Meet the Band

Alejo Poveda
Drums, percussion & leader
Founder and leader of the band, Alejo is from Costa Rica. He toured extensively in South and Central America before moving to Chicago in the 1970s. He founded Chévere as a percussion ensemble in 1977.

Howard Levy
Piano, harmonica, & music director

Howard joined Chévere in 1979. He is most well known for his work with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Kenny Loggins, Paquito D’Rivera, Trio Globo, etc. Howard, a Grammy Award Winner and 2-time Nominee, has had a life long passion for Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music.

Ruben Alvarez
Timbales, percussion, drums & vocal

In addition to his electrifying playing, Ruben is also a noted Latin Music educator who has traveled to Cuba many times to deepen his knowledge of Afro-Cuban music and culture. He currently has a band with Chuchito Valdes, son of the great Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes. He is also a bandleader and has toured with many top artists.

Chris “Chicago Hambone” Cameron
Hammond B-3 Organ, Fender Rhodes, Moog & keyboards

Chris, one of Chicago’s leading studio keyboard players, brings his mastery of the electric keyboards, great sense of humor, and a dynamic, bluesy solo style to the mix of Chévere. Chris also produces and records with Sonia Dada.

Ernie Denov

Ernie composes some of Chévere’s best loved tunes. He has been one of Chicago’s top guitarists for many years, performing with many Chicago groups and leading his own bands as well. Currently, Ernie is also a member Lt. Dan Band, along with Gary Sinise and Kimo Williams.

Steve Eisen
Saxes, flute, & percussion

Steve, an original member of Chévere, is one of the leading sax players in the midwest. For years he has played and recorded with many of the music industry’s top artists.

Eric Hochberg
Bass & vocal

One of Chicago’s most in demand musicians, Eric has toured internationally with the Lyle Mays Quartet, the Terry Callier Group, Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz, the Kurt Elling Quartet, and the Paul Wertico Trio, among others. He is also a bandleader, producer, singer, trumpeter, and composer.

Mark Ohlsen
Trumpet & flugelhorn

In addtion to his charismatic lead trumpet playing, Mark is also a skilled recording engineer and arranger. A veteran of many jazz big bands, he also has played the Blues and Funk circuit, touring with Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows, The Chicago Catz, and others.

Joe Rendon
Congas, percussion & vocal

The leading congero in Chicago, Joe brings his deep knowledge of traditional Afro-Cuban percussion and chants as well as his virtuosity and ability to adapt the congas to any style of music. Joe has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Andy Montanez, Irakere, and many other Latin artists.

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