I S S U E N0.12 Febru ary/March 2017
WELCOME TO Walk around London and it’s hard to avoid the Spanish vowels swirling around the air, but a plethora of experiences unite and divide us, as Maria Luna discovers, exploring the relationships between both Spaniards and Latinos, and between all the different Latin American immigrants. More than anything it is culture that unites us and few artists do it better than Totó la Momposina, Colombia’s mother earth whose music replenishes the spirit. Interviewing her put a huge smile on our faces. Finally, in March we celebrate 10 years of La Bomba – the UK’s pioneering Latin Urban party - and this got us thinking about how far Reggeatón music has come over the last ten, twenty, even thirty years. We started reminiscing and asked DJ Jose Luis to give us a timeline of the genre that has arguably had more influence on global pop than any other. With new talent emerging every year, Urban Latin’s future looks bright and it’s contribution to the UK music scene is definitely something to celebrate. So see you at La Bomba’s anniversary! Amaranta Wright, Editor email@example.com
FRONT SECTION: Latin Hotlist, News and Gossip
La Galeria: Livin’ the Latin vibe
INTERVIEW: Totó La Momposina
COVER STORY: : United Migrations – London’s Spanish-Speaking Melting Pot
THE LUKAS WINNERS 2017
MUSIC: The Reggeatón Revolution
Reaggetón Time Line – 30 Years of Flow
Top Ten Bachata Artists
Latest music reviews
Travel: Nicaragua Top Ten
WHAT’S ON: Your listings guide to Latin London
LATIN LONDONER: Emeris Solís – The Percussionist
Latinolife is produced by: Editor Amaranta Wright • Music Editor Jose Luis Seijas Designer Antonella Perreca • Listings Editor: Lewis Blakeman www.latinolife.co.uk • twitter.com/latinolifeuk • facebook.com/LatinoLifeWeb
THE LATIN HOT LIST
Hair like a Dominican… Forget fancy French. If you want lush shiny Anacaona hair, go Dominican. This first phytotherapeutic treatment from the Caribbean contains extracts from 15 different plants, which stimulate micro-circulation in the scalp and encourage faster hair growth and a healthy scalp. The ingredients are also designed to prevent breakage so that hair feels nourished, healthy, silky-soft, flexible and full of body & bounce. Anyone going for the lush look should try it. www.dominicanhaircare.co.uk
…and Skin like a Brazilian
It’s no surprise that London’s samba sensation come beauty therapist has launched her own beauty range; the energy and loveliness that Tropicalia’s Vanessa Mantini radiates on the dance floor is the envy of every female onlooker. Now she’s potted her Rio Glow, in facial and body oils sand scrubs. We couldn’t get over the deliciously zesty fragrance of her lime, lemongrass, lavender, chamomile, orange, peppermint and lavender oil fusions. Definitely recommend these pots of radiance to fend off the harsh winter. www.brazilianriobeauty.co.uk
Yearly Latin music fix
Sugar is SO 18th century, according to food experts, whose latest craze is the 20th century super sweetener derived from Mexico’s agave plants. Reasons to use agave nectar include: its very low glycemic Index (so easily digested), it’s vegan and gluten free, it’s sweeter than sugar (so you need less of it!) and has no after taste like other sugar alternatives. Cleo Rocos got so obsessed with it that she spent a year in Mexico getting the purest, highest quality stuff to create her own brand. It’s delicious on cereal, drinks and of course essential to making a great Margarita! www.aquarivasyrup.com
La Linea, London’s Latin Music festival, returns for its 17th year this April. Highlights include Grammy award-winning Mexican singer/ songwriter Julieta Venegas, Spanish rock/rumba superstars Estopa, Portugal’s António Zambujo, singing to the songs of Chico Buarque and Orkesta Mendoza’s. There is also an exciting emphasis on Future Latin Sounds, presenting the freshest developments in Latin influenced electronica with new outfit La Kasha. In short, the annual dose for Latin music lovers, not to be missed! www.lalineafestival.com
LATIN MOMENTS… Latin London makes Haute Couture cool again
The latest collection of designer Martine Rose, was hailed a triumph by the fashion media, not least for the decision to hold the show in Seven Sisters’ indoor market, known to you and me as Pueblito Paisa. “In a season of absences it felt like a jolt in the arm,” raved I-D magazine, continuing: “sound tracked by Latin music, market stalls offered up South American delicacies to show-goers.” The mere idea of an empanada has thrown the fashion world into debate, with I-D claiming it was more than a ‘mere pastiche…there was an invigorating and singular power at its heart.” Yet nowhere was there mention of the current threat by developers to demolish the market and build luxury apartments. For more info on saving Pueblito Paisa go to www.change.org
Colombian megastars hit London
Had it been Miami, there would have been thousands of screaming girls blocking the streets. But in a little publicised performance in London, one of the world’s hottest Latin artists, sneaked onto the Hammersmith Apollo stage to join Ricky Martin for the live global launch of their track Vente Pa’ca. In the middle of Martin’s performance, the audience exploded as Maluma appeared. A few weeks later, the other hottest Latin star of the moment (also Colombian), J Balvin, wowed a sold-out London audience with his passion and swagger, showing just why Colombia is proving to be the future Latin music.
