Join us for a night of uplifting, soul-searching music, and spoken word with internationally renowned, veteran artist/activists John Santos, Rico Pabón, and Melecio Magdaluyo. 

The Source Trio uses Afro-Latin rhythm, spoken word in English and Spanish, funk, hip-hop, soul and jazz to lift and unite the culturally diverse Oakland and greater Bay Area working class community. Internationally renowned percussionist and bandleader John Santos is a Bay Area native with over 40 years as a performer, producer and teacher. He has performed and recorded with countless legends of Latin music and jazz such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Max Roach, Cachao and Omar Sosa. Multi-instrumentalist, educator Melecio Magdaluyo is also a Bay Area native, highly solicited as a sideman and has a 30-year history of performing with Santos as well as with Confunction, the Whispers, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra among many others. Wordsmith extraordinaire and East Coast native Rico Pabon has a 25-year artistic track record in the Bay Area and represents the best of the contemporary spoken word artist/MC. Together, The Source Trio forms a powerful weapon in the struggle for justice, equality and unity at a time when the forces of economic and cultural oppression are at an intense level.


John Santos

Born in San Francisco, California, November 1, 1955, he was raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean traditions of his family, surrounded by music. The fertile musical environment of the San Francisco Bay Area shaped his career in a unique way.

His studies of Afro-Latin music have included several trips to New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil and Colombia. He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music, and has earned much respect and recognition as a prolific performer, composer, teacher, writer, radio programmer, and record/event producer whose career has spanned four decades. John has performed and/or recorded with acknowledged, multi-generational masters such as Cachao, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Bebo Valdés, Max Roach, Eddie Palmieri, Patato Valdés, Lázaro Ros, Bobby Hutcherson, Manny Oquendo, Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, Buenavista Social Club, Chocolate Armenteros, John Handy, Billy Cobham, Zakir Hussain, Hermeto Pascoal, George Cables, Generoso Jimenez, Joe Henderson, Ernesto Oviedo, Regina Carter, Chester Thompson, Francisco Aguabella, John Faddis, Ed Thigpen, Giovanni Hidalgo, Steve Turre, McCoy Tyner, Batacumbele, Poncho Sanchez, Omar Sosa, Mel Martin, Ignacio Berroa, Danilo Perez, Los Pleneros de la 21, Jose Luis “Changuito” Quintana, Armando Peraza, Pancho Quinto, Tootie Heath, Art Farmer, Pupy Pedroso, Jacqueline Castellanos, Malonga Casquelord, CK Ladzekpo, Pancho Terry, Juan De Dios Ramos, Carlos Aldama, Yosvany Terry, Dafnis Prieto, Oscar Castro Neves, Mark Murphy, Orkestra Rumpilezz, Larry Coryell, Lázaro Galarraga, Regino Jimenez, Luis Daniel “Chichito” Cepeda, Modesto Cepeda, Guillermo “Negro” Triana, Lázaro Rizo, Raul “Lali” Gonzalez, Amado DeDeus, Pedrito Martinez, Jose Lugo, Jerry Medina, Orestes Vilató, Kamau Daaood, Johnny Rodriguez, Sonny Bravo, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Anthony Carrillo, Paoli Mejías, Raul Rekow, Andy Gonzalez, Jerry Gonzalez, Jovino Santos Neto, Lalo Schifrin, Gema y Pavel, Pete Escovedo, Claudia Gómez, Maria Márquez, Jon Jang, Wayne Wallace, Mark Levine, Elio Villafranca, Bruce Forman, Linda Tillery, Charlie Hunter, Joyce Cooling, Bobby Matos, Mark Weinstein, Roberto Borrell, Sandy Perez, Jesus Diaz, Roman Diaz, Pablo Menendez y Mezcla, Yma Sumac, Rhiannon, Larry Vukovich, Kenny Washington, Faye Carol, Kellye Gray, Destani Wolf, Kimiko Joy, Kenny Endo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Carlos Santana, among others.

