Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Ultimate world mash-up party band to play Western MA! Red Baraat, 3/5/16
My friends I don't usually like to send out emails hyping stuff I'm involved in but this time I feel really strongly about getting the word out & not everyone is on social media so here goes... and pls. forgive if you already know about this, but it's for a good cause (revitalizing culture in Turners Falls & the surrounding area through the Shea Theater Arts Center)...
FRIDAY, MARCH 4TH 8 PM
THE SHEA THEATER ARTS CENTER, Turners Falls
RED BARAAT & DJ BONGOHEAD
Red Baraat is a really wild group that mashes up all sorts of groovy party music - from bhangra to Balkan/New Orleans brass, from cumbia to classic D.C. go-go, plus the odd surf instrumental and hip-hop flava thrown in for spice, not to mention bits of electro & Bollywood to keep it fresh - and they make it work! Not only that, they make you bump your rump to the funk the whole time! They were mos def a hit this summer at the Green River Festival, if you caught that. With a strong foundation in Punjabi folkloric traditions like dhol drumming and bhangra melodies from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, as well as a positive message in their lyrics, Red Baraat manages to be both original and somehow familiar, ancient and future, fun and deep, representin' from Brooklyn to Chandigarh. I'll be playing all sorts of related vinyl before and after, for your dancing pleasure as well. Plus it's part of an awesome 3 day series, so come see the whole thing if you're so inclined.
Please pass along to your friends!
Tickets are already on sale:
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Re-imagining 80s rock classics in the era of geo-political warming
Havana Rocks Cecilia Noël - 140 g. VINYL EDITION
Compass Records, 2015 (revue)
Lima, Perú-born, L.A.-based Renaissance woman Cecilia Noël continues to push boundaries and delight fans with her original and ground-breaking take on Cuban-derived Latin dance music. On her latest release, Havana Rocks, she brings authentic, made-in-Havana instrumentation and arrangements to her own refreshing reading of classic 70s/80s rock, New Wave and pop tunes. However, unlike some Latin pop salsa romántica with English lyrics, Ms. Noël’s interpretation of how to cover gringo rock tunes differs from your Ricky Martins and J-Los in that Havana Rocks does just that: it rocks out! And way down in its soul, the record’s still resolutely Cuban too. Noël describes her style as “hard-core salsa” and feels she is more of a “punk salsa singer” so it’s quite fitting that she revisits the punk and New Eave era for this outing.
With Havana Rocks Noël and her fun-loving band make truly hybrid music that feels honest, real, and playful at the same time. At first glance, skeptics might balk at AC/DC done as salsa – is this some sort of hipster exercise in irony, a corny nostalgic gimmick to cash in on Buena Vista’s coattails, or just an embarrassing continuation of the Yankee Imperialist project to dilute “pure” Cuban music? One listen will silence critics as they start to move to the familiar melodies buoyed along by the infectious tropical grooves. The amazing thing is Ms. Noël fully integrates the contrasting elements of Latin and rock in a bi-cultural, organic union that is both pleasingly danceable and satisfyingly confident, where similarities and affinities are highlighted to cunning effect (it helps that the tunes are bi-lingual and that snippets of equally classic Cuban songs are melded seamlessly onto the Anglo tunes). A case in point is her imaginative re-working of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” that fits her hard-core son cubano treatment like a leather glove. Yet the question of cultural imperialism with Havana Rocks, if there is any, is more around an interesting reversal of sorts – the viewpoint is resolutely looking outward from the island at the larger “90 miles” world beyond the “Mango Curtain,” where the rock element is merely a jumping off point for something deeper (literally in the instance of her brilliant version of Van Halen’s “Jump”). When Brit synth-pop icon Gary Numan’s originally ennui-infused “Here In My Car” is done within the context of Cuban history, it takes on a whole other meaning, enriching the album with sociological layers that belie the notion that salsa is only for the feet. Perhaps it is Noël’s own outsider immigrant perspective that facilitates this richness. Whatever the case, her special blend goes together like Havana Club rum and Coca-Cola.
In a time of ever-warming relations between Cuba and the US, this release is indeed timely and hopefully is a harbinger of our putting a more positive, collaborative spin on our shared past history and future destinies. As a vinyl fan and DJ who only plays wax, my own desires were answered when Noël’s label heeded the public’s petitions and came out with this vinyl edition in October, 2015. In a way it’s only fitting since the tunes covered on the album originally came out in that very same timeless format. (Hey label folks, any chance Cecilia’s 2009 release, ¡A Gozár! will be reissued on vinyl?!?). My advice is snap Havana Rocks up while you can and shake all night long, or as we say in Cuba, ¡Sacúdanse toda la noche!
