Great Finds: Jai
While many musicians around town do a good job entertaining, we couldn’t dismiss the way this quintet captivated its audience at a recent fundraising event. Little did we know; they have been performing their unique take on pop and rock songs from Mexico and the USA on a nightly basis at the Marriott CasaMagna for almost a year! How did an unknown band manage to land such a coveted gig? While vacationing in Sayulita from Leon, Guanajuato, they struck up a conversation with a local. The topic quickly turned to music and, as if on cue, they pulled out their instruments and performed an impromptu acoustic set. The Vallartense happened to be Marriott food and beverages director Eduardo Vazquez, who promptly offered them an audition at the hotel.
The original Jai (as in “high”) was founded as a duo by brothers Carlos and Gabriel Ramos, who, back in Leon, used to perform trova, folk music usually accompanied by guitar, which originated in Cuba during the mid 1960s. Their search for a more sophisticated Latin fusion sound led them to add keyboards and percussion to their recipe, which, in turn, broadened their repertoire to include flamenco and pop/rock songs performed in English and Spanish. And while only one of them has formal musical training, they all benefited from rich musical upbringings.
Catch one of Jai’s sets at the Marriott, where they perform from 8 to 11 nightly, and you’ll enjoy an evening of skilled Latin fusion arrangements of timeless songs, from the Eagles’ Hotel California or Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven to Mexico’s traditional ballad of La Llorona. You may also want to consider them for your next private party. And thanks to a partnership with local producer Carlos Santana, owner of one of the few professional recording studios in town, you will soon be able to purchase their forthcoming CD.