John is widely respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians in the field and was a member of the Latin Jazz Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. He is currently part of the faculty at the California Conservatory of Jazz (Berkeley, CA), Laney College (Oakland, CA), and the College of San Mateo (CA). He has conducted countless workshops, lectures and clinics in the US, Latin America and Europe since 1973 at institutions of all types including the Smithsonian, the Adventures in Music program of the San Francisco Symphony, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Michigan, Temple University, Brigham Young University, Cal Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Hayward, the University of Colorado, Yakima Valley Community College, Ohio Music Education Association, the Afro-Cuban Drumming and Dance Program at Humboldt State University (CA), Cal State Sonoma, Cal State Sacramento, Cal State San Jose, Tulane and Dillard Universities of Louisiana, Jazz Camp West, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Los Angeles Music Academy, the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco), the Lafayette Summer Music Program (CA), the Oakland Public Conservatory, and La Universidad Inter-Americana in San Germán Puerto Rico. He has contributed to the international magazines Percussive Notes, Modern Drummer, Modern Percussionist, and Latin Percussionist.

John was the director of the Orquesta Tipica Cienfuegos (1976-1980) and the award-winning Orquesta Batachanga (1981-1985). He was founder and director of the internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble (1985-2006), with whom he released nine CDs with special guests from Puerto Rico, Cuba, NY, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, mostly on John’s Machete Records label that was founded in 1984 and continues today. He currently directs the highly acclaimed John Santos Sextet Latin jazz ensemble with five full-length CDs under their belt to date. Papa Mambo was released in 2007. Their second CD, Perspectiva Fragmentada, (2008) was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association (NY), and by Cubadisco (Cuban Grammys) as one of the top Latin Jazz releases of the year, and selected as one of the five top Latin Jazz CDs of 2008 by New York’s All About Jazz magazine, among many honors. Filosofía Caribeña Vol.1 (2011) received a four-and-a-half star review from Downbeat Magazine! Filosofía Caribeña Vol.2 was released in 2013. Siempre Clásico (2014) features amazing special guests Ernesto Oviedo and Orestes Vilató. John has also produced four full length CDs with his Afro-Caribbean Folklóric Ensemble, El Coro Folklórico Kindembo since 1994, two of which were Grammy-nominated. The most recent, La Esperanza (2011), garnered a four star review in Downbeat Magazine!

The San Francisco Bay Area community in which John still lives and works has presented him with numerous awards and honors for artistic excellence and social dedication. John received the Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation in 2011. He was presented with the San Francisco Latino Heritage Award in 2012 that included a Certificate of Honor signed by Mayor Edwin Lee, and Certificates of Recognition from the State Assembly, a Certificate of Recognition from the State Senate, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives. He was also selected for the Man of the Year Award by Brothers on the Rise (Oakland, CA) in 2013. A photo of John from 1987 by pioneering Puerto Rican photographer/activist Frank Espada hangs in the National P0rtrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC!

John’s work has also been recognized and supported by the Monterey Jazz Festival (2002), the Smithsonian Institution, the California Arts Council, United States Artists, the Zellerbach Family Fund, the Fund for Folk Culture, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, the East Bay Community Foundation, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Creative Work Fund, and the City of Oakland. The City of San Francisco issued a mayoral proclamation declaring November 12, 2006 John Santos Day. He was featured prominently in the PBS American Masters documentary, Cachao: Uno Mas (2008), and is the subject of another PBS documentary by Searchlight Films (Oakland, CA), currently in progress.

John is an advisory board member of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (NY) and the Oaktown Jazz Workshop (Oakland, CA), and a Trustee of SFJAZZ.

Melecio Magdaluyo

Extraordinary saxophonist/flautist, Melecio Magdaluyo, is a multi-instrumentalist (soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet, flute, piano, percussion) and educator active in the vibrant San Francisco music scene since the mid 1970s and teaching in the public school district since the mid-1990s. He is a founding member of John Santos’ Machete Ensemble (1985), and is one of the most solicited freelance recording and performing musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Melecio was born and raised in San Francisco and has recorded and/or performed with The Asian American Jazz Orchestra, Machete Ensemble, The Whispers, Confunction, Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., M.C. Hammer and countless others, in addition to leading his own quintet.

