Cuba, Obama y Cultura

Posted on Dec 18, 2014

President Obama’s announcement that the United States is opening up communications, trade and travel with Cuba is a great surprise.   It certainly is a welcome step in the right direction to wider access to Cuban culture for many Americans.  As a broadcaster, journalist and supporter of Cuban music for many years, this means that we will have the opportunity to enjoy more live concerts from great Cuban artists and greater access to recordings, films, art and culture.  San Francisco Bay Area residents have been treated to great Cuban music since Los Papines and Grupo Moncada visited this area back in the 1970’s.  These visits increased in the 1990’s with the visit of Pablo Menendez’s Mezcla and Irakere West featuring Chucho Valdez, Carlos Del Puerto, Carlos Emilio Morales, Enrique Pla and surprise guest Bebo Valdes.  In the mid to late 1990’s, the tireless efforts of attorney Bill Martinez  (who has secured countless visas for visiting Cuban artists) and his partner media professional Arturo Riera whose joint production group Latino Media Partners brought Los Van Van,  Jesus Alemany’s Cubanismo, NG La Banda, Maraca and others to the Bay Area.   Countless artists such as Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes to today’s hot stars Havana d’Primera have come to visit us.  Not to mention the many contributions of great Cuban musicians that reside in the Bay Area to our music scene such as Orestes Vilato, Fito Reinoso, Jesus Diaz, Carlos Caro, Tito Gonzalez and many others.   Now this news marks a new pathway to greater dialogue and exchange between the United States and Cuba.  I’m excited that I will see this change during my lifetime.  Vaya!!!...

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Ciao Cafe Cocomo

Posted on Oct 13, 2014

Cafe Cocomo, renowned SF Salsa palace since 1997 closed their doors in September.   The club that devoted 5 nights to presenting Salsa music boasted a huge dance floor, a adjacent lounge with a smaller dance floor, an upstairs VIP area, patio and a large stage.  Performers that appeared at the club included El Gran Combo, Oscar D’Leon, Pupy Y Los Que Son Son, David Calzado’s Charanga Habanera, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Sonora Carruselles and others.  The club also presented the best local bands and top notch DJ’s.  I was a resident DJ at the club for more than a decade.    The closing weekend featuring some of Cocomo’s favorite and big draws: Louie Romero & Mazacote with special guest Anthony Blea, Julio Bravo & Salsabor and Orquesta Borinquen with guest Doug Beavers who relocated to NYC.  During a heartfelt speech from the stage, Cocomo’s Sri Lankan owner Drew said that his heart was into the music and the crowd that supported the club throughout the many years that it was open.  Now Cocomo is added to the great venues that have ran their course into SF nightlife history.  Drew and the Cocomo crew have opened a new but smaller venue “Playa SF” in the old Cannery in the Fisherman’s Wharf...

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Herman Olivera -La Voz Del Caribe Review

Posted on Aug 26, 2014

HERMAN OLIVERA LA VOZ DEL CARIBE SALSANEO MUSIC  Olivera is one of Salsa’s great contemporary soneros.  Best known for his lead vocalist work with Eddie Palmieri, Olivera delivers his best recording to date. Backed by Venezuela’s creme de la creme, Olivera cuts the competition at the knees with gems such as “Privilego Y Honor” detailing a father’s love for his son, the swinging “Libre Para Siempre” medley of Olivera’s well known songs with Manny Oquendo’s Libre and the dance floor bomb “El Heredero Del Sabor”.  Olivera’s delivery is flawless, passionate and strong.  The songs on this recording are worthy of his immense talent.   One of the best recordings of...

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Ciao, Robin Williams

Posted on Aug 13, 2014

Robin, how you made me laugh.  Now I’m sad.  You decided to check out early from life.  Everyone is crying now.  We have your movies, tv, videos and your photos.  That’s all we have now.  RIP Funny man…may you find the peace now that you couldn’t find in life.

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