Who We Are
Yasser Tejeda & Palotré is an infectiously rhythmic and cutting-edge group originating in Dominican Republic and now based in NY. Conceptualized and led by guitarist and composer Yasser Tejeda, Palotré is comprised of drummer/percussionist Victor Otoniel Vargas, percussionist Jonathan Troncoso and bassist Kyle Miles. This unique group is a leading quartet in the emerging Afro-Dominican Jazz genre. The band has been very active playing increasingly prestigious venues throughout NYC, as well as festivals, most recently at the Indy Jazz Fest 2016 in Indianapolis.
Tejeda is a versatile musician (Xiomara Fortuna, Irka Mateo, Prince Royce) and this is evident in his writing. Palotré fuses Dominican roots music with Jazz, Blues, Funk and Rock. Influenced by and infused with the edginess of Rock, the harmonic complexities of Jazz and the rhythms of Dominican music, the group is making folkloric music refreshing and more accessible. The arrangements also serve as a platform to express the musical diversity that is found in Dominican Republic.
Palotré's debut album Mezclansa (2009) was dubbed one of the "100 essential recordings of Dominican music" by Dominican Republic's Association of Art Writers (Acroarte). Palotré has performed extensively throughout Dominican Republic and is currently working on their second album. They continue to inspire listeners to explore their roots and aim to share this traditional culture with wider audiences.
Yasser TejedaGuitarist and Composer
Yasser Tejeda born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a versatile guitar player currently based in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Yasser is currently working with a variety of artists including Deva Mahal, Irka Mateo and Jeremy Bosch. He is also a member of the groundbreaking group Freelance, which is becoming renowned in the jazz/soul scene in New York. Throughout 2014, he toured with Latin Grammy Award winner Prince Royce as part of “Soy el Mismo” tour. Besides his work in the U.S., Yasser has played and recorded with some revered Dominican artists including Xiomara Fortuna, Luis Dias and Tone Vicioso.
Yasser is also a producer, arranger, composer and bandleader with two projects so far in his discography including: aStridd (Colliding Galaxies, 2013) as well as his Afro-Dominican group: Yasser Tejeda & Palotré (Mezclansa, 2009). This album was dubbed one of the “100 essential recordings of Dominican music” by the nation’s Association of Art Writers (Acroarte). He is now working on his second album with Palotré which will feature musicians in the Dominican Republic and New York.
Victor Otoniel VargasDrummer/Percussionist
Born in the city of Santiago, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC on October 11, 1987. His family later moved to the city of Puerto Plata where he grew up. He began his musical adventure at the age of 12 with his drum teacher Ramon Solano. Who guided him across the vast world of drumming.
He first started playing in Christian churches, and later became part of different bands performing in the celebrated venues of the Dominican republic, sharing the stage with the most renowned musicians in the country. Later he moved to New York City to start building a significant musical career performing and collaborating with amazing musicians and producers, in well known clubs and venues around the country and the world.
He is currently touring and recording for the Latin pop superstar Prince Royce.
Jonathan “JBlak” Troncoso, was born into a family of musicians (including grandfather Bienvenido Troncoso – the well-known composer) in Los Mina – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1982. Jonathan was inspired to be a musician at an early age by his father, Domingo Troncoso, a percussionist. At the age of five, he picked up his first instrument, “la tambora”, and amazed his family and neighbors. Jonathan’s ease and fluidity with the instrument had been learned observing his father, a professional musician. Shortly thereafter, Jonathan began playing guira and later, bongo. Versed early on in playing percussion for popular music such as merengue, bachata, and salsa, Jonathan began playing professionally as his father’s young protégé. His musical life changed and interests shifted when Jonathan moved to New York City in 1992, at the age of 10.
Displaced by the move to New York and fascinated by the presence of live percussion on New York City streets, Jonathan began training in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Dominican traditional percussion with Manolo Mota, his first teacher in a foreign land. By 2000 Jonathan was invited to join Claudio Fortunato y Los Guedes, a well-known ensemble of Afro-Dominican traditional musicians dedicated to preserving the Dominican traditions of “los palos” for sacred and popular functions. Increasingly, Jonathan was drawn to the pulse of street-side rumbas throughout New York and began to embrace Afro-Cuban musical traditions as eagerly as he embraced the musics of the Dominican Republic. At once, he had become a child of the Hip-Hop generation in New York City, where he performed Spanish Hip-Hop and Reggeatón. As much a student of professional musicians and traditional masters in New York, as the streets, Jonathan was a sponge for culture – a characteristic that broadened his musical horizons and inspired his study and later, mastery of several instruments in the Afro-Caribbean musical traditions.
Kyle Miles is an electric and acoustic bassist hailing from Boston, MA, now currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. He began his life as a student of music early on, and has since been honing his skills throughout the years with education and experiences. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a humble human being, Kyle has been successfully working as a professional freelance bassist. Throughout his career, he’s had the honor of sharing musical experiences with a number of high caliber artists, among whom recently include: Marcus Strickland, Keyon Harrold, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Dave, Charles Haynes, José James, Robin Mckelle, Nick Hakim, Johnathan Pinson, Jake Sherman, Yasser Tejeda, and many others.