promoting improvisation

Patois Artists

Patois Records goal is to provide an outlet to artists who might be otherwise overlooked. Meet our talented artists!


Six-time Grammy nominee, Wayne Wallace, is one of the more respected exponents of African American-Latin music in the world today. He is known for the use of traditional forms and styles in combination with contemporary music, and has earned recognition with his recent placement in the Downbeat Critics Polls under the trombone and producer categories.
Mr. Wallace is an accomplished arranger, educator, and composer with compositions for film and television. He has also received grants form the Creative Work Fund,the National Endowments for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Mr. Wallace has performed, recorded and studied with acknowledged masters of the Afro-Latin and Jazz idioms such as Aretha Franklin, Bobby Hutcherson, Earth Wind and Fire, Pete Escovedo, Santana, Julian Priester, Conjunto Libre, Whitney Houston,Tito Puente, Steve Turre, John Lee Hooker, Con-funk-shun, Francisco Aguabella, Manny Oquendo and Libre, Max Roach, and Orestes Vilató. This experience has provided a solid foundation for Mr. Wallace’s current explorations of the intersections of diverse cultural styles, and rhythmic concepts.

Born and raised in San Francisco, California, May 29th 1952, at an early age Wayne was exposed to Blues, Country and Western, and Jazz . The fertile musical environment of the San Francisco Bay Area shaped his career in a unique way. His studies of Afro-Latin music and Jazz have included several trips to Cuba, New York, and Puerto Rico.

Mr. Wallace is widely respected as a teacher and historian and is currently an instructor at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and also taught at San Jose State University, Stanford University and the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. He has conducted lectures, workshops and clinics in the Americas and Europe since 1983.

Wayne is an endorsee of Conn-Selmer trombones.


RITA HARGRAVE – Director/Producer/Videographer

Rita is dancer, dancer teacher and dance historian and geriatric psychiatrist. She is the founder of, San Francisco Bay Area based website devoted to the Afro-Cuban, Afro-Puerto Rican and African American roots of salsa dancing. The Last Mambo is her first feature film, scheduled to be release Fall of 2016.


After years of sharing their talents with many great international musicians, (Tower of Power, Paul Winters, Sheila E., George Duke, Paquito D’Rivera and the Caribbean Jazz Project, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Pete Escovedo) the VW Brothers have stepped to the forefront as leaders with their debut CD “Muziek,” released February 23, 2010 on Patois Records.

With “Muziek,” drummer Paul van Wageningen and bassist Marc van Wageningen (Vah-ga-ning-un) have created a marvelous alchemic example of the possibilities of what jazz continues to offer us in the new millennium. While embracing and honoring tradition, “Muziek” explores and reconfirms our shared legacy and connections in modern music by combining and meshing styles. “Muziek” features eight original compositions, from the neo-classical stylings of “Euro,” to the simmering San Francisco’s East Bay funk of “You Guys Done Yet?,” a gorgeous Brazilian ballad titled “Benito,” provides a passionate contrast to the Afro-Cuban jazz of “Zapatos De Madera.” The release’s stunning new versions of the Miles Davis classic “Milestones” and “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” by Michel Legrand confirm what colleagues have known for years, the VW Brother’s are blessed with creativity and their passionate interpretations make these well played jazz standards a joy to hear again.

Born and raised in Amsterdam, Holland, Paul and Marc van Wageningen (Vah-ga-ning-un) studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music. Paul moved to New York in 1976 to be closer to the American jazz scene and then relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. Marc came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1980. They both acclimated to the Bay Area scene and quickly found work. Their resumés as first-call sidemen and touring musicians read as a “Who’s Who” of multi-generational stars spanning a variety of musical genres.



Trelawny RoseLos Angeles based vocalist and recording artist, Trelawny Rose, is a Master Associate of celebrity vocal coach Roger Love (Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer), and is also a vocal coach for NBC’s smash hit The Voice. Trelawny is known for her strong ability to help Artists overcome technical and emotional barriers to create breakthrough vocal performances. Whether it’s creating on-the-fly vocal arrangements, helping artists express themselves confidently, or correcting vocal technique, Trelawny excels at bringing out each Artist’s best vocal performance on stage and in the studio.

