Roots United was founded by Michael Simon at the beginning of the new millennium. With this group Michael promotes the evolution of the venerable Latin jazz genre in his own way by performing original works. To this aim, he recruits outstanding and versatile musicians to be a part of his group.
The music of Roots United acquires a fusion of musical styles by combining Western compositional techniques with ‘Afro-Caribbean and South-American’ rhythms and interpretations into a traditional jazz context. An important way to achieve such a blend of musical styles was to gather musicians that are acquainted with both idioms; hence the roots. As it is for Andy Gonzalez (a major exponent of the genre), Latin jazz is about developing a jazz sensibility in relation to the music, its structure, its swing and character which in turn allows other musicians to spontaneously engage in a musical conversation at a very high level and together, explore new grounds.
The music of Roots United relays a promising outlook for the sometimes under-investigated Latin jazz genre and has proven that it possesses a level of energy unlike any other music. There is something about the rhythms and the dramatic gestures that make audiences become intensely involved. It is a fresh approach promising both a delightful listening experience and exciting intellectual stimulation. Moreover, their rhythms move the music in a way that energizes and loosens up audiences, thanks to the fact that they are danceable.
Undeniable is the fact that the members of Roots United contribute as a collective to the sound of the group, and form a unique blend. Their music is dedicated to iconic latin and jazz inspirers such as: Miles Davis, Chucho Valdez, John Coltrane, Jerry & Andy Gonzales, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Eddie Palmieri, Afrocuba and Dizzy Gillespie.