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CD art and graphics by Johnny Crespo Estrella



L to R: Ian Malcolm Peters, Cougar Estrada, Raul Rico Jr., John Douglas, Norma LaTuchie

Songon came about in 2004 when bassist Ian Peters heard through the salsa/Latin-jazz grapevine that pianist John Douglas had moved up to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles in 2002. Ian contacted John and they agreed to get together to play. Ian brought in drummer Cougar Estrada and conguero Raul Rico, with whom Ian had worked in The Estrada Brothers Band. John brought in flutist Norma LaTuchie, whom he knew from gigs in the Santa Barbara Brazilian music and musical theatre scenes. Other Santa Barbara–area musicians who played with the band include flutist Ruben Martinez, conguero Roberto Gutierrez and drummers Kevin Winard, Craig Thatcher and Brett Gollin. Influenced by John’s years playing and recording Dominican, Cuban and Puerto Rican music with Radhy Montero y Su Orchesta and Elegua in Boston, Mass. in the 1970s, and Justo Almario’s Tolu, The L.A. Salsa Society, Bongo Logic and Charangoa in Los Angeles in the 1980s–90s, Songon plays John’s originals and his arrangements of cover songs in styles ranging from guajira, cha–cha, danzon and songo to straight ahead Latin-jazz and Afro-Cuban 6/8 in an instrumental flute-centered charanga format.

John led recording sessions of his arrangements of original and cover songs with his Latin-jazz band, Songon, with engineer/producer Sjoerd Auke Koppert at Tantrum Studios, Montecito. Mixed and mastered by Dom Camardella at Santa Barbara Sound Design. You can hear Songon CD by going to Music. Popular L.A. salsa songwriter/singer/artist Johnny Crespo Estrella did the art and graphics for the Songon CD jacket.

Meet the Band

Norma LaTuchie works as an orchestral and jazz flutist, pianist, composer, arranger, musical director and elementary school music teacher. Norma’s self-produced EP, Circus/O Circo, features her jazz and Brazilian-influenced compositions. Musicians featured on the recording include Toninho Horta, Kana Shimanuki, Fabiano Nascimento and Randy Tico.   

John Enrico Douglas works as a pianist, composer, arranger and music director in Santa Barbara, Calif. He teaches piano and accompanies classes and choirs at Santa Barbara City College, and is music/choir director at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation. John has served as music director for hundreds of school, community theatre and professional shows, and composed songs and music for live theatre productions at UC Santa Barbara, Westmont College, Santa Barbara High School and City at Peace–Santa Barbara.

Malcolm Ian Peters works as a bassist in the Los Angeles–Ventura–Santa Barbara regions. He has performed or toured with War, Long John Oliva, Justo Almario and The Estrada Brothers, with whom he also recorded. Lately he has been gigging with Louie Beltran Cruz and various Latin-jazz bands.

Raul Rico works as a conguero and percussionist in the Los Angeles–Ventura–Santa Barbara regions. He has performed and recorded with many Latin–jazz bands, including The Estrada Brothers. As a radio programmer/DJ, he brought Latin-jazz and salsa to Central Coast airwaves for 26 years at KCSB-FM Santa Barbara and KCLU-FM Thousand Oaks.

Cougar Estrada works as a drummer and pianist in the Los Angeles–Ventura–Santa Barbara regions. He appears on many recordings, including his family’s popular band, The Estrada Brothers and world–famous Los Lobos, with whom he toured and recorded for over 10 years. Cougar has produced many records independently and for his own record label, Cougar Records.  

Roberto Gutierrez is a native of Santa Barbara, Calif. He started playing congas with Latin music ensemble Vientos del Sur in 1999, and freelances as a  percussionist. He has worked for the Santa Barbara School District and now works as a deputy with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

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