Big band leader, singer and accordionist Gregorio Uribe was born in Colombia, studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and is now based in New York where he leads Gregorio Uribe Big Band: a 16-piece orchestra that blends cumbia and other Colombian rhythms with big band arranging. The band’s debut album “Cumbia Universal” (Zoho Music) was released on October 2nd, 2015 with a CD-release performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 14th.
The band has held a monthly residency (first Friday of every month) at Zinc Bar for more than four years and has performed at The Kennedy Center, Iridium Jazz Club and Celebrate Brooklyn Festival among others. Their debut album was financed by their followers in a successful Kickstarter campaign and it presents a collection of songs that is both danceable and sophisticated. Gregorio has been a guest artist with Carlos Vives and Rubén Blades and was named by the government of Colombia as one of the “100 Most Successful Colombians Abroad”. He has been an artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College and a commissioned composer for Grammy-winning Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Early Age and education: Colombian Big Band-leader Gregorio Uribe is one of the most promising artists in New York City’s Latin music scene. He was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia where he spent his teenage years playing drum set in rock bands, accordion in Vallenato serenades and guitar in a Bolero trio. At the age of 17 he backpacked through eight countries in South America performing in streets, buses and beaches of big cities and small towns. Later, Gregorio studied at Berklee College Of Music where he was awarded the Steve Gadd Zildjian Scholarship Award and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2007. He moved to New York City in 2008 and has since then established himself firmly in the heart of the city’s music scene.
Gregorio Uribe Big Band: Today, at the age of 29, Gregorio is the leader of the Gregorio Uribe Big Band (GUBB): a 16-piece ensemble that combines Colombian rhythms such as Cumbia and Chandé with funk and powerful Jazz arranging techniques. The band has a unique combination of some of New York’s top musicians from different backgrounds such as Argentina, USA, Canada, Mexico and Colombia. Their live performances consist of a remarkable combination of trumpets, trombones and clarinets soaring over an amazing percussion section and the leader of the band dancing to the beat while rocking out on his accordion. GUBB is reminiscent of the vintage Colombian Big Bands of the 50’s and 60’s such as those lead by Lucho Bermúdez and Pacho Galán. However, through Gregorio’s compositions and arrangements this ensemble gives the Big Band format, a young, fresh and modern concept that is not found elsewhere today. In February 2013 the band completed two years of their residency at Zinc Bar in the Greenwich Village where they perform on the first Thursday of every month sharing Colombian and Latin rhythms with hundreds of people from all corners of the world. Their single “Caribe Contigo” was featured on MTV’s Tr3s for four weeks in the US and the UK.