Make Music San Francisco

2023 Listings: Wednesday, June 21st

Javier Cabanillas

The dynamic Mexican-born conga player Javier Cabanillas has come a long way since he started performing in Tijuana’s pop-up flea markets. In 2013, the Bay Area resident walked the red carpet in Los Angeles and took home a Grammy Award for his work with Oakland-based Pacific Mambo Orchestra. After that triumphant experience, he decided to concentrate on composing and arranging for his Cabanijazz Project – a blazing eight-piece band featuring many of the region’s top Latin music artists (including PMO bandmates Jamie Dubberly on trombone, Venezuelan-born vocalist Omar Ledezma Jr., and baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington). Cabanillas has released three acclaimed albums in recent years with 2018’s Infrasonic, 2019’s Retrosonic and 2020’s Hellasonic, and has lots of new music in the works.

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