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Biography


Photo by Steve Campbell
Conga Jazz heats it up at a summer 2003 outdoor festival in Indianapolis' Garfield Park.

About Larry Calland

Larry Michael Calland, an Indiana native, reared in Toledo Ohio, is known for his Afro-Cuban style of play. Larry expanded his musical adeptness while attending Kent State University, providing the rhythmic accompaniment for the nationally renown African Dance Ensemble of K.S.U., and later returning to Toledo to form the group "Magia Jazz Fusion," a mainstay at Rusty's Jazz Café for many years. The group enjoyed many highlights, such as opening for Al Jarreau, Spro Gyra, and Dizzy Gillespie. Larry also studied with percussion greats, Santana's Raul Reko and Carl Peraza, and Africa's Master Drummer Babatunde Olatunji.

Calland debuted in Indianapolis over a decade ago and quickly merged into the mainstream of the Indianapolis jazz scene .

Larry's Indianapolis-based group, Conga Jazz, enjoys great accolades and the mastery of their pristine style reverberates in every fine performance.

Musical communication and trust is Larry's secret to his long-standing success. His compilations and relationship to the artists hand picked to participate in his unique musical experience are plaudits on his resume. Larry explains with the simplicity that characterizes his easy going style. "The ability to articulate the sound you want out of your musicians, then to garner a trust from each musician and integrate your appreciation for each musician's contribution to the complete package, displays itself in the spirit of the final product."

An excellent sampling of Larry's stylings can be heard not only on his first compact disc, "Spirit," , but on the current offering of musical multiplicity and seasoned adeptness in his group's third CD, "Almost There."

Major highlights

For the most recent news, check out Calland's Corner.

* Released our Third album, titled "Almost There." June of 2002

* Performed at the 2002 Indy Jazz Fest

* Performed the 2002 Wes Montgomery Jazz Fest, Indianapolis, In.

* Conga Jazz selected for a second year in a row for WTPI's Jazz Sampler Vol. V, the selection, "Love Is You", from our Second Live Album.

* For 2001, CJ releases their second Live Album, titled Cj Live, Taste Of Indy, September 2001.

* Opening ceremonies for the 2001 World Police and Fire Games, June 16, 2001. This event, held every four years, is as international as the Olympics. What an honor!

* For 15 months in 2000 and 2001, Larry provided the music for one of Indianapolis' newest hotels, the Adam's Mark Hotel, located in the heart of the downtown business district.

* Ameritech's "Animals And All That Jazz" series hosted by the Indianapolis Zoo.

* In January of 2001, Larry formed his own company, Conga Drum Productions, Inc. This is a company that is geared to promoting special event functions through the performing arts. The ideal is one of contracting with various social and ethnic organizations, businesses, concert events and jazz festivals and tailoring events through performing arts.

* Performed in June 2000 at second annual Indy Jazz Fest, which has garnered international attention.

* September 1999, Larry released his compact disc, "Spirit," to the world. One selection, "World Is A Ghetto," was chosen to be a part of the WTPI Jazz Sampler, Volume IV.

* Summer of 1997, nominated for the Midwest Jazz Masters Scholarship Award.

* Winter of 1995, he worked with Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of the late great Duke Ellington, as she choreographed the musical "Yule Tide," a project in conjunction with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

* May 1994, Larry was honored to perform for President Bill Clinton at the Jefferson Jackson Awards held at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Conga Jazz has performed at many other events and venues, including Penrod Arts Fair, Indianapolis Artsgarden, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Eiteljorg Museum, Verizon Wireless Music Center, Zoobilation, Madame Walker Theatre Center and many television appearances.

For contact information, see the Contact Us page.

Organizations and affiliations

In one capacity or another, Conga Jazz has worked with all the organizations listed here over the years:


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