Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On Monday July 24, at 9:30 pm come see LOCOBEACH in Brooklyn! Every Monday night at Barbès, the Tropical Vortex series showcases bands and DJs who specialize in variations on tropical sounds from Latinolandia and elsewhere. This week Peace & Rhythm recording artist Locobeach brings a new tropical hybrid of psychedelic cumbia & disco (with a little electro, dub, funk, chicha & surf thrown in for good measure) featuring members of Los Crema Paraíso, La Más Bestia Pop, and Chicha Libre. Plus Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew Andujar & Bongohead will spin a Rumba Sicodélica set between sets and after! 
Barbès 376 9th St. (corner of 6th Ave.), Park Slope, Brooklyn NY 11215 Tel: 347 422 0248

Monday, July 10, 2017

The rumba is here. La rumba que tumba.
Enlace Funk No. 56, 2017

Interview: Pablo Yglesias aka DJ Bongohead and Miguel A. Sutil, editor-in-chief of Enlace Funk magazine. Translated by Pablo E. Yglesias.

Does your ethnic background and where you were brought up influence your music and how you make it?

Our backgrounds dramatically affect our music and how we make it.  Fulaso is a collective and we write as such.  Our band members hail from all over the world and many of them have extensive training in numerous styles of Latin, Afro-Cuban, jazz, classical, you name it.  So, when we write, all of our influences come into play and you can hear it in Juan’s jazzy chords influenced by his studies of jazz piano, Charly’s Cuban timbale patterns ingrained from his Cuban father and their nights in salsa clubs in the ‘80s, and Pat’s veteran super-abilities to construct horn moñas in record time via his incredible presence in the NYC Latin scene.  It’s kind of miraculous the way it all comes together.

In your performances you have a lot of stage presence and you like to relate to the audience. There is a certain component of theatricality and narration. Can you talk a little bit about why that might be?

Thank you!  I was a Theatre Arts major [in college] and have been performing almost all of my life.  I actually moved to NYC in 2004 with a directing internship at a theatre company in the West Village.  I did theatre of a couple of years, was looking for jobs in playbill.com and saw an ad for a Latin jazz vocalist. I had been really immersed in theatre and thought this would be a fun change so I auditioned for David Fletcher, CEO of New York’s Best Musicians and of Washington’s Best Musicians. He hired me for a trio, recommended me for a few other auditions and BOOM! – I’m answering interview questions for a new 45! Crazy!

I think my ability to connect with the audience comes from stage training.  Especially in the vain world we occupy today, you really do have to learn how to let go of your conscious self and be completely open and present.  It is in that moment of utter vulnerability do you allow the audience to step into your world and join you in being totally raw and emotionally available.  That is when the fun begins.

How was the group formed and where do your influences come from?

Fulaso is actually an off-shoot of another project a few of us worked in together, Spanglish Fly.  For different reasons, quite a few of us decided to begin our own project.  We recruited some great new faces to fill in the gaps and we fortunately have really great energy together and are a solid team. In fact, we just recruited two great new percussionists who we are very excited to have on join us: Dawn Drake on congas and Jhan-Carlo Lamprea Rodríguez on bongó.

Tell us a bit about the other members of the band that you collaborate with on song composition.

For readers who want to know even more about us, you can always check out our band bio’s at www.fulaso.com/section/bandbios 

Fulaso is a special project because the band belongs to each of us, so we each have jobs, i.e. I do the booking, Mario (bass) is our Marketing and PR Manager, Jonathan (baritone sax) is our Librarian, physically and virtually managing all of the charts and books, etc.  We vote on everything from logo colors to gig opportunities.  It’s a lot of work, but everyone is very dedicated, works hard and in that light, its a very special project.  There is a lot of love.

Do you think NYC is a good place today for Latin music? Why?

I personally think New York is a great place for Latin music today and I think many of my bandmates would agree with me.  Primarily, the Latin music community today, in my experience, is so communal.  Without labels buying the way they were in the ‘60s/‘70s/‘80s, I would imagine due to the fact that music is so easily accessible via the Internet, the competition has completely changed.  We all need each other now for work, fan sharing, show sharing, and even booking data exchange.  Everyone plays with everyone, subs for each other, gets each other gigs and recommendations.  It is really a beautiful thing.  In the humbling times I have spent talking to guys like Harvey Averne and Joe Bataan, the NY Latin music community in the ‘60s and ‘70s was cut throat and bands did not like each other.  This is one thing that I think really sets the scene apart today.

