Rolling Afro-Latin Music 2017: Salsa, Bomba, Merengue,Reggaeton, Bachata, Latin Jazz, Bolero and more

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Another year

curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 January 2017 17:07 (four months ago) Permalink

Added bolero into title, but not Cubaton (decided the latter is covered by reggaeton).

curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 January 2017 17:10 (four months ago) Permalink


The Magnificent Galileo Seven (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 1 January 2017 17:12 (four months ago) Permalink

I hope something worth talking about happens this year, other than the deaths of musical giants.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 January 2017 18:44 (four months ago) Permalink

From timberamayor's new timba thread over on salsaforums. This is from last year, but given the speed at which the subject of this thread moves, I think that's okay. Some nice things going on, on this:

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 January 2017 18:53 (four months ago) Permalink

The vocals are the most appealing part for me.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 January 2017 18:56 (four months ago) Permalink

Interesting Bandcamp article on Puerto Rican punk-salsa group Orquesta El Macabeo...

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 18:01 (four months ago) Permalink

Just realized it's been over five years since the last Michael Stuart album. How about an album of him singing some new salsa dura and not more tribute to this tribute to that?

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 6 January 2017 15:20 (four months ago) Permalink

Yep. Saw this 2014 one-off song from him. He did some live gigs in 2016, but no album.

curmudgeon, Friday, 6 January 2017 18:11 (four months ago) Permalink

I completely missed that song. Will need to listen a few times. On first listen, it seems more serviceable than truly noteworthy.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 6 January 2017 18:55 (four months ago) Permalink

N#d S*blette has been raving about this group who have been visiting NYC this weekend. They're at the SOBs club in NYC tonight and the below is from the club's site


As diplomatic tensions thaw, the dance floor heats up with the U.S. debut of one of Cuba’s most essential bands. Winner of the 2015 Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Album, Septeto Santiaguero honed its sound at Santiago de Cuba’s famous nightclub Casa de la Trova. Balancing reverence for tradition with an adventurous streak that has sparked collaborations with salsa stars like José Alberto “El Canario” and Rubén Blades, the band knows how to keep crowds moving wherever they go.

curmudgeon, Monday, 9 January 2017 20:44 (four months ago) Permalink

Pareles in NY Times :

Septeto Santiaguero, which was formed in 1995 to revive 1940s- and 1950s-style Cuban pop with a slight twist: adding a conga drummer to make it an eight-man septet. Driven by conga and bongos, topped with acoustic guitar and solos plucked on the tres, with trumpet cheekily answering the singers, it was sly, romantic, definitively Cuban and not just for local delight.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 12 January 2017 20:37 (four months ago) Permalink

they were... fine? don't get the hubbub.

A big shout out goes to the lamb chops, thos lamb chops (ulysses), Friday, 13 January 2017 18:36 (four months ago) Permalink

Cubanophiles will be that way.

Balancing reverence for tradition with an adventurous streak that has sparked collaborations with salsa stars like José Alberto “El Canario” and Rubén Blades

Are they supposed to represent "the new?" Pretty cutting edge. (Not that there is much of a cutting edge at this point.)

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 13 January 2017 18:43 (four months ago) Permalink

^ That reminds me of a friend interviewing Marcos Valle and asking if he would be playing mostly old stuff and he said "no, I've got some more recent stuff too" and as an example mentioned a single of his from the 80's.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 16 January 2017 10:41 (four months ago) Permalink

Residente from Calle 13 has a NSFW video for his new solo song "Somos Anormales". Its ok

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 January 2017 05:26 (four months ago) Permalink

“I think he should have more salsa at his events.”

Colón unfamiliar with the taco bowl tweet apparently.

A big shout out goes to the lamb chops, thos lamb chops (ulysses), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 18:04 (four months ago) Permalink

Ugh; Willie Colón comes out pro-Trump.

Some refreshingly sensible comments from him there, though I wouldn't criticize performers who want to boycott the inauguration. Considering who Trump was running against, I am relieved he won. He's not the only lifetime Democrat to vote for Trump.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:54 (four months ago) Permalink

But then again, I don't believe in open borders either.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:55 (four months ago) Permalink

Considering who Trump was running against, I am relieved he won.

OK, bye now. I have no interest in continuing this conversation.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 19 January 2017 02:04 (four months ago) Permalink

I don't agree with Rudiph either. Trump's Supreme Court nominees will not be helpful

curmudgeon, Thursday, 19 January 2017 17:54 (four months ago) Permalink

Just watched some video of afro-Venezuelan singing and percussion ensemble Betsayda Machado y la Parranda el Clavo at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Good stuff

curmudgeon, Friday, 20 January 2017 17:55 (four months ago) Permalink

Residente traced his genealogy and traveled to those various parts of the world linked to his heritage to record his new solo effort. Plus he discovered he's 3rd cousins of the Hamilton director Miranda. I haven't heard the new album yet.

