Rhythm & Rhyme

Wayne Wallace and his dynamic Latin jazz ensemble Rhythm & Rhyme are a unique blend of percussion, strings, voices, and horns that exude excitement and passion over a wide variety of styles.  There is no stopping this first-call trombonist, arranger, producer, and composer whose fluency in many musical languages has brought him to work with a staggering number of luminaries from across the musical spectrum, including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton; Earth, Wind & Fire; Sonny Rollins, Pearl Bailey, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Pete Escovedo, McCoy Tyner, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, John Lee Hooker, and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud of the Kronos String Quartet.  Wallace was recently hailed again in two categories of DownBeat magazine’s Critics’ Polls, both for his virtuosity as a trombonist and producer -- recognition that is quickly getting the word out about this San Francisco-born talent.

Following hot on the heels of Rhythm & Rhyme's critically acclaimed CD, The Reckless Search for Beauty, Wallace's 2008 release The Nature of the Beat spent two weeks at #1 on Jazz Week’s “World Top 50 Chart.”  The musically multi-lingual trombonist then returned with a recording entitled Infinity with his Latin Jazz Quintet that was met with similar critical and chart success.

His recording, ¡Bien Bien!, is Wallace’s fifth production on his label, Patois Records.  Sparkling with the same signature energy that infuses all his work, Wallace’s masterful compositions and arrangements always give the all-star cast he surrounds himself with a chance to cook.  His performances offer a fascinating collection of originals, standards and Latin classics that explore the intersection of many threads of music from all ends of the globe.  Wayne Wallace and Rhythm & Rhyme’s enduring love of Afro-Cuban music and jazz will no doubt bring joy to your hearts and the unmistakable urge to dance to your feet. 

Among his many credits as composer and dozens of recordings both as a leader and sideman, Wallace has received numerous grants, including ones from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Zellerbach Foundation.  He was given the 1993 Bay Area Theater Critics’ Award for “Best Original Score in a Drama” for the musical Pecong, co-composed and arranged the music for the 1991 Theater Works world premiere of the musical Go Down Garvey, and had his music included in the 1997 hit movie Selena, in addition to various television programs.  

As one of the most prominent educators in the country, Wallace has taught Afro-Cuban music workshops worldwide, including West Germany and in Havana, Cuba at the National School of the Arts.  He has taught performance and history courses at San Francisco and San Jose State Universities, Stanford University, Antioch College, among others.  He is also a clinician in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Latin Jazz Program, performing and conducting workshops in middle schools and high schools throughout the Salinas Valley area.

“His music sounds like ice-cold sparkling wine bubbling in our summer-hot New Year's Eve.” — J.C. Celmer, Rádio Universidade FM - Rio Grande, Brazil

“No matter what or where he plays, Wallace brings not just musicianship but also that rare quality of music as the means to uplift listeners' spirits to a higher level.” — Larry Kelp, East Bay Express



Rhythm & Rhyme's musical director Wayne Wallace was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to compose and perform a piece that combined Afro-American sensibilities with Afro-Cuban roots music.  He composed the suite "Digging Up The Roots" which embraces the wealth of ethnic, cultural and musical variety found in the cosmopolitan area such as San Francisco.  "Digging Up The Roots" was premiered July 2nd 1993 at the Stanford Jazz Festival and set the direction and musical road that the band currently travels.


Stanford Jazz Festival 1993
San Jose Jazz Festival 2007, 05

The Vallejo Jazz Festival 2004

Monterey Jazz Festival 2009, 1995,

San Jose Jazz Festival Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet 2009, 08, 06 

Vallejo Jazz Festival Wayne Wallace 2004 


"Three In One"  Spirit Nectar Records March 1, 2000
"Echoes In Blue" Spirit Nectar Records June 2001

"The Reckless Search For Beauty" Patois Records January 30, 2007

"The Nature Of The Beat" Patois Record June 10, 2008


Wayne Wallace -Trombone and Musical director - Born and raised in San Francisco Wayne's formal training includes his studies as a performance major at San Francisco State University and La Escuela Nacional de Las Artes in Havana Cuba. Wayne is currently teaching at San Jose State University and the Jazzschool in Berkeley.  As a composer/arranger Wayne has contributed to television,movie sound tracks and musical theater.  His recording and performing credits include Angela Bofill, Con-Funk-Shun, Earth, Wind and Fire, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and many more.

