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James Sanders’ Conjunto is one of Chicago’s longest-running Latin jazz ensembles. Conjunto’s Caribbean rhythms and dynamic jazz improvisations have entertained audiences in clubs, concert halls and festival stages for nearly two decades. The result are performances that move audiences figuratively and literally, where moments of hushed intimacy are followed by joyous dancing.
Chicago native James Sanders is a classically trained violinist with a Masters degree in performance from Yale University. Shortly after earning his degree, his attention was drawn to both jazz improvising and the Latin music he absorbed growing up the son of a Dominican mother in a diverse urban environment. In Conjunto, jazz freedom, intricate instrumental virtuosity and propulsive dance rhythms find equal footing in a cohesive whole, making music for mind, body, and soul. They have performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Jazz Showcase, Chicago Latin Jazz Festival, Velvet Lounge, Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, Deer Park Jazz & Wine Festival, Sabor a Café Steakhouse, Andy’s Jazz Club, Chicago SummerDance, Logan Center for the Arts and many more. Conjunto headlined Millennium Park’s Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series before 10,000 fans in August of 2010.
Conjunto’s repertoire ranges from Afro-Cuban classics ala Buena Vista Social Club to Latin arrangements of jazz standards, fusion and even the Great American songbook, plus original material written by Sanders and other members of the group. They have recorded two albums, “Live in Little Village” and “Chicago Sessions”. Conjunto’s skillful blend of Afro-Caribbean and jazz elements has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences everywhere they’ve played, be it the heart of el barrio or the most demanding new music venue. Moving confidently from Afro-roots to intricate improvisation, Conjunto engages mind and body with their poly-rhythmic intricacy, thoughtful arrangements, and virtuoso soloing.