About Barry Olsen

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BARRY OLSEN is a native New Yorker and alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music, who began his career in the late 70s playing trombone in New York's Latin dance music scene. Over the years has recorded and performed all over the world with most of the major artists in this field, including Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, and La India.

barry image1He has also performed on trombone, piano, and percussion with Paul Simon, David Byrne, The Paul Winter Consort, Charlie Persip and many others. He first recorded in South Africa on the CD "Ancestral Healing" by South African artist Pops Mohammed, and the CD "Jazzin' Universally", with Airto Moreira, Jose Neto, Valerie Naranjo, and many outstanding musicians from that country. Since then he has performed with the jazz group Ingoma, led by South African saxophonist and composer Zim Ngqawana, having toured with them in Europe and the U.S., as well as in their home country.

Barry is the pianist for the Latin-Jazz group Syotos, led by trombonist Chris Washburne, and is featured on their recordings "Nuyorican Nights.," "The Other Side" and "Paradise in Trouble". On marimba and percussion he is frequently heard in the orchestra of the Broadway hit "The Lion King." He is completing a piano trio CD with Drummer Vince Cherico and bassist Boris Kozlov.

Since 1988 he has been performing Lobi and Dagara music from northern Ghana, playing the drums known as kuar and gangaa, which accompany the gyil. Since performing in Ghana in 1996, he has recorded these instruments on the CD "Zie Mwea (Natural Conditions)" with Bernard Woma, several CDs with Kakraba Lobi, and Valerie Naranjo's recording "Lewaa's Dream.

Copyright © 1999-2005 Valerie Naranjo and Mandara Music. All Rights Reserved.
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