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April 1, 2024
CONTACT and INTERVIEWS: Julián Pujols Quall at (312) 320 7290/



2023 & 2024 South Arts Jazz Road Tour Winners Jonathan Suazo and Julián Pujols Quall join forces in April for a unique mix of compositions from their original projects “Ricano” & “Mamey”. Come and experience a night filled with heavy afro-caribbean jazz as they travel from Chicago to Baltimore.

April 12th California Clipper
April 17th Jazz Showcase
April 18th Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
April 24th Keystone Korner


Mamey pays homage to Dominico-Haitian diasporic rhythms, combining experimental avant-garde music with the folkloric and traditional music of the Caribbean, as part of a vision of the American continent as an interwoven quilt of African threads from New Orleans jazz to the Dominican salve. The music draws inspiration from Dominican bamboula, sarandunga de Baní, gagá and Haitian kompa and its influences include classical, jazz and experimental/free music.


Founder and bandleader Julián Pujols Quall, a Dominican-American  improvising musician, pianist and composer, explains: “Mamey’s tune Catabalsié is a great example of this, as it takes progressions from Liszt's Piano Sonata and, at the same time, is inspired by the gospel jazz harmonies and melodies of Baltimore trumpeter Brandon Woody,  the most recent featured artist at my Julián and Friends monthly residency at the Jazz Showcase, all with a Dominican arrangement and rhythmic structure.”





A Dominican-American improviser, pianist and composer from Chicago, Julián´s journey started with the Caribbean rhythms of their childhood. A classically trained artist, their work found a home in jazz performance, improvisation, and collaboration. Julián is a recent Jazz Performance graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where they studied with Warren Wolf as a recipient of the Merit School of Music's Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-Free Conservatory Blue Ribbon Scholarship. As a solo pianist they have studied at the Aspen Music Festival, Gijón Piano Festival, Brevard Music Festival and Colburn Piano Festival.  As a founding member of the Peabody Improvisers Collective, Julián developed experimental collaborative programs and has been creating and performing improvisational music for ballet, modern and West-African dance programs in Baltimore as an accompanist at Peabody, and in Chicago as an accompanist at Ruth Page and Visceral Dance Centers.  

Julián is the Director of the Julián and Friends Concert Series, a monthly composer platform highlighting new music stemming from the many traditions of Black American Music now in its third year at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago; and is the founder of Mamey, a musical group and project that delves into the influence that Caribbean arts have had in their musical creative journey, and honors beautiful Dominico-Haitian traditions and cultural resilience, while promoting new and vibrant art. Julián is a member of the piano faculty at The Music Offering in Evanston, Illinois, and just released the single Rothko; Tlaloc and Totec featuring Levi Lu and Lorin Benedict, on the New York artist label Carrier Records. They are one of five Chicago artists recently chosen to participate in the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Event’s Center for Creative Entrepreneurship 2024 Cohort, to cultivate and advance their professional practice, and is the recipient of a South Arts Jazz Tour Grant for their Spring Mamey tour of the East Coast.   


Jonathan Suazo is an award-winning saxophonist / composer / cultural advocate / educator who also leads his own project entitled RICANO, a unique afro Caribbean Jazz concept that blends the sounds of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Jonathan was named one of the top ten emerging jazz artists of 2023 by the GRAMMYS and his debut album “Ricano” (Ropeadope Records) was listed at #6 in the best Jazz albums of 2023 by The New York Times.

A Berklee Global Jazz Institute graduate, he’s received many honors including the South Arts Jazz Road Tours Grant, the New Music USA Creator Fund Grant, A full tuition Scholarship to attend the Berklee Global Jazz Institute Masters Program, The Project Support Grant for Program Alumnis by the Fundacion Banco Popular for his Ricano album and the Berklee Urban Service Award for using the arts to support humanitarianism. 

In connection with his Ricano project, Jonathan has become an ally of several organizations like Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Escuela Libre de Música San Juan, Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, El Institute de Cultura, Fundación Banco Popular, IBA and Boston Music Project to impact more than 600 students since 2023.

Catalina Maria Johnson of Downbeat Jazz Mag describes his music as “a soundscape propelled by lyrical sax playing” and Giovanni Rusonnello from the New York Times describes his music as “richly built, written from the heart and packed with complexity, always seeking the next level of altitude.” 

Suazo’s resume includes collaborations / performances with Miguel Zenón, Terri Lyne Carrington, David Sánchez, Charlie Sepúlveda, Gonzalo Grau, Alex Alvear, Ricky Rodriguez, Ileana Cabra (iLÉ), Calma Carmona, Rakalam Bob Moses, Joe Lovano, Paoli Mejias, Humberto Ramirez, David Rivera, Tito Matos, Ricardo Pons, William Cepeda, Jon Secada, Pedro Capó, Obie Bermudez, Hans Glawischnig, Humberto Ramirez, Silverio Perez, Tony Escapa; and he’s led his and at the Santo Domingo Jazz Festival, Martinique Jazz Fest, Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals, Teatro Francisco Arriví (Puerto Rico), Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest (Anfiteatro Tito Puente), Springfield Jazz Fest, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Elephant Room Austin TX, SXSW 2023, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The MFA Boston, and many more.

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