The group was founded in 2005 by saxophonist, flautist, and composer Douglas Little. A leader of multiple ensembles including Motion Poets, Charanga Tropical, and his own jazz quartet, Little has recorded nine CDs and toured throughout the United States and Europe. Already a ten-year jazz veteran when he traveled to Cuba music research, Little's time on the island was eye opening, ear popping, and career altering. After five months in Havana, Little returned to the states and sought out the musicians to form Seven Steps To Havana. Since its inception the ensemble has been energizing audiences with its mix of American jazz and authentic rhythms from Cuba and beyond.
Having members from North America and Brazil, the Caribbean and Africa, Seven Steps To Havana possesses a sound that truly brings the world into the music. Lovely boleros, raucous rumbas, swinging sambas, and haunting horn trios, this band soars far and wide across the musical spectrum.
Seven Steps To Havana self-titled debut CD was released in 2006. The band has performed at major festivals, jazz venues, and concert halls. Experienced educators as well as elite musicians, the members of Seven Steps To Havana have taught master classes worldwide and appeared as guest artists with colleges, universities, and conservatories.
The members of Seven Steps To Havana include:
Viviana Pintado (pianist/vocalist)- from Cuba, 3-time Latin Grammy nominee with Albita, world tours, multiple CDs.
Eliezer Freitas-Santos (percussion)- from Brazil, the son of Candomble' (Afro Brazilian Religion) priests, tours throughout Americas and Europe. Lived and performed in Argentina for fourteen years.
Mark Miller (trombone) - American, multiple CDs to credit, tours throughout USA and Japan, performances with Jose Fajardo and other Salsa greats. Resides in New York City.
Bill Simenson (trumpet) - American, superb improviser, exceptional composer for Big Bands and arranger for salsa orchestras.
Yohannes Tona (bass) - from Ethiopia, international tours with Gospel, jazz, and Latin groups. Noted composer and bandleader.
Mariano Flores (drums/timbales) - From Mexico City and born into a family of musicians. Built his musical reputation performing along Mexico's Caribbean coastlne.
Douglas Little (saxophone/flute/leader) - American, international tours, multiple CDs, extended studies in Cuba, artist residency in France, numerous fellowships and awards.