David Belove - Bass - An original member of Rhythm & Rhyme, David has studied music at the University of Missouri and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  David has performed and recorded with Mark Levine, Conjunto Cespedes, Pete Escovedo, Tito Puente and Mark Murphy.

Louis Fasman -Trumpet and Flugelhorn- Louis has studied under Dr. Herb Patnoe. He has played in a variety of groups and behind a number of artists including The Maynard Ferguson Big Band, The Al Hirt Big Band and Paul Anka.

Mary Fettig - Reeds - Her earliest musical training was on marimba, and she moved on to clarinet, sax and flute in her school bands.  She was fortunate to have a great music program in her high school, Ygnacio Valley High, in Concord.  Her band teacher, a big fan of Stan Kenton, secured a scholarship to the Stan Kenton camp in Redlands for Mary, and the rest is history. Mary joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra as the first woman to play in the band.  She has toured with Flora Purim and Airto, Marian McPartland, Tito Puente, Toninho Horta and Joe Henderson.  Mary is currently on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Murray Low - Keyboards - One of the most in demand musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, Murray has distinguished himself as an educator, pianist and arranger.  Murray is currently on the music faculty at Stanford University and U.C. Santa Cruz.  A graduate of U.C. Berkeley Murray has recorded and performed with Ray Vega, Orlando "Maraca" Valle, Pete Escovedo, and the Machete Ensemble among others.

Melecio Magdaluyo - Reeds - A native San Franciscan, Melecio is an original member of Rhythm & Rhyme.  He studied music at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University.  Melecio has played with James Newton, pop singer Bobby Brown, Henry Threadgill and Jon Jang and the Pan-Asian Arkestra.

Frank Martin - Keyboards - Frank has studied with Art Lande, Julian White, Elizabeth Chu and Don Burke.  Frank co-produced the Al Jarreau album "Heaven and Earth".  He has recorded with Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, George Benson and many others. Frank's live credits include performances with Angela Bofill, Sting, and Joe Farrell.

John Santos - Percussion - A native San Franciscan, John has studied with the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional of Cuba, Rene Lopez, Francisco Aquabella and Armando Peraza.  John has performed and recorded with Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Santana and Tito Puente. 

Michael Spiro - Percussion - Born in St. Louis Missouri, Michael earned a Bachelors degree in Latin American Studies from U.C. Santa Cruz and has done graduate work at the University of Washington in Ethnomusicology.  Michael is currently a Professor of Music in the Percussion Deparment at the renowned Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.  He has numerous performing and recording credits; of note are dates with Bobby McFerrin, Francisco Aquabella, Carlos Santana and Dori Caymmi.

Paul van Wageningen - Trap drums - Born and raised in Amsterdam Holland, Paul  (Vah-ga-nay-gun) studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory of music. Paul moved to New York in 1976 to be closer to the American Jazz scene and then relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul has played and recorded with a variety of artists including Bill Summers, Pete Escovedo, the Machete Ensemble, Tito Puente, Stan Getz and Sheila E.

John Worley - Trumpet, Post Horn and Flugelhorn  - A trumpet player since the age of nine, John has studied with Woody Herman veteran John Coppola and Chicagoan Fred Berry.  John's credits include live and recorded performances with Maria Schneider, The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and The Joe Henderson Big Band. 

David Yamasaki - Guitar - David is a member of the original incarnation of Rhythm & Rhyme.  Born in Seattle Washington, David studied Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington and the Berklee School of Music in Boston Massachusetts.  His performance and recording credits include stints with Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo and Jeff Narrell. 

Past and present members of Rhythm & Rhyme

Karen Aczon - Vocals
Larry Batiste - Vocals
Brenda Boykin - Vocals
John Calloway - Flute
David Chaidez - Vocals
Jeff Cressman - Trombone
Ron Hollins - Vocals
Aaron Lington - Baritone Sax
Ray Lucas - Flute
Marcia Miget - Reeds
Alexa Weber Morales - Vocals
Jody Noble - Vocals
Claytoven Richardson - Vocals
Sakai - Vocals
Ed Smith - Drums
Ron Stallings - Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Vocals
Sheryl Thomas - Vocals
Orlando Torriente - Vocals
Jeanie Tracy - Vocals