SYOTOS concert is Feb. 10 at Rococo

NYC Latin jazz band SYOTOS with Chris Washburne
NYC Latin jazz band SYOTOS with Chris Washburne

If you haven't heard of SYOTOS, think Tito Puente meets James Brown meets Charles Ives and you've got it right.

On Feb. 10, the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and its third annual Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium will present Latin jazz band SYOTOS at Lincoln's Rococo Theatre, 140 N. 13th St.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. and is preceded by an audience talk and dinner with SYOTOS founder and trombonist Chris Washburne at 5:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public. Tickets for dinner and the performance are available through the Rococo Theatre Box Office and online at Prices are $12 for the performance only or $27 to also attend the lecture and dinner. UNL students can see the performance free of charge by reserving a ticket at

"SYOTOS will hypnotize you. Their gorgeous music runs the gamut — it's lush and lyrical, smoking hot, and complex, thoughtful jazz," said Rhonda Garelick, IAS founding director. "Front man Chris Washburne has it all — he's a Grammy-winning musician with 150 recordings to his name, as well as a publishing scholar and professor at Columbia University. I hope people will come and hear him talk and then stay for the concert.

"This is what IAS is all about — offering a thrilling evening of world-class performance enriched by a public talk by an expert, which adds context and depth to the experience."

SYOTOS (an acronym coined by Washburne, meaning See You on the Other Side) was founded in 1992 by Washburne and features some of the best Latin jazz players in New York City. This boundary-breaking band exemplifies Latin jazz with a global reach, combining Afro-Cuban, funk, jazz, gospel and contemporary classical music. It has held the longest running Latin jazz gig in New York, performing weekly for 20 years straight.

Its five recordings have each received critical acclaim and the latest, "Fields of Moons," was listed as one of the top 10 jazz releases of 2010 on the JazzTimes critic's list. In 1999, SYOTOS wowed the critics with its debut release, "Nuyorican Nights (Jazzheads)," which Down Beat described as "Booty-shaking heat."

SYOTOS has performed at the most revered venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Blue Note in NYC, Lincoln Center, BB King's, Smoke, BAM, Museum of Modern Art and many jazz festivals across the United States, including the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and Lake George Jazz Festival.

Washburne, bandleader and trombone player, is an internationally known musician, composer and scholar who is also an associate professor of music and founding director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program at Columbia University in New York. He has published numerous articles on jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa. He is author of the book "Sounding Salsa: Performing Latin Music in New York" (2008) and editor of the book "Bad Music" (2004).

The SYOTOS name refers to a time in 1992 when Washburne was diagnosed with severe nerve cancer and told that he had only a 50-50 chance of surviving an operation but no chance whatsoever of ever playing the trombone again. He insisted that before going into the hospital he play one more gig. After the show, he turned to his bandmates and said, "S.Y.O.T.O.S." (see you on the other side). Washburne survived the operation but was left with severe nerve loss and damage to one side of his face. Proving the experts wrong, he managed to re-master his instrument and become an even better player.

Washburne has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Justin Timberlake,,Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Bang on a Can All-stars, David Byrne, Bjork, Gloria Estefan, They Might Be Giants, Chico O'Farrill, Don Richols, John Cale, Grady Tate, Baba Olatunje, Danilo Caymmi, Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera, among others.

The Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium at UNL, founded and directed by Garelick, is sponsored by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, presented, in part, by the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and funded, in part, by the Hixson-Lied Endowment. IAS 2012 Season III is supported by the Cooper Foundation and is devoted to exploring the rich cultural fusion that results from "Immigration, Migration, and Transplantation in Performance." More information on all IAS 2012 events can be found at

— Shannon McClure, Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium

More details at: