KCLJO: RAISING THE CULTURE THROUGH IMMERSION, MENTORSHIP, AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
In 2018, after two decades as an active musician, bandleader and teaching artist Pablo Sanhueza co-founded the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra with historian & preservationist Cynthia Ammerman. KCLJO is the first and only tuition free cultural immersion education and performance non-profit Orchestra in the Midwestern United States that is dedicated to Jazz and Latin American music and dance. While founded in Kansas City, KCLJO & the Latin Jazz Institute have expanded through collaborations in Las Vegas and across South America including Belize, Chile, and Peru. KCLJO is an intercultural, intergenerational organization, bringing transnational experiences to the stage, the dance floor, and intersectional communities. In 2020, KCLJO received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to for a commissioned collaboration with NEA Jazz Master & Latin Jazz Pioneer Maestro Eddie Palmieri.
Pablo Sanhueza has been deemed as "Kansas City's Heart & Soul of Latin Music" by Jazz Ambassadors Magazine and recognized as the region's premier Salsa & Latin Jazz percussionist and bandleader. Since his arrival to Kansas City from Santiago, Chile in 1996 Pablo has dedicated the past 25 years of his distinguished career to the music of the Latin American experience. As a percussionist, bandleader, and teaching artist he has played with the mainstays of the genre and taught three generations of musicians in the Midwestern and Southwestern United States.
As a performer at the concert stage, Pablo Sanhueza brings the charisma and precision of the Maestros of the Mambo and Big Band era. In 2019, Sanhueza presented his apprentice musicians and veteran collaboration project to an audience reach of nearly 40,000—hosting the longest running salsa & latin jazz nights in the Midwest at the Blue Room.
Sanhueza studied with Jesus Alfonso, Sandy Perez, (Muñequitos de matanzas), and has shared the stage with Poncho Sanchez, David Valentin, Titos Sompa, and toured Europe appearing at Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Red Sea Jazz Festival in Holland and Champs Elysees Paris, France.
In 2014, Sanhueza spent an immersion year in South America, studying Afro-Chilean and Afro-Andino folkloric music and dances. Since 2014 Sanhueza has returned multiple times to continue this artistic exchange with the musicians at the front line of this ongoing research and exchange through jazz and folk workshops and concerts across Chile & the United States through his Chile-Kansas City Jazz Exchange.
Based in San Diego and Kansas City, Sanhueza is a master artist for the Missouri Traditional Arts Apprentice program and was the featured presenter at the Missouri Bi-Centennial Celebration in August 2021 representing Missouri's unique jazz heritage. Sanhueza & KCLJO have received letters of support from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz/International Jazz Day for cultural & education outreach in Chile.
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