Recent Posts

It’s Getting Hot In Here… March 2016 Events coming up!

Posted on Feb 27, 2016

Tony Vega and Raulin Rosendo will be co-headlining a Salsa spectacular at Roccapulco on Sat. Feb. 27th!  Both of these fine artists don’t come to the Bay Area very often so this is a rare opportunity to catch these great vocalists at their element. Grupo Niche will play the same venue on March 12…Tito Puente Jr. and his big band will play at Yoshis on Sunday, Feb. 28 where Latin Jazz Grammy winner Eliane Elias will appear from March 2-5….A community happening “El Son De La Mision-A Musical Journey from the 1960’s to Present” featuring music by John Calloway, John Santos, Greg Landau and others will be at the Brava Theater in SF on March 19 and 20th… Jesus Alemany and Cubanismo ,who played an explosive set at Yoshis, Oakland last summer, will be taking the place of Juan De Marcos & The Afro Cuban All Stars from March 24-27 at the SF Jazz Center.  The All Stars cancelled due to illness but Cubanismo is a powerhouse replacement…these shows are not to be missed!! Look out for the dynamic pairing of Cuban Jazz phenom Gonzalo Rubalcaba and vocal legend Esperanza Fernandez at SF’s Herbst Theater on Wed. March 9th as part of the 11th annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival…The SF Salsa Festival produced by Salsamania Dance Company’s John Navarez and Liz Rojas will be featuring NY’s New Swing Sextet, Montuno Swing and Salson from March 24-26 at the Park Central Hotel. Opening party on March 24th will take place at the Verdi Club. Dance workshops, performances and DJ’s will also be part of the mix. More info: www.sfsalsafestival.com.  Ciao 4...

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Timba In The City-SF Salsa Rueda Festival 2016

Posted on Feb 15, 2016

I checked out the SF Salsa Rueda Festival over the weekend at the Hotel Whitcomb.  Producers Serena Wong and Nicholas Van Eyck (of the dance troupe Salsa Vale Todo) curated a great event that celebrates Cuban dance and music featuring dance performances, dance workshops for beginners to advanced dancers, lectures from dance experts such as Roberto Borrell and plenty of Timba throughout the weekend.   The headliner was the dynamic showman Tirso Duarte, who has played with Cuban timba music royalty such as David Calzado’s Charanga Habanera, Manolito Y Su Trabuco and Pupy Y Los Que Son Son, rocked the crowd with his swinging vocal improvisations.  His charisma and colorful hip hop fashion style connected with the festival crowd as they danced, put their arms up in the air and responded loudly to his calls during his irresistible tunes.  Duarte lived up to his reputation as one of Cuba’s finest modern dance music vocalists.   Miami’s Timbalive was impressive all weekend with their tight sound as they headlined on Friday night and backed up Duarte on Saturday night (augmented by a trumpet that added to their trombone sound).  Fronted by singers Boris Monterecy, Eylen Remon and Michel Marcos who provided vocal power as well as eye candy, the band led by timbalero Leo Garcia were explosive! Their latest recording “Gasolina De Avion” is a fine recording featuring great all star guests but Timbalive on stage proved to be a force of nature.   SF based DJ’s Walt Digz and Dark Rum of Anejo Productions who produce the longest running monthly Timba party La Tropi-cal expertly spun the hottest timba in-between sets.  The dance floor was constantly packed with sweaty and smiling dancers! The official after parties ran until 5 am with guest DJ’s from other parts of the U.S..   The Salsa Rueda Festival celebrated their 8th year in San Francisco this past weekend.  The energy and joy that was displayed by the dancers, bands, dj’s and the public was magnetic.  Timba and Cuban music has been a mainstay of the SF Latin scene for many years.  Thanks to Serena and Nick who elevates the love for the music and culture of Cuba to a grand scale with this fine...

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Fito Reinoso-Featured artist on Con Sabor Live Sessions

Posted on Feb 2, 2016

Renowned Cuban sonero Fito Reinoso will be featured on the next Con Sabor Live Sessions to be taped this weekend for future broadcast on Con Sabor with Luis Medina on KPFA 94.1 FM.  The critically acclaimed locally based Cuban son group Pellejo Seco will be accompanying Reinoso.  Reinoso and Pellejo Seco are collaborating on a new project featuring material that ranges from Boleros to Son.  Pellejo Seco’s leader and tres player Ivan Cambor was recently featured with the Septeto Nacional De Cuba Ignacio Pineiro at the group’s recent performance at the Brava Theater.  Reinoso who has led his own Ritmo Y Armonia band for years is also leading a more traditional dance band called Los Clasicos De Cuba.  He is currently recording a new Bolero and Son oriented project with Pellejo Seco to be released later this year.  The program will be broadcast later in the month on Con Sabor which airs every Saturday from 9 to 11 pm on KPFA 94.1...

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Choco, Bowie & Natalie

Posted on Jan 14, 2016

During the first 10 days of this new year, we lost 3 extraordinary musicians who were one of a kind.  The flamboyant David Bowie who was always a forward thinking musical visionary and lifestyle maverick whose career exploded in the early 1970’s and who just released his new recording “Lazarus” on his 69th birthday a couple of days before he passed this past Sunday. Soulful vocalist Natalie Cole, daughter of the late Nat King Cole who rose to prominence with her own beautiful voice and scored great hits such as “This Will Be” during her career.  She managed to reunite vocally with her father on the exceptional recording “Unforgettable” through modern technology. And last but not least, Cuban trumpet legend Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros.  Chocolate was a virtuoso whose fluid playing style with jazzy tipico phrasing first graced the groups of Rene Alvarez and Arsenio Rodriguez.  He was also a member of the famed Beny More big band and a charter member of La Sonora Matancera.  After he moved to the United States, Armenteros performed and recorded with Machito, Cachao and Eddie Palmieri.  Chocolate put out his solo recordings on the Salsoul and SAR labels but was also featured on some of the important recordings of the 1970’s including “Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevoyorquino” and Cachao’s New York based descarga recordings (as well as Cachao’s 1990’s descargas with actor Andy Garcia).  Chocolate enjoyed an illustrious career that spanned some 6 decades.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Chocolate for my radio program and working with him at the old Mi Pueblo club at 330 Ritch.  He was a classy gentleman, a character with a great sense of humor and a great laugh and a fantastic trumpeter. These great artists will all be missed!    ...

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