It was so close to the coolest period of the year, a band called 'Funniesta Latino' had been set up by Gift (Raksit Hotarapawanon); a great drummer and a talented musician who won music competitions from high school till graduation. Gift has a degree in B.B.A. but became a drummer long before then. In November, 2007, with a passion for Latin-Jazz, he brought together 7 friends who learned and taught in the same music school (Woranan School of Music) and others who had played the same gig (Breakfast Wine) to form a Latin-Jazz band for playing at Tha-Chang Gallery.
Pui (Chukiat Srisakul) was invited to be a band member on piano. He took part in arranging several tunes for the band, using his musical experience in arranging and composing music from his time in a band called 'HUM' back when he was a student at Fine Arts Faculty, Chiang Mai University. Pui also used to be a member of Intaranan Jazz Quartet, of which Teh (Ittinan Intaranan), a great musician and teacher who rooted the jazz branches in Chiang Mai and is also the owner of Woranan School of Music, was band leader. Pui brought the clarity he had gained in arts and music to the creative mix of the Latin-Jazz band with great enthusiasm and a sense of fun.
Don (Tanatkun Susuk) had started playing bass guitar at Woranan School and later taught there. He worked so hard on practicing the bass guitar while he was an Entaneer in the Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University. Don played bass guitar for Intaranan Jazz Quintet and participated in the Inverloch jazz festival, Australia with 'Air Trio' afterwards. He accepted the invitation to be a member of 'Funniesta Latino', renamed 'Del Ritmo' in 2008.
While 'Del Ritmo' Latin-Jazz Band was a novice Latin-Jazz band, they played at North-Gate Jazz Co-op on the Monday night shift until the band got along together pretty well, and then pushed themselves to play more events in town. Kim (Pariya Permpattanakul), vocalist of the band, played the role of band manager and coordinator, drawing from knowledge learned completing his degree in B.B.A. He was also a student of Teh (Ittinan Intaranan) and has taught at Woranan School. While participating in 'Del Ritmo', he had an opportunity to be a representative for Northern Thailand in the pre-final round of 'The Star (season #5) Competition'. However, 'Del Ritmo', for him, is not just something he could left behind.
As we all know, percussion instruments are at the centre and essence of Latin music. Champ (Jetsada Yuktaputra) understands this requirement and has put all of his soul into taking charge of this, with his great love for percussion, since he took over from Seni (Nattawat Pongkanta); his predecessor in the band. This young-blood rhythm man is one of the most talented young percussionists in Chiang Mai. He participated in the Bangkok Jazz Festival 2010 with the band 'Lannatino' and has gained numerous awards from music competitions with former bands ('Simple Tone', 'Toozy Toilet', 'Sixty Miles' and 'Ska Rangers'), a testimony to his musical experience. With all the love he has for Latin music, he colors the accent of each tune with fresh energy.
Although the band has had many horn players, Jam (Worachet Im-Ote), the latest saxophone player invited in, has been the most well-adapted to 'Del Ritmo'. Some musicians in Chiang Mai know him by his father, the greatest pianist and Chiang Mai music teacher, W.Sunshine Im-Ote. As with other musician families, Jam is steeped in music and especially in Jazz and he started playing music from when he was little. His significant profile would mean nothing if he had been satisfied with a 3-year participant in South East Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble (SAYOWE), but his musical soul made him walk through a longer journey to learn and keep trying new things. Along with former band member, Mark De La Flur (New City Gurus), Jam is the best Tenor Saxophone player 'Del Ritmo' has ever had.
From 2007-2011 'Del Ritmo' was one and the only Latin-Jazz band in town. Either if there are more Latin-Jazz band or not, 'Del Ritmo' is going to play these Latin-Jazz tunes and make it more variously to our music society. At least, people might be brought together easier by some of the tunes created by 'Del Ritmo'.