Best known as a percussion ensemble, RhythmWorks! retains its percussive heart and soul with their first full-length disc, “Blue Road,” while adding woodwinds by retired Florida Orchestra oboist, Joyce James. On the disc, James tops off several selections with flute, Native American Flute and clarinet. James joined RhythmWorks! in June of 2007.
A wide variety of new and traditional vocal pieces have been included on this disc - from the 1929 Jose Fernandez Diaz classic, “Guantanamera,” to Judith Hizer’s barbershop-influenced, “Elemental Dream.” The title track, “Blue Road,” composed by Hizer and arranged by Carrasco, was inspired by 6th century poet, Taliesin, and other figures in Celtic history.
The core of the group’s repertoire remains the same hot solos and show-stopping call and response expected of long-time drum partners, Carrasco and Lightning James Riley. Riley is not only a jaw-dropping djembe soloist and conguero for RhythmWorks!, but also is timbalero for the salsa band, “Orquestra Caribe.” Riley and Carrasco have been drumming together since 1999.
On the disc as guest vocalist for “Elemental Dream” is the newest addition to RhythmWorks!, Marie Kolecki. Starting with a women’s drum circle, and involved in the Michiana percussion community, Kolecki quickly gained the skills to catch the interest of RhythmWorks!. Kolecki joined the group in the winter of 2007.
Carrasco, Riley and Hizer are the three original members of RhythmWorks! founded in 2003.