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 January 2017 16:26 (four months ago) Permalink

I forget whether I have heard Don Omar song that's #1 on a Billboard chart

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 January 2017 18:25 (four months ago) Permalink

I was the only vote for Ile: Canibal in the Voice critics poll song/track list

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 January 2017 21:02 (four months ago) Permalink

This year is the 20th anniversary of Silencio = Muerte: Red Hot + Latin. Remember when "rock en español" was a thing?

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 27 January 2017 18:09 (four months ago) Permalink

Less crossover interest but things like the LAMC still happen

Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) ... JULY 11th - 15th, 2017 NEW YORK CITY REGISTRATION COMING SOON

plus this:

Café Tacuba and others

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 January 2017 19:05 (four months ago) Permalink

Oh, I know it still exists - the new Chicano Batman album is great. I mostly meant "a thing" as in "a thing you could get English-language editors to give a shit about."

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 27 January 2017 19:11 (four months ago) Permalink

Sadly, too many editors (and music critics) seem to be only interested in English language indie, plus pop and rap

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 January 2017 20:26 (four months ago) Permalink

Cuban acts remain trendy for some fests and concert halls. This is from the just announced New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest where Meghan Trainor and other big pop names will headline while on a smaller stage:


Los Van Van ; Chucho Valdes Quintet ; Gente de Zona; Pedrito Martinez and the Rumba
; Telmary y Habana Sana of Cuba; Adonis y Osain del Monte of Cuba; Septeto Santiaguero of Cuba ; Changüí Guantánamo of Cuba; Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro of Cuba; Daymé Arocena of Cuba ; Conga Los Hoyos of Cuba; Grupo Caury of Cuba ;

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 January 2017 20:40 (four months ago) Permalink

I just turned in a Q&A with a Cuban metal band to Bandcamp. I included their answers in the original Spanish, alongside the translations, in case anyone reading was interested.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 27 January 2017 20:46 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...


Donde Están? by Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo

Best Tropical Latin Grammy winner at last night's award show

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 February 2017 14:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: Ilevitable.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 13 February 2017 16:11 (three months ago) Permalink

the award went posthumously to Lugo and his Guasábara Combo for Dónde Están?, his last album before he succumbed to cancer in June 2016.

Lugo, a pianist, producer and bandleader, was no stranger to the Grammys; in 2006, Gilberto Santa Rosa’s Directo al corazón, produced by Lugo, won Best salsa album. And Lugo himself was nominated for his album Guasábara in 2010.

But death is powerful when it comes to awards. Already respected as a musician, Lugo was suddenly front and center after battling cancer, and losing, at only 56 years old.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 February 2017 17:26 (three months ago) Permalink

from that Billboard article: Fonseca, fresh from winning a Latin Grammy (for Best tropical song), seemed a shoe-in with his adventuresome Conexión.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 February 2017 17:28 (three months ago) Permalink

Still haven't listened to those 2 but intend to

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 February 2017 04:50 (three months ago) Permalink

Eh the Fonseca album's pop sheen is too gloppy

curmudgeon, Saturday, 18 February 2017 04:04 (three months ago) Permalink

Finally listened to the Grammy winning late Lugo and his Guasábara Combo-- Dónde Están?.

Nice solid salsa and a cut near the end that has a Brazilian carnival drums feel to it.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 February 2017 17:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Ben Ratliff, former NY Times critic and others liked his late 2008 “Guasábara” (Norte) album that has a mini-orchestra on it with 9 horn players and 5 percussionists plus guest vocalists.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 February 2017 17:35 (three months ago) Permalink

A current freelancer for NY Times on Latin jazz folks like Pedrito Martínez, Alfredo Rodríguez and Arturo O’Farrill and David Virelles and bassist Luques Curtis. Martinez is a great rumba percussionist and more.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 February 2017 17:53 (three months ago) Permalink

gio's good people and a solid writer

removed from the rain drops and drop tops of experience (ulysses), Tuesday, 21 February 2017 18:35 (three months ago) Permalink

He used to be down here in the DC area and yes, good people. As for what he's writing about--As I have previously noted here--too much Latin jazz seems formulaic to me in a manner that does not wow me, but I will give a shot to listening to some of the folks he mentioned that I have not previously heard.

