Cuarteto Guataca is a Salsa band based in New York City since 2012. Bassist Josh Levine and percussionist and lead singer Jainardo Batista are the core duo. Guataca means to play by ear, and the two describe their music as being based on listening to each other. For a vibrant addition to your big day, this band is happy to perform for you and your loved ones.
Cuarteto Guataca offers a variety of musical services for pre-nuptial events as well as ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions. For a seamless entertainment experience, they can provide MC and DJ services. Josh, Jainardo and their team mates can play entirely acoustic or are happy to project their performance with their state-of-the-art sound system. The band specializes in an array of Latin music including, but not limited to son Cubano, salsa, bolero and cha. They can also perform r&b, pop, and jazz standards to help create a celebration that aligns with your unique vision.
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Jainardo Batista of San Juan, Puerto Rico has been at the heart of New York's salsa and Cuban music scene for decades. He is a sonero's sonero, a percussionist's percussionist and a musician's musician.
Jainardo toured the world through The State Department anbd Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Ambassadors program and co-led the legendary Cuban son group in NYC called Nu' Guajiro with tres player Aaron Halva.
I got my start as a professional musician playing in the parks and on the streets of NYC, so when things were in various states of shut down during the Spring of 2020, I went back to my roots and started playing in the parks with one of New York’s premier percussionists and soneros — Jainardo Batista. Before long, we had generated some buzz, including a tweet by the mayor citing us as proof that NYC was still alive and kicking. Venues with outdoor spaces started to invite us to play and we gained momentum as a band, playing together more and more, rehearsing new repertoire, and building our following the whole time. To sum it up, we had a very atypical experience as performing artists during the pandemic, performing almost as much or more than we were in the before times. Our next step will be to record an album.
Itai Kriss, a Grammy nominated recording artist praised by Jazzwax as “one of the most exciting new flutist-composers” on the scene, commands a variety of musical genres with an eclectic style infused with Jazz, Latin and Middle Eastern sounds.
According to Downbeat Magazine, there is a “tangy, exotic flavor” to the New York musician’s style, which can be heard on his debut album, The Shark (2010) as well as on his latest release, TELAVANA (2018). The Shark features Kriss’ “soaring technique and phrasing that is both aggressive and pastoral,” which displays the versatility of his command of the flute, shifting through genres from funk and reggae to salsa and Arabic stylings with fluid ease.
After spending the past 15 years working at the forefront of New York City’s Jazz scene while performing, recording and touring with some of the world’s top Afro-Cuban, Latin and Salsa artists, flute virtuoso Itai Kriss fuses the sounds of his native Israel with those of his adopted homelands in the Americas to create TELAVANA. From the desert shores of Israel to the tropical beaches of Cuba, TELAVANA bridges the musical spheres of the Middle East and the Caribbean by combining Timba, Soul, North African music and Jazz to create a unique and lively mix of rhythms and textures.
When not touring and recording with likes of Orquesta Akokán, Dafnis Prieto, Edmar Castañeda, Yemen Blues, Gregory Hutchinson, Burning Spear, Los Hacheros, Pedrito Martinez, Omer Avital, Grupo Latin Vibe, Yosvany Terry, Avishai Cohen, Eric McPherson, Elio Villafranca, Kriss performs regularly at premiere New York music venues including The Blue Note, Birdland, S.O.B.’s, Lincoln Center and The Copa Cabana.