Mambo Kings

A fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythm and Contemporary Jazz

MAMBO KINGS, together since 1995, are enjoying great success as Upstate New York's foremost Latin jazz ensemble, and have rapidly earned a national reputation for their explosive blend of Afro Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation. 

Since their orchestral debut in 1997 with the Rochester Philharmonic and Conductor Jeff Tyzik, Mambo Kings have appeared at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and in Pops concerts with orchestras in Baltimore, Vancouver, Detroit, Dallas, Naples (FL) and Portland (OR), among many others, performing original compositions and arrangements by pianist Richard DeLaney.

As a quintet, Mambo Kings have appeared as featured soloists at the 2003 and 2008 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest, the Music In The Mountains Festival in Colorado, the Lewiston (NY) Jazz Fest and most recently, the 2017 Big Sky Arts Fest in Bozeman, MT.

The 2016-17 season opened with shows in Chattanooga and Fort Lewis (AR) and included return performances with the Vancouver (BC) and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. The 2017-18 season will feature shows with the Spokane, and Louisville Symphonies, the Rochester Philharmonic and the New Jersey Symphony.



Mambo Kings musical director and pianist Richard DeLaney, born and raised in Lima, Peru, has been active as a jazz pianist, arranger and composer in Rochester since earning a Master's Degree from the Eastman School Of Music in 1978. He has written and performed music for film, television, the stage and the concert hall. He has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, as well as with Paquito D'Rivera, Bobby Sanabria and numerous bandleaders in Rochester. His original compositions and arrangements for orchestra have been performed throughout the US and Canada, by the Baltimore, Dallas, Vancouver and Detroit Symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, among many others. He produced three recordings for Mambo Kings -- Marinera (2003), Live! (2005) and Nostalgia (2008)-- on their own label, Mambokingdom Music. Richard joined the piano faculty of the Hochstein School Of Music in 1985 and has directed the school's Jazz Ensemble Program since 2001. He is currently coaching two student jazz ensembles. He received the Faculty Service Award in 1996.

Percussionist Freddy Colón (drums, timbales, bongos) has performed with Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Soneros Del Barrio, Johnny Rivera, El Cano and Paquito Acosta. He has taught percussion at the Eastman School Of Music's Community Education Division and is much in demand as a percussion clinician in the Rochester area.

John Viavattine has been an accomplished woodwind specialist in Rochester, New York for many years. He is currently a member of the Latin jazz group Mambo Kings playing saxophones and flute. He has toured extensively worldwide with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, including a memorable performance in Washington, D.C. at President Reagan’s 1980 Inaugural Ball. John has also performed with Chuck and Gap Mangione, Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  As a member of the Mambo Kings, John has performed  with Symphony Orchestras in Baltimore, Portland, Oregon, Dallas, Detroit and Vancouver, to name a few. John has also performed with  The Temptations, Patti Page, Aretha Franklin, Vic Damone, Lou Rawls, Ray Charles and Randy Brecker. John is currently the director of bands at Spencerport High School where he has been responsible for leading nationally ranked wind ensembles and jazz ensembles for over twenty-five years. John has also acted as a guest artist, clinician and conductor at many music festivals and NYSSMA conferences. John is endorsed by the Conn-Selmer Company and plays Selmer Mark VI Saxophones exclusively.

Bassist Hector Diaz has been playing with bands in the Western New York area since the age of thirteen. He has performed with Ismael Miranda, Hector Tricoche, "El Cano" Estremera, Paquito Acosta, Zafra Negra, Luisito Rosario, Wendell Rivera and Johnny Rivera. While in the Army, Hector toured with an All Soldiers show throughout Army bases in South Korea.

Percussionist Tony Padilla (congas) was born and raised in Rochester. A self taught percussionist, he began playing at age 12 and has been performing professionally since the age of 14. Tony has played with such artists as Paquito D'Rivera, Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine, Arturo Sandoval, Jerry Gonzalez, Lou Gramm, The Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1983, Tony as been conducting clinics and workshops throughout the United States, including The Eastman School of Music, The New York State Teachers Music Association, The Percussive Arts Society, and a variety of colleges and high schools.