Artist Events


Zahili Gonzalez Zamora
Gerson Esteban Lazo Quiroga
Takafumi Nikaido
Paul Sanchez Pacheco

Band Biography and Member Biographies

MIXCLA is a play on words and a play on sounds hailed from the mountains of Chile, to the traditions of Japan and driven by the fires of Cuba, to achieve a truly unique Afro Cuban Jazz experience. Lead by composer/pianist and lead singer, Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, with Gerson Esteban Lazo Quiroga on bass, minor percussion and vocals, Paul Sanchez Pacheco on trumpet and flugelhorn (their plus one), and Takafumi Nikaido on percussion. All members of this sonic masterpiece are graduates of Berklee College of Music, and have performed internationally in various events, such as the Montreal Jazz Festival 2015, the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Wolf Ferrari Haus in Ottobrunn, Germany, in which they were highly acclaimed. They hold the Downbeat Magazine Latin Group Outstanding Performance win (2017), as well as the Boston Music Awards nomination for International Artist of the Year (2018). This mixture of cultural spices makes the perfect recipe for any musical experience. 

Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, piano, vocal Born in Manzanillo, Cuba, Zahili graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Havana and quickly became immersed in the performance and production of traditional Cuban music, as well as Salsa, Latin jazz and other world music. She migrated to Canada in 2002 as a keyboardist with the all-­‐female band D'talle and soon performed in such festivals as Nuits d'Afrique and TLN Carnival Festival in Montreal; the Toronto Street and Beaches International jazz festivals, and the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

After a six-­‐year performance stint in Asia, with a variety of multifaceted bands, Zahili was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in September of 2013. During her time at Berklee, she performed and collaborated with Ingrid Jensen, Ruben Rada, Jon Secada, Paquito D' Rivera, and Emmanuel Jal, among others. Performance venues have included the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Dizzy's Club Coca-­‐Cola in New York, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival. 

Gerson Lazo-­‐Quiroga, bass Gerson was born in Concepcion, Chile. At the early age of five he began learning to play the guitar from his father, later switching to electric bass, and deciding to make of it his lifelong instrument. In 2014, he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he currently studies Jazz Composition, Performance and Contemporary Writing and Production. To this date, Gerson has performed and shared the stage with Michelle Coltrane, She Welsh, Quintino Cinalli, Jaime Murrell and MIXCLA, with which he played the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival.

Takafumi Nikaido, percussion Takafumi was born in Sapporo, Japan. He started playing the saxophone at age six, but soon after seeing a live performance by Earth Wind & Fire, his interest switched to instruments of a more percussive nature. This eventually led to studies under Fujio Saito. At the age of 12 he traveled to Cuba to take private percussion classes. Subsequently, he was given the opportunity to perform with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, the most famous rumba group from Matanzas, Cuba. In 2014, he traveled to the Island once again to attend the Fiesta del Tambor Percussion Competition, where he received the Best Foreign Entrant Award and studied with prominent percussionists Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Adel Gonzalez, Adonis Panter Calderon, and Osain Del Monte.

Takafumi has performed with Jon Secada, FANTINE, Sivamani, Ruben Rada, and Totó la Momposina. As a featured member of MIXCLA, he’s also performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival.

Paul Sanchez, trumpet Paul Sanchez is a trumpeter from Quito, Ecuador, who began his musical career at a very young age studying at the National Conservatory and the Brass Band of Ecuador. Years later, he enrolled at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, which exposed him to big band jazz as a young teenager, and consequently allowed him to play with well-­‐known jazz musicians such as Brad Goode, Jeff Galindo, Elizabeth Dotson, Greg Badolato, Rick Peckham, and Antonio Hart. In 2009, Paul earned a full scholarship at the University of North Texas, where he took lessons from Rodney Booth, Mike Steinel and Lynn Seton.

Winning first place as melodic instrument in their competition gave him a feature with the Emisarios Del Jazz quartet. With them, he attended the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, and performed a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In March 2011, Paul was awarded a Presidential Scholarship from Berklee College of Music, where he has shared the stage with Antonio Sanchez, Terence Blanchard, Los Hermanos Arango, Luis Enrique, and Alejandro Sanz, with whom he also performed at the Latin Grammys in 2014.