In addition to her degree in Vocal Performance, her studies with master vocal improvisor Rhiannon (Bobby McFerrin), and her years working alongside Roger Love (since 2005), Trelawny’s strong foundation as a vocal coach is largely in part due to her extensive experience as a performer and recording artist. She has recorded and performed with internationally acclaimed musicians such as 5 time GRAMMY nominees Wayne Wallace and John Santos, Mimi Fox (Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis), Allison Miller (Ani DiFranco, Brandi Carlile), Rene Hart, and Jon Evans (Tori Amos).

Over the years, Trelawny has found homegrown success as a powerful vocalist, combining her influences of soul, jazz, pop, and folk. For 10 years, Trelawny toured as a soloist with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, performing at many distinguished venues including Sydney Opera House, Shoreline Amphitheatre, and sacred sites in Israel. Later, she teamed up with vocalist Amikaeyla and they recorded To Eva, With Love, a tribute album to Eva Cassidy. Last summer, the duo sang to a sold out audience at Strathmore and was honored by the attendance of Eva Cassidy’s parents, Hugh and Barbara Cassidy.



From J.J. Johnson and Freddie Hubbard to David Baker and Wes Montgomery, the Indiana jazz scene has given us some of our major voices and innovators in the music. Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger Mitch Shiner is a son of that tradition and does it proudly. For Shiner, music has always been about connecting with an audience. Whether on stage or on a recording, his vibrant, high-energy style of playing permeates every performance.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Shiner began playing drums at age eight, and has been studying percussion since age nine. He received his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where he studied under percussion professors Steve Houghton and Michael Spiro. He has performed in many ensembles at Indiana University including big bands, combos, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, The Singing Hoosiers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Band, and the University Orchestra.

An active bandleader, Shiner directs the BloomingTones Big Band, and performs his compositions and arrangements with his own sextet and quartet. As an in-demand sideman in the Bloomington and Indianapolis areas he is a member of the Postmodern Jazz Quartet, Jazz Fables Quintet, and Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Octet. In Indianapolis, Mitch regularly performs with the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Midcoast Swing Orchestra, and the Leisure Kings.

An avid composer, Shiner received a Summer 2013 Creative Activity Grant through the IU Hutton Honors College to compose five big band charts influenced by people and places in his hometown of Milwaukee. In addition, he received the 2013 Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Scholarship. In the summer of 2012, he was one of 15 jazz musicians to be invited to participate in the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute where he studied with Curtis Fuller, Rufus Reid, Nathan Davis, and David Baker.

Mitch was selected from national auditions to perform in the 2011 Disneyland All-American College Band. In the AACB, Mitch was the lead drummer in the show band and drum set player for the big band, performing each day in the Disneyland Park. Directed by Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California, the band performed weekly with guest artists including Rick Baptist, Sal Lozano, Jiggs Whigham, and Arturo Sandoval.




Think of the Caribbean as a vast and far-flung laboratory, with thousands of researchers constantly investigating and refining a dazzling array of African diaspora rhythms. Ritmos Unidos is a rare ensemble that draws inspiration from various corners of the region, from sacred Santería rituals of Cuba to the celebratory carnival grooves of Trinidad and Tobago. Under the direction of renowned percussionist Michael Spiro the band makes a major leap with its second, self-named album, an ambitious project centering on two extended pieces that encompass several profound rhythmic currents. “Our intent isn’t to play one style,” says Spiro, a eight-time Grammy nominee with deep and abiding ties to Cuba. “Ritmos Unidos means we’re bringing many different rhythms together. It’s a little bit different from what other Latin bands are doing.”

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Spiro headed north to Seattle for graduate work in ethnomusicology. But after two years an offer by Gordon to teach him batá drums brought Spiro back to the Bay Area. By 1982 he was in the thick of the Bay Area’s thriving Latin music scene, playing in the seminal band Batachanga with percussionist John Santos and a teenage piano phenomenon named Rebeca Mauleón. The gig with Batachanga led to his apprenticeship with conga legend Francisco Aguabella, and in 1984 he made the first of more than two-dozen trips to Cuba.