Hamilton director trumps the Trump
Donald Trump was well and truly trumped when a message read out by the cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical ‘Hamilton’, urging his government to ‘work on behalf of us all’, went viral. Trump, known for circulating many an offensive tweet, insisted the producers apologise for their ‘terrible behaviour.’ The acclaimed Latino playwright who also wrote the hit musical ‘In the Heights’ which ran in London last year, maintained the speech was ‘loving and respectful.’ Luckily for London, it looks like Miranda may be visiting the UK before Trump, as he debuts ‘Hamilton’ in the London’s West End later this year.
Obama pardons Puerto Rican Activist
After spending more than three decades in a Chicago prison, Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera was pardoned by President Obama. The 74-year-old was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” for plotting against the US government, and classified a terrorist. Though he served in the Vietnam war, the US’ foremost political prisoner became deeply involved in community activism among Puerto Ricans in Chicago on his return. He argued that armed force was a justified tactic in the fight for Puerto Rican independence, but insisted on actions that did not endanger people’s lives. “For me, human life is sacred.” Considered a national hero, Puerto Ricans’ including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Martin and Residente rejoiced the news.
At a time when Shakira, Carlos Vives, J Balvin and Maluma are some of the hottest artists in the planet, it is easy to forget that it was an indigenous folklore singer who kicked the global door open for Colombian artists. Totó La Momposina was known worldwide long before today’s Colombian superstars. A pioneer of the World Music era, Totó is the undisputed Queen of Colombian music, inspiring generations of singers, musicians and now DJs who have been sampling her work for years. Now at almost 80 she is still a force of nature and is coming to London to promote Tamboleros (La Candela Viva) an album remixing and mastering classic tracks, a DJ’s delight. Latino Life talks to her about her work and her fantastic album
Latino Life: The perception of Colombia seems to have changed, how has music played its part in this? Totó la Momposina: Well it has to do with a lot of things. There is still a lot to be done, for example all those horrible films about drugs and mafiosos are just lies about what we are like. But the peace agreement has been a major achievement and we have all played our role in changing perceptions, even artists. For example when Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) got his Nobel literature prize, he took me and others to perform at the ceremony, to help show that Colombia was much more than what the international media was portraying. LL: And you also played your part developing ‘World Music’...
TM: Nobody can take that away from me! (laughs)…being serious, Latin music has been influencing Europe since the times of Yma Sumac in the 1950s or the Chilean bands fleeing Pinochet in the 1970s. But I remember the first time I went to the Soviet Union and stayed there for six months with my group. We did over 300 shows all over there. When you experience foreign cultures your heart opens up and so does your mind. I felt almost that I had been in those places before, a sense of dejá-vu maybe, or who knows maybe I had been there before! And then we went to France, the place where Colombians used to go, you know we Colombians move around the world (laughs). We got invited to a festival, then we played everywhere, the Metro, the streets, the markets, venues. We recorded our first album in Paris. Then came the UK chapter where we spent a lot of time and I ended up recording an album and also my daughter married an Englishman and I now have six British grand-children! Nobody can take that away from me either! (more laughs) LL: How do you manage to stay true to your roots in such a globalised world? TM: I sing what I have to sing. I think each country should keep its own sound, with their different instruments, melodies and ethnic heritage. Colombians are Caribbean alongside Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and we all do carnival music, but we should all keep our musical identities pure; I don’t have to do carnival music like the Dominicans and the Dominicans don’t have to do it like the Brazilians… LL: So you are a bit of an ethnomusicologist...
TM: (laughs) Not quite, but I do partner up with ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, philosophers in order to learn more and about my culture… LL: And you are working on those projects at the moment? TM: The project is this...you have 60 different indigenous groups, in 40 municipalities, and in each municipality, each group has certain characteristics and so on. For example, ethnicity in the Magdalena river, influenced by ethnicity from the Bolivar region and the Atlantic region etc, so its about keeping these cultures and musics alive. It’s is a labour of love. We don’t play this music to try to get awards and recognitions, we play this music because it is in our hearts and it belongs to us, so the work we do must continue no matter what. LL: Tell me more about that English episode in your life TM: I went to England after Paris. After playing at the Festival of Music of the Americas, Peter Gabriel invited us to his first music festival in Bristol. He sent John Hollis to find us in Paris, who then became my producer and my son-in-law, and from there the English connection started. At the festival everyone was in tents, eating sandwiches (laughs)! That experience ended with the recording of La Candela Viva. That was my favourite album, and we made a new edition a couple of years ago and renamed it Tambolero as a tribute to my lifelong drummer and collaborator Batata, who passed away a few years ago. This is a very especial recording. LL: It must have been an amazing experience redoing it again. TM: The thing with that album is that the first time round Richard (Blaire) was a young lad who was learning to do sound and John did not know our music at all. This was in 1992 but I was also involved in the production and I had my opinion, so it was good but it could
I sing what I have to sing
SPRING GUIDE 2014
have been better, so when we started working with the masters all these years later everyone has become better. John was the one who said, let’s revisit those recordings because the mixing was not the best. In any music, you have to follow the specific characteristics of the genre, and that is what we’ve done now, and that is why the new album sounds like it does! Also, now I have six grandchildren in the UK, so I had the chance to sing and dance to all the songs with my grandkids, who are all very artistic. My granddaughters ended up being my backing singers doing choruses. Some bass was added to some tracks too, which was recorded in Colombia with my new bassist Dickie Chappell.
