The Kennedy Center

Jazz Envoys


The 2010 Ecuador-U.S. Jazz Envoy Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of Ecuador and the United States through a jazz exchange, education and performance program.  Four Ecuadorian music students were selected by an impartial audition process to form the “Ecuador-U.S. Jazz Envoy Ensemble.”  The U.S. Embassy, Quito is sponsoring this ensemble to travel to the U.S. in July, 2010 to participate in a Jamey Aebersold summer jazz workshop to receive advanced training in performance and improvisation.  The musicians will then travel to Washington, D.C. for cultural activities, including a free performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, educational activities, and tourism.  Upon returning to Ecuador, the U.S. Embassy, Quito will sponsor the Ecuador-U.S. Jazz Envoy Ensemble to conduct a series of performances and workshops around Ecuador to share their jazz music and their U.S. experience with Ecuadorian audiences and jazz students. 

The four musicians were selected through a rigorous audition process conducted by a panel of adjudicators from various Quito music institutions.    The 2010 Ecuador-U.S. Jazz Envoy Program is sponsored by the United States Embassy, Quito, Ecuador; Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ); JazzMasters en Ecuador; and Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Workshops.

In Washington, D.C., Meridian International Center, a non-profit institution that has been committed exclusively to public diplomacy and global engagement for almost 50 years, is assisting with the program of the Ecuador – U.S. Jazz Envoys.


The group’s 25-year-old-drummer comes from Quito and began his musical studies with guitar lessons at age seven.  At 16, Andres began his drum studies under Esteban Rivadeneira and Diego Mino.  In 2007, he won a scholarship to the Instituto de Música Contemporánea (Member of Berklee International Network), where he currently studies with Sergio Reggiani and Matt Wittek.  Andrés has attended several clinics and master classes conducted by Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Oscarito Valdez, Zoro, Antonio Sanchez, Robby Ameen and Pascoal Meirelles.  As a member of the IMC’s Big Band, directed by Jay Byron, at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Andres has had the opportunity to perform with trumpeter Brad Goode, trombonists Jeff Galindo and Elizabeth Dotson, saxophonist Greg Badolato and guitarist Rick Peckham.  In addition to his work with jazz ensembles, Andres has also performed with the IMC’s Salsa Orchestra, the percusion ensemble, Betto Kazz, Mirella Cesa, K/tleya orquesta, Sebastian Garcia, Javier Lopez, Jandi Feliz and Lizz.  Besides his work with the Envoys, Andres is currently the arranger and drummer for the vocal group, Clone.


The Jazz Envoys’ pianist has studied with professors Hugo Gianini, Raimon Rovira, Anibal Landazuri, and Natalia Kovalenko. Santiago further participated in master classes with pianists Oleg Barsof and Mac McClure. He obtained an Associate Degree at Mozarte Conservatory in Quito, and has taught piano at that institution, as well as at the Tiana Foundation and Franz Liszt Conservatory in Quito.  He currently studies contemporary composition with professor Jose Angel Perez. In 2000, Santiago was one of five finalists in a classical music contest organized by the German Cultural Center in Guayaquil and has performed in other festivals, including the Jazz In Situ Festival in Quito.  Santiago has recorded with other musical artists and has recorded three solo albums: “Santiago Marroquin´s Piano Solo,” “Piano Nacional”, and “Menu Variado.”   Besides his work with the Jazz Envoys, Santiago currently performs with another jazz trio and plans to record his own compositions with them.


Paul, the youngest Jazz Envoys member at 18, began his musical studies when he was seven at the National Conservatory of Music.  At 10 took up trumpet studies with Professor Lenin Palacios.  The following year, Paul traveled to the United States and Switzerland as a member of the Brass Band of Ecuador and represented his country in the Seventh Festival of European Youth Bands.  Three years later, Paul entered the Instituto de Musica Contemporanea at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. As a member of the IMC Big Band, Paul has performed with Antonio Hart, Brad Goode, and Jeff Galindo.  In 2009 he obtained a scholarship to continue his musical studies at North Texas University, studying there with Rodney Booth, Mike Steinel and Lynn Seton.  Paul has recorded with The Phunky Butt Rhythm and Blues Band, Gino Castillo and Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, and he has performed with Andres Cepeda and Walt Szymanski.  Paul also performs with his own band, Jazz Time, at various festivals in Ecuador.


Daniel, a 19 year-old native of Quito, began his music studies at age 12, and soon after he entered the Instituto de Musica Contemporanea program for young musicians at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, where he studied the electric bass.  In 2009, Daniel began his college studies at the Institute, studying with Jeffrey Eckels and Steve Whipple; he currently studies there with bass player Katie Thiroux and bassist Edwin Proaño.  In July 2009, Daniel obtained a scholarship from North Texas University, where he studied with Rodney Booth, Mike Steinel and Lynn Seton.  As a member of the IMC’S Big Band, Daniel participated in the 2010 International Jazz Festival in Quito, where he played with trombonist Jeff Galindo.  Daniel is also a member of the quartet, Jazz Time, and has performed at the Fiesta de la Musica Festival and other events in Quito.  Besides jazz, Daniel participates in various rock and funk projects in Quito.
2010 Jazz Envoys