo, Lyle Mays, Cesar Camargo Mariano, New York Voices, Andy Narell, Eliane Elias, and many more. In 2015, he will be releasing a solo album of his original compositions with “The Rhythm of the Americas Project,” a nine-piece group.
His composition “Deep Six” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 and his composition “What About That!” was featuring on the Grammy award-winning Paquito D’Rivera Quintet CD “Funk Tango.”
Mark is a professor of percussion at Berklee College of Music and has performed clinics and workshops in Europe, Asia, and the Western hemisphere. His instructional book and CD, “World Jazz Drumming” (Hal Leonard), features Paquito on an original track.
Alex Brown – Piano
Setting the tone for the second decade of the 21st century, pianist Alex Brown kicked it off with a feature article in the January 2010 issue of Keyboard Magazine. His reputation continues expanding via his notable performances with everyone from innovative saxophonist Miguel Zenon to the legendary Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. A member of Paquito D’Rivera’s ensemble since 2007, he shared in that ensemble’s 2010 Grammy nomination for D’Rivera’s album, Jazz-Clazz. Of Brown’s 2010 debut CD with his own ensemble, Pianist, DownBeat magazine proclaimed it “A really fine record that leaves you wanting more.” This just a year after his 2009 graduation with a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory where he studied with Danilo Perez and Charlie Banacos, among others. Due to his diverse influences, Classical, rhythm & blues, hip-hop, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian styles all co-mingle – naturally and infectiously – in Brown’s music. Doubtlessly, this versatility contributed to his collecting an array of student and young composer awards from ASCAP, DownBeat Magazine and BMI, propelling him towards a professional career. Now in Alex Brown’s rear-view mirror are appearances at top jazz venues and festivals, including: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, Birdland, and the Blue Note in New York (and Tokyo), Blues Alley in Washington DC, the Telluride Jazz Celebration and Israel’s Red Sea Jazz Festival.