M’BOOM Performing at Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta



Featuring legendary percussionists: Bobby Sanabria, Eli Fountain, Ray Mantilla, Warren Smith, and Joe Chambers and also KBz Strings and special guests.

Download the program for this event

Saturday, June 14th

8pm – 11pm

Arrive 7pm for Q&A before concert!

Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center

1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309


M’Boom was the brainchild of Max Roach, the late percussionist, visionary, and seminal figure of modern jazz. In 1970, Roach gathered six notable drummers – percussionists to explore and compose for the myriad instruments in the percussion family and named the group “M’Boom.” M’Boom (pronounced ‘em-boom) has a double meaning: it is an onomatopoeia, or “sound word” that sounds like the object of descrip- tion, i.e. boom, pow, crack, etc., it is also the name of a secret order of drummers in Northern Senegal.

After Max Roach’s death in 2007, original M’Boom members, Joe Chambers, Warren Smith and Ray Mantilla vowed to fulfill the vision originally planned for M’Boom.

Joe Chambers has worked with some of the most influential jazz figures of the last several decades and is a recognized perfomer and composer whose works have been performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has recorded more than 500 albums and CDs and performed and recorded with jazz greats like Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. Joe Chambers Moving Pictures Orchestra Live at Dizzy’s Coca Cola” was nominated for a Grammy in the Big Band category.

Eli Fountain joined M’Boom in 1981. He has performed with Muhal Richard Abrams, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Geri Allen. His compositions include the percussion ballet “Play,” written for New York’s Complexions Dance Company and has also served as music director for Yale Repertory Company production of King Lear.

Warren Smith has performed extensively in the studio and on Broadway. As the
1960s and 70s progressed, Smith found himself working amid a flourishing mass of creative personalities in the Motown music scene, empowering his already articulate voice within the jazz community; live performances, recordings, and tours with figures like Dionne Warwick, Nat King Cole, Harry Belfonte, and Aretha Franklin all became part of Smith’s credits through 1978. He remains a prominent percussionist and drummer within the jazz world.

Ray Mantilla entered the interna- tional spotlight in 1960 with flutist Herbie Mann, and later embarked on a series of national tours with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in Europe and Japan. In 1977, Mantilla became the first North American Latin musician to play in Cuba since the Cuban Revolution. Mantilla has recorded on more than 200 albums.

Bobby Sanabria – drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer,
filmmaker, conductor, educator, activist, multi-cultural warrior and 7X Grammy nominee as a leader–has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Charles McPherson, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, Marco Rizo, Arturo Sandoval, and many more. Bobby a total of seven nomina- tions for the coveted Grammy award.

The KBz Strings, under the direction of Kerren Berz, the accom- plished violinist and current Concertmaster of the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Berz has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, the Harlem Festival Orchestra, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and shared the stage with musical legends, including Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Joni Mitchell.

Violins: Kerren Berz, Felix Farrar, Angele Lawless

Viola: Lana Teko-Ahatefou

Cello: Alexandra Haines

Special Guests

Howard Nicholson – Woodwinds and Flute

A native of Tuskegee, Alabama, Mr. Nicholson is a multi-reed musician and has been living in Atlanta since 1970. He and Joe Jennings formed the group Life Force in 1973. They have performed in and around Atlanta at local jazz clubs and festivals for many years. He has also played with such greats as Duke Pearson, Nancy Wilson, Steve Wonder, Jimmy Smith, James Brown, and Gladys Knight. Life Force currently performs with the African American Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of John Peek.

Edwin Williams – Bass

Edwin Williams is a native of Wilmington, NC and is the owner of ESS Studios in Atlanta. Mr. Williams is accomplished acoustic and electric bassist. He has toured extensively overseas and nationally with major jazz, R&B, Blues, Big Band artists and performs annually in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s production of “A Soulful Christmas Celebration”. He has performed with the John Robertson Trio for over twenty years and has recorded two CD’s “When Giants Stepped” and his solo project “Chill With Me”. will be released in June 2014.

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