The other component is the type of Latin music currently emerging from the city is so dynamic and experimental.  Bands like Mariachi Flor de Tolache, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, and Avenida B are rejuvenating old sounds, Dawn Drake and ZapOte, Karikatura, San Simon and Yotoco spanning genres while maintaining a strong Latin edge, while guys like Eddie Palmieri and Joe Bataan STILL pack houses.  Latin music in NYC is HOT right now!

What are your favorite DJs and clubs?

Obviously, DJ Turmix, DJ Bongohead, DJ Andujar, and my girl DJ Terry Dactyl!  We’ve received a ton of love from some of the best local radio DJs like the immeasurable Vicki Sola of Que Viva La Musica on WFDU, and the gallant gentleman German Santana and Louis Leffite of Caribe Latino on WKCR.

Also, as corny as this may be, my most favorite DJ is actually my husband.  His record collection is expansive and he always keeps our house grooving from opera and classics to drum & bass to jazz, soul, roots, rock, hip-hop, death metal, you name it.  He keeps me updated and educated even when it annoys the crap out of me and I am so very grateful.

Clubs, now that’s a more difficult answer.  It really depends on the night and my mood, which usually includes something with dancing! My favorite places to play in the city are Brooklyn Bowl (in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and Barbès (in Park Slope, Brooklyn).

For some time now there has been a reassertion of the original boogaloo sound. Do you think there really is a revival of that sound and an authentic interest to recover it or is it just a fad?

I absolutely think the Latin boogaloo sound is seeing an authentic resurgence.  Just as the tide, things come and slip away.  Music has changed so much as it can be made electronically now and it’s way cheaper to pay one DJ, than hire a band of people.  The NYC Latin music scene is fighting to keep live music and musicians working and relevant. The resurgence of Latin soul and bugalú, in my opinion is huge part of that because of its special nest in time.  It is a reminder of that ‘60s and ‘70s era when people were liberating themselves.  I think there is a powerful message there and people really feel that right now.

How is boogaloo being made today? In the original early days, it integrated many people of races and places, do you think that is still so?

I can only speak to my own experience and to Fulaso.  We strive to make Funky Latin Soul and Boogaloo, whatever that means to you.  In our world, our music is absolutely being integrated by our upbringings from so many corners of the world and our trainings from all different schools of specialty and technique. From all of the people we have had the pleasure to work with in our other projects or who have subbed for us, it is the same. Live music in the NYC melting pot is being made just so; a big mish-mash of the entire world.

Do you think that your music is just for dancing or has a social component as well?

The only social component of Fulaso's music is BE SOCIAL! Turn off the TV, leave the phone and be present! Get out there, move your ass and do not worry about anything in the world, because we only have right here and now, so let’s enjoy this moment together!

What do you think of the new American president and his policies?

OH! I have SO much to say and I do it by calling, faxing, texting, and emailing my representatives, staying updated, educated, and supporting causes like the ACLU, etc.  I personally do not nor have I ever supported that man, his administration or his policies.

What inspires you to compose songs?

For me, personally, moments and other music. You have a lot of interactions in NYC, a lot of special moments with strangers and that often inspires me. I’m also inspired by other music I hear. Fulaso is generally inspired by an idea that a band member brings in. For example, “Bodega Cat,” written by Jonathan Flothow, was brought in and built upon. The swing sections, specifically, were the brain-child of Matt Thomas.

When I saw you live in NYC, you played some cover tunes. What are your favorite artists and which artists do you cover?

My favorite artists list could go on forever.  Vocalists who have really inspired me or who I have studied would definitely be the obvious jazz greats; Nina, Ella, Billie, Etta.  Esperanza Spalding and Regina Spektor are some more current artists who have inspired me.  And obviously Beyoncé. She IS the Queen Bee, no doubt!

The covers Fulaso chooses are based on sound. We currently cover Fania All Stars, Alfredo Linares, Frank Cotto, Ray Barretto and Pete Rodriguez with some special arrangements of Nina Simone, Eddie Palmieri, Clarence Reid, Donna Summer and The Kills.

Have you ever played in Europe? What do you expect from the European public and what would you tell your fans in Europe?

Fulaso has yet to play in Europe, but hopefully in the next year or two! I don’t hold expectations.  Each crowd is a different experience, though I’ve heard stories of great European audiences from colleagues! 

To our fans, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for reading and listening!  We appreciate your love so much! Please visit our Facebook page and “Like” us because you have no idea how much those Like demographics will help us get gigs in EU!  You can also check us out at www.fulaso.com to hear music, see videos, even purchase a signature pair of 'Sucio Soul' panties and much more! Love and Peace, dear friends!