Listen to song samples here:
Gettin' ready to rock tha house at New City Brewery's After Work Vinyl Hang, Easthampton, MA
From Compass Records' press release:
“If you’ve ever wanted to hear a boogaloo version of “Whip It”,” a timba chart of “You Shook Me All Night Long,” or salsa-dance to “Cars,” then Havana Rocks is definitely the album for you. Seriously, this is more fun than should be legal.” –WRIR’s Global A Go-Go
(Nashville, TN) October 21, 2015 — CECILIA NOËL's newest album, HAVANA ROCKS, is now availble on vinyl LP. Havana Rocks is a Latin-infused collection of pop/rock classics recorded in Havana, Cuba which recently won the 2015 Cubadisco International Award (the first American album to win this award). Together, Noël and crew combine elements of salsa, soul, jazz, funk, and Afro-cuban music to deliver infectious Latin takes on MTV-era mega-hits. The album includes covers of Devo’s “Whip It,” Gary Numan’s “Cars” andACDC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” along with hits from her husband Colin Hay's 90's hit machine Men At Work, Thin Lizzy, David Bowie, Van Halen and more–all propelled by deep percussive grooves and Noël’s rich and appealing alto vocals.
Originally from Lima, Perú, Noël was discovered by Stan Getz and moved to New York City where she briefly performed as a dancer with Jo Jo’s Dance Factory and Menudo. In 1989, she relocated to Los Angeles and became involved in the local music scene. She formed Cecilia Noël and The Wild Clams, a James Brown meets Pérez Prado type band, which received frequent bookings at the House of Blues and the Playboy Jazz Festival and instant acclaim for their explosive live shows. In 2009 Noël released A Gozár! (Compass Records), an infectious set of playful ‘salsoul’ grooves for which Noël is known and which earned Noël a spot on Putumayo’s critically-acclaimed Latin Party release in 2010. In addition to her band, Noël also performs and records with husband and former Men At Work front man Colin Hay and has produced Los Chapillacs. She is currently finishing production on Cuban tres master San Miguel Perez's first solo album.
Monday, November 2, 2015
THIS Thursday, there's some funky vinyls a-brewin' - so come on down after work, November 5th, 2015, and get down - or just chill with a brew!
Psychedelic Cumbia Reaction, via Rolando Bruno & His Mighty MIDI Orchestra!
Some of the jams we played last time
Afrosound 45 goodness!
Andujar re-fuels with Guayaki
Paris DJs on the decks
THE AFROSOUND OF COLOMBIA - Big Box Of 45s!
Sunday, May 17, 2015
50 Years of Latin Album Cover Design
Visual Clave documents the little known evolution of ‘Salsa Graphics’ and the expression of Latino identities through the prism of album cover art over half a century of music packaging and graphic design.
This exhibit explores the evolution of Latin music album cover art over the last 50 years,paying critical attention to issues of identity and aesthetics through depictions of Hispanic people and cultures, with an emphasis on historical context and the unsung graphic artists who helped present Latin music — and its attendant socio-cultural themes — to the world. Visual Clave’s premise is that the record jacket is not just an ephemeral mass-produced object to be relegated to the trash heap of a bygone era, but rather a unique 12 by 12 inch window onto a culture’s soul.
The concept of “clave” is essential to understanding Afro-Antillean popular music forms and the dance culture that surrounds it, and is therefore a perfect metaphor for describing Latin album cover art. Clave is the African-derived 2-3 or 3-2 beat used in almost all genres of Latin music. In addition, the claves are the wooden percussion sticks used to mark these syncopated time signatures and as an instrument date from the time of slavery and colonialism. Therefore both the beat and the instrument can be seen as a potent symbol of Hispanic cultural identities and practices. Clave as a concept is the ‘key constant’ through all these different genres of music and different national narratives, and this exhibit is the vibrant visual manifestation of this cultural heritage, full of variety and consistency at the same time, just like Latin music itself.
ONE EXHIBIT, TWO SHOWS
New York City, especially the area of Spanish Harlem and the boroughs of Brooklyn and The Bronx, are all locations central to the type of Latin music known as salsa so it is fitting that Visual Clave is being exhibited in two of these locations. Each gallery features original album art (paintings, photographs, sculpture, and layouts) as well as LP covers from the golden era of Latin vinyl. But each show is also unique and concentrates on different facets of the music and history, with an emphasis in each on the particular location of the gallery. Be sure to see both! Openings feature DJs playing rare Latin records followed by special events: live music, lectures, and discussions.
For more information go to: www.bronxmusic.org and www.pf-gallery.com or visit: peaceandrhythm.com or visit them on Facebook.
VISUAL CLAVE: BRONX
BRONX MUSIC HERITAGE CENTER LAB
1303 Louis Niné Boulevard, Bronx NY 10459
OPENING: June 5, 2015 - 5:00 PM
Featuring a Multi-Media presentation by “Mr.Salsa” Izzy Sanabria, and DJ Turmix, Andujar and Bongohead playing classic Latin vinyl.
