Happy Brithday Benny Velarde!

Posted on Sep 8, 2010

Legendary Salsa and Latin Jazz timbalero Benny Velarde celebrated his 81st birthday in style at the Glas Kat on Tuesday evening, Sept 7th. The esteemed veteran percussionist who was part of Cal Tjader’s seminal Latin Jazz ensemble and who has graced Bay Area stages for over six decades performed with an all star version of his Super Combo. Among the all-stars joining Velarde on stage were John Santos, Orestes Vilato, John Calloway, Monchy Esteves and Jorge Pomar. Velarde was in great spirits as he performed in front of an adoring audience that included his family, long time friends, admirers and dancers both young and older. Diana Bowen, producer of the Mr. Maracas Tuesday salsa nights at the Glas Kat came up with the idea of honoring Velarde. It was a party the entire evening with great music from Velarde and noted Bay Area dj/producer Fab Fred. Benny told me that he has revived the band and will be actively playing again. Good news for salseros everywhere!