Salsa can also be criticized as formulaic, but I like that Pedro Lugo farewell release more than most Latin jazz.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 February 2017 19:14 (three months ago) Permalink

Jose Lugo I mean.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 February 2017 19:19 (three months ago) Permalink

Listened to a bit of Jose Lugo and his orchestra on the 2008 Guasábara album. Good stuff. He's not quite hard enough salsa I am guessing for some, but his arrangements aren't wimpy either.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Listening now to last year's album. They sound like they'd rather be playing bad Latin jazz. The rhythm is solid though.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 23 February 2017 16:51 (three months ago) Permalink

Lugo was an arranger and band leader at times for singers like Santa Rosa and Manuelle that you have rarely praised, so I don't expect you to be impressed

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 February 2017 16:57 (three months ago) Permalink

Lugo did lose in the Latin musicians only Grammys held earlier:

Best Salsa Album
Grupo Niche, 35 Aniversario
WINNER: India, Intensamente India Con Canciones De Juan Gabriel
José Lugo & Guasábara Combo, ¿Dónde Están?
Bobby Valentín, Mi Ritmo Es Bueno
Johnny Ventura, Tronco Viejo

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 February 2017 17:19 (three months ago) Permalink

He also used to play with another nominee there-- Bobby Valentin

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 February 2017 18:32 (three months ago) Permalink

Aka "Mr. Soul"

Disco Blecch and His Exo-Planettes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 February 2017 18:50 (three months ago) Permalink

Lugo was an arranger and band leader at times for singers like Santa Rosa and Manuelle that you have rarely praised, so I don't expect you to be impressed.

Funny, I've had "Perdoname" popping in and out of my head lately. I still kind of like that song, I think just because it was one of the songs from my first salsa dance classes.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 24 February 2017 01:45 (three months ago) Permalink

I just got The Vitral Saxophone Quartet's Kites Over Havana album off bandcamp. It's some beautiful Cuban style chamber music. Pre-ordered the new Chano Dominguez album while I was there, because I'm in love with that Flamenco Sketches Miles tribute album he did a few years back. I shouldn't really be spending money on music right now, but couldn't resist these two.

calzino, Friday, 24 February 2017 13:51 (three months ago) Permalink

didn't really like the new Chano Dominguez which is a pleasant but fairly undistinguished live solo piano recording. But was happy to pay for it after leeching the rest of his gear off slsk.

calzino, Friday, 24 February 2017 16:45 (three months ago) Permalink

Had a stroke in 2012, plus Parkinson's

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 March 2017 03:39 (two months ago) Permalink

RIP. Liked him in Tito Puente's Golden Latin Jazz All-Stars

Nesta Leaps In (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 March 2017 03:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Colombia's Maluma is performing at a 10,000 seat arena near Washington DC . Just listened to him for first time. He's pop-reggaeton. Kinda formulaic but ok

curmudgeon, Friday, 17 March 2017 14:38 (two months ago) Permalink

I think its been years since anyone here on this type of thread was enthusiastic about reggaeton (although I think someone who's on the Afropop/afrobeats auto-tuned African club thread is a fan)

curmudgeon, Friday, 17 March 2017 15:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Isidro Infante (where has he been?) has a new album featuring Cuban vocalists singing Puerto Rican salsa:

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 17 March 2017 15:48 (two months ago) Permalink

"Salsa y Control" with Mayito Rivera will work on the dancefloor. I think the Lebron Brothers live in Colombia extended version is definitive, but it's pretty lengthy.

Haila singing "La Vida Es un Carnival" is an unimaginative choice, but I kind of hate that song anyway. Give her something that wasn't sung by Celia.

This "Fuego la Jicotea" is pretty on point though. Can't do that any more, unfortunately.

Overall this still seems like more cover versions that never needed to exist. I've only skimmed it, but that seems pretty clear.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:04 (two months ago) Permalink

I think I should wait to post until something I genuinely like comes along. This could be a long wait.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:11 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm switching over to the new tqd, but I think I've heard everything on the album already, via their soundcloud.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:16 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Slim pickins galore.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 01:14 (one month ago) Permalink

it's true.

Bobson Dugnutt (ulysses), Wednesday, 12 April 2017 02:59 (one month ago) Permalink

I wonder how much that is because of us (the choices from the few of us here) and how much due to the state of the music

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:33 (one month ago) Permalink

i would presume the latter; there's lots in the field to choose from, a broad variety of popular styles and not many folks on this board who specialize in latin popular music. fewer still who like to talk about it!