Over the past three decades, Spiro has distinguished himself as a player, producer, educator, and bandleader. He’s played a central role on a series of seminal recordings, including BataKetu, Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion, Bata-Mbira, Grupo Ilu-Aña. As a session musician, he’s played on soundtracks for major feature films and documentaries, contributed arrangements to a Tony Award winning Broadway production (Blast!), and collaborated with a mind-boggling array of artists, including Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner, David Byrne, Cachao, Changuito, Frank Emilio Flynn, Ella Fitzgerald, David Garibaldi, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Toninho Horta, Bobby Hutcherson, Chico O’Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, and Charlie Watts.

While Spiro remains closely associated with the Bay Area Latin music scene, he’s also been based in Bloomington since taking on a tenured position at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2011. Looking for opportunities to play with like minded musicians, he gathered together an impressive cast of fellow faculty, alumni and grad students connected to IU, and ended up forming Ritmos Unidos with Jeremy Allen, Jamaal Baptiste, Joe Gavin, Pat Harbison, Nate Johnson, Mike Mixtacki and Joel Tucker.

Michael Mixtacki, who teaches percussion at Northern Illinois University and leads the school’s Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensembles, is the drummer, percussionist, lead singer, and arranger for Ritmos Unidos. He co-produced the band’s acclaimed debut album, and has recorded with Grammy-nominated trombonist/arranger Wayne Wallace. An expert accompanist, bassist Jeremy Allen has performed with Fred Hersch, David Liebman, Randy Brecker, Tim Hagans, Eric Alexander, and Jerry Bergonzi. As a recording artist, he’s collaborated with Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler, the Luke Gillespie Trio, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, and Sara Caswell. A recently tenured professor in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Allen is also founder of Watercourse Records, a label created to release projects in which he’s involved.

Born and raised on the island of Aruba, pianist Jamaal Baptiste is a standout undergraduate in the jazz studies program at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music who has studied with Luke Gillespie and David Baker. Comfortable performing in a wide range of musical settings, Baptiste is versed in jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, Brazilian, and Caribbean music. The author of many articles on jazz and trumpet as well as several books, such as Technical Studies for the Modern Trumpet and Twenty Authentic Bebop Solos (Aebersold), Patrick Harbison has recorded prolifically, including albums with the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, the Blue Wisp Big Band, and David Baker’s 21st Century Bebop Band.

Guitarist Joel Tucker studied at Indiana University and performed with the Latin Jazz Collective under the direction of Spiro. Based in Indianapolis, he’s a busy freelance guitarist and private instructor. Percussionist and steel pan player Joe Galvin provides Ritmos Unidos with a tremendous amount of textural detail, while also contributing on bata, chekere, guiro, lead and background vocals, cavaquinho and violin. Music director for the IU Contemporary Dance Department, Galvin is currently pursuing a doctoral degree focusing on steelpan and Afro-Cuban music at Jacobs School of Music. And saxophonist Nate Johnson is a versatile player with extensive experience in blues, R&B, jazz, rock country and western and diverse Latin American and Caribbean styles. With so many traditions at their fingertips, the Ritmos Unidos crew knows that it’s the depth of their rhythmic inquiry and not merely the breadth of their approach that makes the music so enticing. Ritmos Unidos is an impressive accomplishment that promises great things to come.

Press Room


Best Latin Jazz album

World-renowned trombonist Wayne Wallace and percussionist Michael Spiro have earned a GRAMMY ® nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for their CD Canto América on the Patois label. The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

5 out of 5 Stars - Superb!
Not just great music—this is a great work of art. Exquisite musicianship, impeccable performances, with a range that includes vocals, instrumentals, ballads, and uptempo numbers that will get you up and moving—and yet the parts fit together seamlessly. A beautiful, beautiful album. Support these gifted, thoughtful musicians and buy a copy today! – Eric T. Macknight