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Stylish conguero Johnny Blas has been leading his band since 1992, releasing their first album together, A Night in L.A. on Discos Dos Coronas in 1994. The album (and those that followed) featured Blas' solid playing along with some equally solid songwriting and support from a talented group of musicians, including percussionist Angel Rodriguez, trombonists Humberto Ruiz, Kerry Loeschen, Edwin Blas and Dan Weinstein, guitarist Mark Gutierrez and bassist Paul Perez. The band kept up the hard work, releasing two more albums on the famed CuBop label, Skin and Bones in 1997 and Mambo 2000 in 1998, both of which earned critical praise in the Latin and Jazz music press. In 1999, Blas' continued the tradition with the release of King Conga, also released on the CuBop label. The album makes use of the songwriting talents of band members Guitierrez and Weinstein and features the same kind of jazzy, funky Afro-Caribbean groove that was found on his first three albums. ~ Stacia Proefrock