Bobson Dugnutt (ulysses), Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:53 (one month ago) Permalink

It's the state of the music in the styles that the people who post on this thread care about. I'm certainly not that interested in Latin music in the broadest sense, as such.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 13 April 2017 15:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Just for comparison for anyone who cares who isn't already familiar with it (probably an empty category), this is the original Dejame Sonar recorded by Tito Puente and Tony Vega. This is why we don't need the new, somewhat softer version:

Way more bite.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 13 April 2017 16:03 (one month ago) Permalink

As others have said, I wish Cubans would go back to singing like Benny More sang, and drop the annoying rootsy nasal/old lady timbre. I know a lot of people like it and it's got roots in rumba, but I find it really annoying.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 13 April 2017 16:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Just watched 2014 movie "The Chef" and I like the soundtrack. Available on 2 volumes. It includes:

I Like It Like That

by Pete Rodriguez

Homenaje Al Beny (Castellano Que Bueno Baila Usted)

by Gente de Zona

Bang Bang--Joe Cuba

Kinda obvious to some stuff, but hey, still nice to hear

curmudgeon, Friday, 14 April 2017 15:10 (one month ago) Permalink

How some of DC's latin dance community does it:

TWO Ballrooms - Salsa/Mambo y Bachata/Kizomba/Zouk
★ Dancing til 3am

Mr. Mambo's 12yrs Anniversary Bash is Going Down SAT APRIL 22, 2017 w/Mardi Gras Masquarade Theme at the Hollywood Ballroom!

Join us in Celebrating DC's Premier & Longest Running Salsa & Bachata Social Consistently serving the DC/MD/VA Latin Dance Community with the TOP Local Instructors, HOTTEST DJs, and the BEST Dancefloors for the past 12 years!


★ Special Workshop & Performance by NYC's Jacob Lugo & Selena Tornez
★ Mardi Gras Theme, Dress Code Festive w/Masquerade Masks
★ (4) Salsa & Bachata Workshops w/Top Local Instructors
★ Show at 11:30pm- More Groups TBA
★ TWO Ballrooms - Salsa/Mambo y Bachata/Kizomba/Zouk
★ Dancing til 3am

WHERE: HOLLYWOOD BALLROOM DANCE CENTER, 2126 Industrial Parkway, Silver Spring, MD

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 April 2017 15:11 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I didn't make it to the above. Nor did I fly down to New Orleans this year where Jazzfest's first weekend included a special Cuban segment with various groups. Jon Pareles in the NY Times:

He also liked, among others --TELMARY Y HABANA SANA The Cuban poet, rapper and songwriter Telmary Diaz didn’t rely on her words alone to get across her socially conscious messages. She had a full Latin band, playing the sinuous rhythms of son and speedy, percussive rumba, surrounding her with melodic refrains.

curmudgeon, Friday, 5 May 2017 14:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This song was huge even before they added Bieber to the remix. Pop with touches of bachata romantic softness . Apparently the biggest Spanish language crossover since the Macarena

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 03:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Jazz critic Larry Blumenfeld on the Cubans at Jazzfest in New Orleans this year--

• A 150-strong Cuban delegation energized jazzfest in profound and varied ways. Los Van Van rocked the Congo Square stage, as did Adonis y Osain Del Monte. But mostly, The Cuban Cultural Exchange Pavilion was the magnet for anyone with ears, hips and a heart. (The ropa vieja in back wasn’t bad, either.) Standout shows here (and on other stages) came from rapper Telmary y Habana Sana and singer Daymé Arocena.

• Though roughly a dozen performances at jazzfest (and a few outside the Fair Grounds) percussionist and singer Pedrito Martinez was an unstoppable engine of power and ingenuity, leading his own quartet and co-leading a Rumba Project with percussionist Román Díaz. Their Rumba Project—different in each of its several iterations—was simply the place to be within jazzfest’s swarm of must-see shows.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

RIP bassist for the Fania All-Stars and many others Sal Cuevas.

Trelayne Staley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 13 May 2017 13:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

RIP. Dude played with everyone in NY from late 70s to so point in 80s .

Wiki take --

While maintaining the traditional flavor and concepts of authenticity within Latin music, he managed to fuse all those other "worlds" into his bass playing technique resulting in the creation of a completely unique style. On some recordings for instance, he would play very intricate horn section lines or phrases on the bass in unison with the horns, which until then was virtually unheard of within the genre, as was his funky bass slapping and string snapping technique which today has become a norm for bassist within Latin "salsa" music thanks to Sal. He also incorporated the technique of "tapping" in his Latin bass playing.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 13 May 2017 21:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

a few reggaeton tracks i've been digging a lot :

karol g ft ozuna - hello (it's from late last year, but i only discovered it recently and it's great)
wisin ft ozuna - escapate conmigo
justin quiles - egoista
j balvin - sigo estrañandote

previews for yandel ft farrusko - despacio are very promising as well.

rusty_allen, Thursday, 25 May 2017 18:28 (four days ago) Permalink

Saw Wisin y Yandel years ago, but have lost track since they started doing more solo efforts.

curmudgeon, Friday, 26 May 2017 14:10 (three days ago) Permalink

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