Also, a very special thank you to Pablo, Brendon and Miguel for listening to and supporting us. We just can’t tell you how much it means! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hi all, Studebaker Hawk & I will be spinning salsa & more for your dancing pleasure & relief from stress. Join us at Sevenstrong for Discoteca Latina! A night for dancers and lovers of Latin Music Thursday December 22, 2016 from 10 PM - 1 AM 

Sevenstrong 7 Strong Ave, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 Peace & Rhythm DJs, Bongohead and Studebaker Hawk will be spinning the finest in old-school, classic and hard Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue, Timba, Cha Cha, Boogaloo, and more, to keep the rhythms alive on the dance floor. Free entry, full bar, join the party! 

And please tell your friends! Maybe you already know about it?

Instagram/Twitter: @peaceandrhythm

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The true story of Guararey

                Photo of Roberto Baute Sagarra from Casa del Changüí in Guantanamo

The true story of the salsa anthem “El Guararey de Pastora” (the Shepherdess’ Complaint) and changüí, the genre that inspired many bands (from Orquesta Revé to Los Van Van, Ray Barretto to Típica ’73 and Guararé), begins in the poor, mountainous south-western region of Guantánamo, Cuba when the tres guitar player, itinerant troubadour and purveyor of the traditional music form known as the changüí, Roberto Baute Sagarra, composed the piece in relative anonymity in the early part of the 20th century. Sadly it was not registered or copyrighted, as was often the case in those times, which allowed the work to become part of the repertoire of his countryman Pedro Speck, who was another purveyor and carrier of the tradition of changüí. Speck was leader of the Grupo Changüí that released a record on Cuba’s state label Siboney in 1983, ¡Ahora Sí! (Speck, on vocals and maraca, was 75 at the time or the recording). Interestingly enough, in the midst of this beautiful “traditional” recording of very elemental guitar and percussion music that sounds unchanged from Colonial times, you can hear Speck on this record frequently using the Anglo expression “Yeah, yeah!”—which may come from the influence of the U.S. Naval base at Guantánamo or theBeatles, it’s hard to tell but it’s plainly there. “El Guararey de Pastora” does not feature on that record, though a later CD does have it.

Grupo Changüí Guantánamo at the Festival Nacional de Agrupaciones Folklóricas, La Habana 1962. From left to right: Arturo Latamblé (bongosero y director), José “Nino” Olivares (marímbula), Pedro Speck (cantante y maracas), Carlos Borromeo Planche “Cambrón” (guayo y cantante principal), y Reyes “Chito” Latamblé (tresero). 
(Photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte)


And so Pedro Speck and Roberto Baute Sagarra both performed the song from the 1940s until the 1970s, and it was never recorded for posterity by local radio or a state label at the time, as sometimes was the case with other rural folk music of the era. That might have been the end of it if the tune had never left the region, but in the 1970s, the story became complicated, when Juan Formell, director of the Havana-based Cuban dance orchestra Los Van Van, took this composition and added it to his “songo” repertoire of the ‘70s, where it acquired immense fame, being recorded in 1974 for the band’s third long play (Areito – LDS-3471). 

Formell has said he learned the song from Pedro Speck, who was passing through Havana in the early’70s; the tune stuck in Formell’s head for a time before he came up with the spare and funky organ/flute arrangement that all Cuban dancers subsequently made their go-to party anthem. Soon after, in 1975, Ray Barretto’s pianist Gil Lopez made his own mutated no-violins charanga arrangement, adding the hard-core Nuyorican touch, becoming a massive hit in it’s own right (Barretto, Fania Records – SLP 00486). Very few if any American Barretto fans had heard the original Van Van, and probably none knew of its rural roots in Guantánamo. Probably learned from a Van Van record acquired while on tour in Venezuela, Barretto made it the lead track on his 7th LP of the ‘70s. While Rubén Blades, himself of half Cuban ancestry, was one of the two vocalists on the song (the other was Puerto Rico’s Tito Gomez who took the lead), the composer was simply (as was so often the case) listed as some guy named “D. R.” aka Derechos Reservados, or Rights Reserved (ha ha).


Since then of course the tune has traveled the world. And although the composition for a long time was attributed to Pedro Speck, there was eventually a legal suit brought in the Guantanamo Provincial Court in 1976, ruling in favor of its real author Roberto Baute Sagarra. In defense of the creator an exceptional witnesses was brought forth, Petronila Rouseaux, former wife of the musician, and with her testimony authorities learned an unexpected fact: the ‘pastora’ (shepherdess) in the song was none other than Pastora Yuani Sayú, better known to Latin music fans as “Pastorita” (who died in 2013 at the age of 97). The testimony of Petronila Rouseaux, at the time 94 years old, put an end to the dispute over the authorship of the song. But that wasn’t all.