Rico Pabon

Follow him around for a year, and you might catch him flowing a cappella at spoken word shows in the local cultural centers, or at well known events like the Monterey Jazz Festival with John Santos' Latin jazz sextet. He may be backed by a chamber ensemble, playing the lead role in a hip hop opera or he may be singing and playing percussion with Linda Tillery's Cultural Heritage Choir. You're as likely to see him rhyming with a DJ as you are to see him performing with an Afro Puerto Rican Bomba group or singing and rhyming with bands like O-Maya or AguaLibre, both 10 piece salsa/ reggae/ hip hop fusion bands that performed to crowds of thousands at well known events like Stern Grove in San Francisco or Reggae on the River in Northern California. In the studio or on stage, the Puerto Rican bilingual musician known as Rico Pabón is a man of many genres, and although hip hop is the music of his generation, he chooses to draw the connections between the traditional music he heard growing up at home and the music he danced to in the streets of the SF Bay Area, Jamaica Plains and New York. "For us, the sons and daughters of immigrants, Hip Hop is our traditional music, but for most of us it didn't replace our deep love for the music of our roots. It only added more flavor to the soundtracks of our lives," says Pabón.

Born into a family of musicians, dancing and playing music was just an every day part of living. Rico found his voice as an emcee at the age of 15 and has since released 5 full length albums and has appeared on numerous compilations and collaborations garnering him much critical acclaim. A natural performer, Rico's vocal stamina, clarity and rhythm combined with the passionate delivery of his "true to life" lyrics make his energy on stage explosive and captivating. On one of his songs, Pabón says "I'm only trying to be above the average emcee and speak for people like Albizu and Garvey," but to hear and see him perform live it's obvious that he's orbiting a few universes past standard and you know immediately that you are not listening to your average MC, but something very special. An MC whose artistry and activism are one in the same, Pabón says "I feel like it's my personal mission to stand for positivity no matter what mainstream folks are doing. I usually start my shows off a cappella, because I want the people to know that I’m trying to uplift their spirits and speak to their hearts, not just put words together and make them sound good, nor am I a merchant of death. Humans are no different from a plant or flower in nature, if drowned in darkness, we look for the direction of the sun. I try to be that light."

Pabón has had his songs placed in nighttime television dramas "October Road" and "CSI: Miami" and he has appeared on numerous recordings and has shared the stage with an array of highly acclaimed artists, across many genres of music. He is currently gigging as an emcee, poet and singer with two Bay Area legends; 5 time Grammy nominated latin jazz artist John Santos on his Filosofia Caribeña project, as well as with Grammy nominated Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, where he also plays minor percussion. Rico sometimes performs with Aguacero, an Afro Puerto Rican bomba group, as singer and percussionist. Rico was a lead member of Prophets of Rage, O-Maya, and AguaLibre, and he still performs original music as a solo artist with DJ's and live bands, depending on the venue or event. Rico is currently recording an album of all original tunes with Grammy nominated producer Greg Landau and musician/producer Camilo Landau which blends a little bit of everything that he loves, from bolero to bugalú, reggae to salsa, and of course, hip hop.

No matter which musical configuration Rico Pabón finds himself in, from Salsa to Hip Hop and in between, his poetic lyrics are bound by the theme that struggle feeds beauty, and that life is worth fighting for, using truth and love as the weapon. This theme combined with his rhythmic delivery make him one of the Bay Area's most dynamic MCs. Rico's international flavors have allowed him an opportunity to share the stage with other international artists such as Damian and Stephen Marley, Ozomatli, Buju Banton, Femi Kuti, Zap Mama, Meshell N'degeocello, Maxi Priest and Sizzla, to name a few. He has also performed with Hip Hop icons such as Run DMC, Wu Tang Clan, dead prez, Big Daddy Kane, and Kurtis Blow.

Musician and historian John Santos says, "Rico is exceptional in many ways, highly creative and motivated, and deeply dedicated to social change through the arts. I've also observed him extensively, performing and teaching folks of all ages. His enthusiasm is both remarkable and contagious as he engages his audiences and students with his obvious passion and abilities to communicate on multi-levels. He has truly earned the respect of his peers and has inspired countless observers and participants through his commitment to the development of art and self-expression in our neighborhoods. To those of us of Puerto Rican descent, he is especially an unsung hero and treasure whom we proudly hold up as the face and voice of our community. In addition to the above-mentioned facts and observations, Rico's most impressive trait is his demeanor and dignity. One of the finest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."

All photos by Tom Ehrlich.

$15-25 sliding scale

* No refunds or exchanges permitted *