SF Salsa Congress 2015

Posted on Dec 4, 2015

SF Salsa Congress featured two world class legends during their four days at the Oakland Marriott Hotel the weekend of Nov. 19-22.  The incomparable Charlie Aponte, formerly of El Gran Combo electrified the stage with his signature voice, hot dance moves and overflowing charisma in front of an adoring crowd on Saturday evening.  Aponte delivered the goods as he was backed up by a crack band of SF based musicians which included Karl Perazo of Santana, Christian Tumalan of PMO, Christian Pepin of Bembe, Braulio Barrera of Somos El Son and Mike Rinta of Avance.  His repertoire included his great hits from El Gran Combo and songs from his latest solo recording “Una Nueva Historia”.


On Friday evening, the famed Colombian bandleader Fruko y Sus Tesos impressed the congress crowd with their dynamic musicianship and classic hits such as “El Preso”.  Despite a few gliches with the sound system, Fruko delivered powerful no-holes barred Salsa, Latin Jazz and descarga that had the dancers sweating on the dance floor.  His band of seasoned veterans were tight and swinging!  The Salsa Congress also featured what is the norm of Salsa/Tropical scenes these days: rooms devoted to Bachata and Kizomba music that were packed with happy dancers.


This year’s congress also featured an evening entirely devoted to Bachata (a sign of the times) with a live band Invasion Latina from L.A..  El unico Pepe Gonzalez and his TV program “El Show De Pepe” locally on Channel 50 hosted the opening night party featuring his orchestra and a DJ showdown featuring 10 local DJ’s.  The main emphasis of the congress was the dancers who taught workshops, performed during the Dance showcases each evening, offered their services and products and partied each night until 4 am.  What a fieston for the dancer, aficionado and novice!!