Photo of Pastorita

According to Michelle White on Timba.com, “Pastora had a daughter who had caught the eye of Roberto Baute Sagarra, the  tresero of Changüí Guantánamo. He began a romance with her and Pastora was not happy with his attentions towards her daughter because Roberto, also known as Chito, was already married and 20 years older than the object of his affection. This was the source of Pastora’s guararey (anger) with her friend Chito and the inspiration for the song.”

Pastora Lluany Chauyous aka Yuani Sayú (b. 1916), the lady who inspired this changüí. (photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte).

Throwing a little more light on the subject, Martha Reyes Noa, in a post from Herencias Culturales, mentions that Pastora admitted “that at first, as every mother feels suspicious in these relationships, she suspected” Baute Segarra of having unclean motives “but in the end those” feelings were “dissolved” when she realized her daughter simply loved the changüí and wanted to learn “how to dance at the parties that were ranging” back then, some for “up to a week, from house to house.” Of course, Baute was there at almost all those changüís (a term that means lower class dance party), performing with his tres guitar and giving dance lessons, so Pastorita soon realized nothing more than that was going on.

Contradicting Noa’s telling slightly, White goes on to relate:

“At the time the song was written, Pedro Speck was the director of Changüí Guantánamo and he registered the rights to the song under his name. It wasn't until the popularity of Van Van's version that the subject of authorship became an issue. In June 1976 the court ruled in favor of Roberto Baute when Pastorita herself testified on his behalf. [Noa says it was Baute’s widow, Rouseaux]

Previously attributed to Speck or simply listed as DR, the song is now correctly attributed to Roberto Baute, although it was not officially registered with ACDAM under his name until 21 April 1981. However, I was told in Guantanamo that neither Speck nor Baute ever received any income from the recording or performances of other versions of the song.”

So many countless “traditional” authorless “folk” songs from “Wimoweh” (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) to “Guantanamera” turn out to have real composers (Solomon Linda and Joseíto Fernández respectively) who were inspired by real events. The story behind “El Guararey de Pastora” and its author, Roberto Baute Sagarra, puts a face and name to the song that has inspired countless dancers, singers and musicians over the decades.

By Pablo E. Yglesias with help from Martha Reyes Noa and Michelle White, as well as the article "DEL CHANGÜÍ A LA SALSA Y MUCHO MÁS. GUANTÁNAMO EN LA ORBITA MUSICAL DEL CARIBE" by José Cuenca Sosa from Herencia Latina.

Elio Revé Matos, leader of Orquesta Revé (from which Formell "graduated to create Van Van),the man who converted the 'toques' (beats/hits) of the 'bongó changüisero' to the timbales (pailas). (photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Birthday Tribute To Celia Cruz, La Guarachera Del Mundo

(FREE Music Concert!) 
On October 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. at The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62nd St, New York, New York 10023 3 talented female vocalists from Colombia, Cuba, and Japan (Nayibe, Anissa, & Yoko) join the high-octane, vibrant New York salseros of The Palladium Mambo All-Stars to celebrate the life and the global legacy ofCelia Cruz on what would have been the Queen of Salsa’s 91st birthday. DJ Brian kicks of the night at 7:00 pm and plays between and after the band’s two sets. Visual presentation by DJ Bongohead. More info here:  Presented in collaboration with the NYU Music and Social Change Lab. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

GRATIS Artistas de Colombia, Cuba y Japón se unen con los musicos latinos del Palladium Mambo All-Stars de Nueva York, para celebrar la vida y el legado global de la guarachera de America para celebrar lo que seria el cumpleaños numero 91 de Celia Cruz. Presentado en colaboración con el NYU Music and Social Change Lab. Capacidad es limitada, se sugiere llegar temprano.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Unpredictable Sounds of Bareto

I know it's been a while, mi gente!

I want to highly recommend the latest album called Impredicible from the really great Peruvian band Bareto - and it is indeed "unpredictable"!! Very wide-ranging soundscontained therein! Each record they do tops their previous effort (I put a track from their Grammy-nominated previous CD Ves lo que quieres ver 

on my Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cumbia 

plus they did a great compendium of their last 10 years with 10 Años), 

and this is their most evolved outing to date. From chicha to reggae to psychedelic folk to electronica and places in between and beyond, the band crafts indescribably beautiful original soul vibrations, meditations and reflections on identity, representation, healing, madness, surface v.s. substance (and ancient v.s. modern), creating a work infused with the tropical and jungle roots of their first albums, but taking in other influences mirroring the refracted polarities of urban Peru  today. Bareto brings an incredibly diverse palette to a very satisfying release. Now if only they would do vinyl editions of their albums (hint)! Awesome CD packaging design by José Antonio Mesones and thanks to Press Junkie PR for getting the word out on this fab band in the USA! Let's hope they come this way soon!