Also: August 14, 6:00 PM:
Lecture on the history of Fania Records by Joe Conzo, Sr.
August 14, 7:00 PM: plus concert by salsa orchestra (TBA).
Exhibition dates: June 5 - August 15
Gallery hours: Monday – Tuesday – Thursday: 4:00 – 7:00 PM; Saturday: 1:00 – 5:00 PM
VISUAL CLAVE: BROOKLYN
PICTURE FARM GALLERY
338 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211
OPENING: June 6, 2015 - 5:00 PM
Featuring MC “Mr.Salsa” Izzy Sanabria and live music by Ola Fresca “Unplugged” with Jose Conde, followed by Pablito “El Indio” Rosario and the Brooklyn All-Stars, plus DJ Turmix, Andujar and Bongohead playing classic Latin vinyl
Also: June 13, 7:00 PM:
A Multi-Media Presentation by “Mr.Salsa” Izzy Sanabria, performance by Charlie Rosario and Los Rumberos Callejeros and guests
Exhibition dates: June 6 - July 5
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 – 6:00 PM;
Note: week-night viewing hours can be scheduled per need, supervision and office availability.
All events are FREE and open to the public.
Made possible by The Bronx Music Heritage Center and Picture Farm Gallery.
Izzy "Mr. Salsa" Sanabria
Pablito "El Indio" Rosario
Jose Conde of Ola Fresca
Charlie Rosario of Los Rumberos Callejeros
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Drums & Dreams
I just put up a new art show with my friend Charlie Rosario last week in the Bronx at the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab (1303 Luis Niñé Boulevard). We hung our work side by side, and collaborated on a shrine to the great conga players, percussionists, and rumberos of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin called "Para Los Rumberos" - check an early shot of it below. Better yet, come to the Bronx and see it in person! Many thanks to BMHC's artistic directors Bobby Sanabria and Elena Martinez, as well as Jennifer Rajotte, Development and Marketing Officer (Arts and Community) for WHEDco and BMHC. Opening is May 2, 2015. DJ Andujar will be there playing vintage vinyl representing the rumba and Latin percussion genres; and Charlie Rosario will perform his spoken word poetry over rumba beats with bass and congas, featuring Los Rumberos Callejeros.
Drums and Dreams Artists’ Statement
I invite all rumberos to come on down, to the best visual rumba show in town. It will be a colorful bembé if you know what I mean. From collage to painting, it’s about drums and dreams.
My art is inspired by music, storytelling, Afro-Caribbean and Mesoamerican cultures, and is influenced by dreams and the surreal. Through my exploration of the subconscious, rhythm, faith, and family history, I explore identity, sacredness, states of possession and ecstasy. Totemic objects, metaphorical imagery, ritualistic practice and special color-coding all play a part in forming my aesthetic and vision.
Recognizing a kindred spirit in his friend Charlie Rosario, Pablo Yglesias suggested that the two artists put on a duo show of their work. Both are inspired by many of the same sources, utilize similar mediums of artistic expression and have collaborated on creative projects in the past. Yet their art is different enough that the end result of their being shown side by side leads to complementary and synergistic results. Having a showcase that allows the two artists to share an overview of their art in the same space is a long overdue opportunity that will produce a polyrhythmic visual interplay greater than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Drums and Dreams is the logical outcome of their previous collaborations, affinities and long-standing friendship. You might say this show is “the perfect combination” (la combinación perfecta), to quote an often used phrase in Latin jazz.
Congueros/rumberos muertos honrados en Para Los Rumberos:
Ricardo “Papín” Abreu
Federico Arístides Soto Alejo aka “Tata Güines”
Justiniano “Justi” Barreto Blanco
Carlos Vidal Bolado
Julio “Julito” Collazo
Miguel “Angá” Díaz
Frank “Machito” Grillo
Luciano Pozo González (“Chano” Pozo)
Félix “Pupi” Insua
Pedro Izquierdo (“Pello El Afrokan”)
Jesús Alfonso Miró
Francisco “Chino” Pozo
Israel “Kiki” Rodríguez
Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría
Carlos “Patato” Valdés
Pancho Quinto (o “Kinto”)
Alberto Zayas “El Vive Bien”
Francisco “Kako” Bastar
Gilberto Miguel “Sonny” Calderón (“Joe Cuba”)
Luis “Sabú” Martinez
David “La Mole” Ortiz
Victor “El Negrito” Pantoja
Johnny Rodríguez, Sr.
Rumberos Callejeros recording session with Cholo Pérez, Yogui Rosario, and Louie Montañez drumming for backing track on Charlie Rosario's spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams". Recording took place with Jacob Plasse and Quinn McCarthy at The Creamery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 3/24/15.
Charlie Rosario gets ready to record his spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams" while Quinn adjusts the mic.
Chico Alvarez leads recording session for "Drums and Dream" featuring the bass of Jason Youvert.