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:

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:

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:

Friday, August 26, 2016

At ArtsRiot, Burlington, VT, Sept. 3, 2016 
8:00 PM DOORS - 9:00 PM SHOW 
"A Bridge To Havana" 
Check out the ArtsRiot listing here

Featuring Cuban roots, Nuyorican salsa and more! Ola Fresca (translates as "Fresh Wave") makes musical bridges connecting Havana with the USA; mixing son Cubano and hard-core trombone salsa with Cuban timba, songo, salsa narrativa (poetic, narrative lyrics with a message), even a bit of funk, plus some back country guajiro music, with a dab of cha-cha-cha and Boricuan bomba y plena to boot! Think Willie Colón and Rubén Blades meet Los Van Van, with some Meters, Arsenio Rodriguez and Cortijo thrown in the stew for good measure! 

Ola Fresca, in its first 10 years and after releasing 3 acclaimed, award winning albums (under the direction and creative energy of Jose Conde), has evolved a swinging, fearless, diverse, original tropical Latin sound with global reach that comes directly from the rich bubbling melting-pot of Brooklyn, NewYork! Ola Fresca puts an “emphasis on songs with characters, wordplay and mild social ideas...good for dancing and thinking!” —NY TIMES 

And last but not least, I, DJ Bongohead, will be spinning an all-vinyl Latin dance set before and after the band. BTW - it's my birthday so come help me celebrate!! Plus you can purchase the vinyl and CD release of "Elixir" - Ola Fresca's most recent release (the vinyl is 180 gram, features a deluxe insert with bilingual lyrics, and it's put out by our very own label, Peace & Rhythm).

Check out Ola Fresca here

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Peace & Rhythm Presents: Rumba Psicodélica
with DJs Andujar, Studebaker Hawk & Bongohead at The Root Cellar, downtown Greenfield's newest music venue. Join us on Wednesday, August 17th for some vinyl DJs spinning funky, international grooves! This event is FREE ADMISSION, 21+. Doors open at 8, music starts pumping at 9.

Representing the Peace & Rhythm crew, Andujar, Studebaker Hawk & Bongohead return the Rumba Psicodélica all-vinyl dance party to Greenfield. Dance to funky international music, including afrobeat, highlife, dub, cumbia, Anatolian rock, Bollywood, Afro-funk, psych-salsa, West African disco, Cape Verdean funaná, Puerto Rican bomba, boogaloo, 70s African rock, samba, Bajan spouge, Amazonian chicha, Caribbean dancefloor-jazz, Arabesque, Latin funk, palenque/champeta sounds and good ole JB-inspired funk. All from vinyl.

Peace & Rhythm is a vinyl record label founded by DJs Andujar, Bongohead and associates. Pressing glorious independent music on vinyl. Funk, world and jazz are the launchpoints. Peace & Rhythm are excited to partner with The Root Cellar on this weekly series. For more info visit

The Root Cellar brings downtown Greenfield fresh, quality music five nights a week, including funk, rock, jambands, jazz, reggae, afrobeat, latin, folk, DJs and anything else! Quality, diverse selection of beverages (including the namesake house Root Cellar Pale Ale by Stoneman), hand-crafted cocktails, non-alcoholic options such as kombucha and cold-brewed coffee from the tap, outdoor seating, great art and a killer sound system! A beautiful spot for your dancing, listening and socializing pleasure!

10 Fiske Ave, below Mesa Verde. This venue is wheelchair accessible via elevator.

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)...


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!

Shea site:

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!

—DJ Bongohead

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.