Check them out here: http://www.bareto.net

Los sonidos impredecibles de Bareto

Álbum muy recomendable a partir de una muy buena banda llamada Bareto de Perú - Impredecible se llama - y de hecho es totalmente impredecible!! Muy bonito sonidos de amplio alcance! Cada disco compacto de ellos que hacen encabeza su esfuerzo anterior (pongo una pista de su CD anterior Ves lo que quieres ver - que fue nominado por un Grammy - en mi Rough Guide a Psychedelic Cumbia), y esta es su excursión más evolucionada hasta la fecha. De chicha a reggae de cumbia selvatica a folklor sicodelico a electronica y lugares en el medio y más allá, los oficios de la banda de una belleza indescriptible y original hecho de vibraciones del alma, meditaciones y reflexiones sobre la identidad, la representación, la curación, la locura, la superficie contra sustancias y lo antiguo contra la moderna, la creación de una obra impregnada de sabor tropical y de Pacha Mamá o Madre Selva como sus primeros esfuerzos ("Cumbia" y "Sodoma y Gamarra"), 

sino también reflejo de las polaridades refractadas de Perú urbano de hoy. Bareto trae una gama de colores muy variada a una edición muy satisfactoria. Ahora bien, si sólo se harían ediciones de acetato (o digo vinyl) en LP de180 g vinilo de sus álbumes (truco)! CD de increíble diseño por José Antonio Mesones y gracias a Press junkie pr para hacer correr la voz sobre esta banda fabulosa! Esperemos que vienen de esta costa del EEUU de una manera pronto!

Chequea ellos aquí: http://www.bareto.net

Tuesday, August 30, 2016



Video Celebration   - OLA FRESCA and Jose Conde + Special guest DJ BONGOHEAD
ARTS RIOT Burlington, VERMONT  - SATURDAY September 3, 2016
400 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401

In 1998, almost 20 years before the historic re-opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, Jose Conde wrote a song called “Puente a Mi Gente”(Bridge to My People), that lyrically visualizes a bridge “longer than 90 miles” connecting Cuba and Cuban Americans made simply of musical “clave” and positive energy.

Now in the wake of Obama’s diplomatic trip to Cuba, Jose Conde is preparing to launch a video for the song “Puente a Mi Gente” which he has been filming and recording for a year in New York, Miami, and Havana, and which contains the contributions from many Cuban musicians in the diaspora and on the island.

 The video and song are intended by Conde as a cultural bridge of benevolence between the diaspora and Cubans on the island with appearances by current and former members of Los Van Van - Juan Carlos Formell and Orlando Canto Valdez,
NY based Cuban singer and former member of NG La Banda Gerardo Contino, Havana based bolero songstress Danae Blanco, legendary Los Karachi founder/arranger/bassist (current NY musician)Pablo Moya, as well as musicians from Conde’s Ola Fresca band and others. Carlos Mateu a Havana native painter/dancer now based in NY is also featured with a team of his dancers in his choreography on Brooklyn Landings under the historic Brooklyn Bridge.

 The video and song have been completely recorded , filmed, edited, and arranged by Jose Conde and it will be released worldwide on Youtube and Vimeo this fall.

 This Saturday, come join OLA FRESCA and Jose Conde as they celebrate the upcoming video release for PUENTE A MI GENTE and build a BRIDGE TO HAVANA at ARTS RIOT, from VERMONT TO CUBA!  Joining the band on this evening will be DJ BONGOHEAD spinning Cuban Classics and Salsa. DJ BONGOHEAD aka Pablo Yglesias is a noted music writer and cultural curator who has curated compilations for labels such as Rough Guide and Vampi Soul and he is also co owner of Peace and Rhythm Records.

OLA FRESCA is a Brooklyn based band that plays original funky Cuban salsa. Jose Conde writes, arranges, sings, leads the band, and dances. The band is recently released it’s 3rd  album ELIXIR to overwhelming world wide acclaim.
Doors open at 8PM. Tickets are $10 in advance $15 the day of the show. Check out the event here:

Press inquiries: pipikirecords@gmail.com