I played two late sets Friday night (9/2) for the NY Salsa Congress w/the incomparable 20 piece Mambo Legends Orchestra. The 5 day event was held at the prestigious midtown NY Hilton hotel and if you do not know about the massive Salsa Congress/latin dance movement in the U.S., it’s because you have not been told about it by the media. Go here to see a list of international salsa events. Over just the next two months there are 50 events listed, everywhere from major U.S. and Caribbean cities right on through to Europe, the Pacific Rim and even Islamic areas like Uzbekistan and Tunisia. Easily 1500 people were dancing and partying until well after 3AM at this event on Friday and we killed em!!! This music is alive, folks.
Meanwhile, I expect to see an article in the Sunday NY Times about 15 or 20 white Williamsburgh no-dancing hipster wannabes having a “big” party in an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse. Grunge is sold because it’s easy. This music is not being sold by the mainstream corporate media because:
1-It is “Hispanic”…although over half of the dancing audience was most obviously not Hispanic.
2-Grunge and jiveass DJs are easy. Any fool can run that game, and of course…many fools do. There’s no faking this stuff, though. You either play it/hear it/dance it or you don’t.
A list of some of the musicians in this Mambo Legends band:
And that’s just scratching the surface.
Never heard of ’em?
That’s your fault. Not theirs.
They’ve been on it since the late ’60/early 70s, many of them, and they are still in their musical prime.
Read on for more.
The Mambo Legends Orchestra plays the music of the Tito Puente, Machito and Tito Rodriguez bands, and it does so as well or better than it has ever been played. The music still sounds thoroughly contemporary 30, 40, 50, 60 years after it was made. Amazing!!!
And the mainstream culture just keeps on jerking itself off to no-playing fools like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
But true none the less.
The band is headed for Venezuela in November.
Horace Greely’s “Go west, young man” thing?
Go south young man. And young woman, too.
That’s where the action’s at today, at least in this hemishpere.
Bet on it.
Check it out.
As the great Panamanian trumpet master Victor Paz said 30+ years ago to a young Caucasian player on the Machito band at a society function:
“Don’ watch the white people dance. It will ruin your time.”
Not a racist statement. Victor didn’t care what race you were as long as you meant business on the playing end of things.
And as always…Vitin was right on the money.
Check it out.
I hear things coming out of Colombia…
Bet on that as well.
Keep your ears open.
The U.S. is in cultural decline.
Go south, young man/young woman.
That’s where the action’s at today.
Bet on it.