Filosofía Caribeña 3, a new project by John Santos

Filosofía Caribeña Vol.3

We have exciting news! We have been awarded a $15,000 matching grant from the East Bay Community Foundation’s East Bay Fund for Artists (EBFA) to finish Filosofía Caribeña 3, the ongoing third project in John Santos’ Filosofía Caribeña series of recordings. Volumes 1 & 2 were released in 2011 and 2013, respectively, thanks to two generous matching grants from the EBFA which were matched through individual donations by our highly esteemed and appreciated supporters and patrons. Like the first two in the series, Filosofía 3 consists of entirely original compositions and arrangements by The John Santos Sextet. Initial basic tracks for most of the compositions of Filosofía 3 were recorded between 2013 and 2019. As often happens with independent recordings, lack of capital causes long delays in completion of projects and sometimes prevents them from ever seeing the light of day.

So, we come to you, attempting to demonstrate the value in what we offer. Whether you are new to our family of friends, students, patrons, fans, dancers, colleagues and angels, or have donated to either or both Vol.1 and Vol.2 (for which we thank you profusely), we hope you will consider lending your support, presence and encouragement to Filosofía 3.

Funds raised and awarded through this grant will be used to offset:

1.     Post-production costs as they relate to recording studio(s), adding instrumental and voice overdubs, editing, mixing, mastering, artwork/graphics, manufacturing of hard copy musical media (CDs, etc), digital distribution, copyright registration and publishing.

2.     Artist fees for studio time.

3.     The commission, recording and production of at least one more brand-new composition by John Santos.

BUT – we only get the funds if we are able to raise the matching amount of $15,000 from our donor base, thus showing significant support and interest from the communities we represent. This will only happen with your generous participation!  No donation is too big or too small and all donations are 100% tax-deductible, thanks to our wonderful non-profit fiscal sponsor, The Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley!

The concept of Filosofía Caribeña 3 is in line with its two predecessors in its attempt to reconcile political and social chaos by drawing upon traditional Afro-Latin philosophy and history that has given us strength, grounding, direction, understanding and identity. The music and texts that emerge add to the continuum of artistic expression as “la voz del pueblo” (the peoples’ voice), expressing solidarity, documentation, resistance and hope from the perspective of extremely diverse Latino communities throughout the hemisphere.

Music is a unique catalyst that uplifts, inspires and unifies, celebrates humanity, creates empathy across every conceivable border, and flies in the face of divisive politics. Independent music is not measured in terms of units sold, but of spirits lifted!  Filosofía draws upon the traditional, sacred and contemporary rhythms, forms and concepts that inform the canon of Afro-Caribbean music. In particular, we focus on Cuban, Puerto Rican and Jazz elements as New Orleans, the birthplace of our national art form (Jazz), is a major part of the Caribbean community united by its ports throughout five centuries of colonial history. And just as improvisation has been a hallmark of survival for the colonized, musical improvisation plays a central role in Filosofía 3.

Filosofía 3 will be a double CD featuring an incredible line up of the creative spirits of more than 20 multi-generational artists, several of whom are iconic figures in Afro-Latin musical history, two having recently transitioned to the realm of the ancestors (Ernesto Oviedo and Jerry González):


JS Sextet:

Dr. John Calloway

Melecio Magdaluyo

Marco Diaz

Saul Sierra

David Flores

John Santos

Special Guests:

Ernesto Oviedo

Jerry Gonzalez

Orestes Vilató

Tito Matos

Willie Ludwig

Rico Pabón

Pedro Pastrana

Félix Samuel

Fernanda Bustamante

José Roberto Hernandez

Sandra García Rivera

Charlie Gurke

Anthony Blea

Jonathan Alford

Ismael Rodriguez

Mario Pam

Umi Vaughan


We are forever grateful for your (continued) embrace of our work and for helping spread the word particularly during these difficult financial times that have us all thinly spread. Please mark your calendars for the live East Bay premiere performance of Filosofía 3 at the legendary and friendly confines of the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA in December of 2020. More details soon!
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Fundraising team: Share The Love Team (2)

Sam Smetana 
Berkeley, CA
Berkeley Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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Katy Wafle 
Team member
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