We don’t play this music to try to get awards and recognitions, we play this music because it is in out hearts and it belongs to us
LL: It does sound phenomenal…so this tour is the tour of that album?. Yes, it is the tour for the reissue of Tambolero. This time we are bringing a couple of new elements. I know Europeans don’t like concerts to change much from the recording, but in Colombia we have something called fanfarrias, which incorporates guitar and brass, so we will bring two extra musicians for this show. I’m always so excited to be performing again in the UK, I have a great history there. It’s like coming home. Totó La Momposina will be performing at Cadogan Hall on Friday 28th April. For more details and tickets www.comono.co.uk/la-linea/
United MigrAtions By Maria V. Luna
Walk around London and it’s hard to avoid the Spanish vowels swirling around the air. The recent influx of Spaniards and Latin Americans arriving through Spain adds yet another layer to the original Spanish-speaking communities. To the English ear, it may all sound the same, but of course, a plethora of perceptions, prejudices and experiences that unite and divide Latinos, let alone Spaniards and Latinos, are all bubbling underneath. Maria V. Luna explores the relationships, both between Spaniards and Latinos, and between London’s original Latin American community and the new wave of Latino migrants via Spain.
The Melting Pot of Spanish and Latin migration Miguel Lopez Alacon, a web designer from Spain residing in the UK never thought he had much in common with his Latin American brothers and sisters. “We Spaniards don’t much like Salsa,” he says bluntly. Miguel, like most of the 137,000 Spaniards in the UK (double the number in 2011), came in search of work as Spain continues to grapple with an unemployment rate that only just recently dipped below 20% compared to the UK’s 4.8%. While Spanish migrants do find work, most agree the language barrier keeps them from higher paying jobs. “When I first came here, I didn’t really speak English so I was just doing what everyone else does when they come to the country and don’t speak the language. I was working in hotels and at coffee shops.”
While back in Spain, many like Miguel may not have felt a shared identity with Latin American immigrants, here in the UK, they find themselves in the same boat with the many Ecuadorians, Colombians and other Latinos who have also come from Spain in recent years for the same reasons. Indeed, many of the new influx of Latin American migrants to the UK, like Elvis Lonsson Sanchez, 28, originally from the Dominican Republic, come via Spain. This has added a new complex layer to the Latin American community in the UK, as these new Latin American migrants bring with them baggage accumulated from their experiences in Spain.
“When the Spanish come to London they start to see immigrant life, how it feels. So they start becoming more integrated with Latinos” Elvis, who moonlights as an MC and promoter for Latin clubs in the city, says of his migrant experience in Spain: “In the beginning it was a little bit rough. It was weird. Kids would look at me and say ‘Oh mom, look it’s a black guy.’ I started feeling a bit awkward but you live with that and soon you don’t care. It’s a mentality that is changing now though.”
Elvis was also called a sudaca by Spaniards a pejorative term that is extremely offensive. “Ignorant people say this to South Americans but I am from the Caribbean. They say it to Mexicans and Central Americans too. They are ignorant and think everybody is from South America.” Since his arrival in London, however, Elvis says he has not experienced any discrimination from Spaniards. “When the Spanish go to London they start to see the immigrant life, how it feels, challenges with language. So they start becoming more integrated with Latinos, ” he says. However, there are still tensions between the two migrant groups. “The Spanish come to the UK with their European passports. They can work with no problems. They have the same rights [as the British]. They can get benefits and public assistance. But there are Latinos who have been living in the UK for along time and don’t have papers they hate the Spanish for that. And that is where the controversy is.”
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Latin American Migrants in the UK The UK’s Latin American community, which has grown over the last 40 years to an estimated 250,000, is still largely invisible. An unknown amount of migrants remains undocumented, which often hinders them from obtaining access to public services, housing, employment and healthcare.
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“I know Colombians who been working here 30 years cleaning buildings. That’s so depressing. I just couldn’t do it.” While the Latin American community in London may be small, they have contributed greatly to the business and cultural landscape in areas like Elephant & Castle and Seven Sisters. Gentrification threatens to undo this progress, but community members and local business owners are taking steps toward organizing and fighting for official recognition. The early Latin American arrivals that staked a claim in these neighborhoods, created for later migrants a soft landing. New arrivals now have a place to go, a community to receive them and guide them. Yet some community members say the new, and often younger, migrants are reluctant to put in the hard work, as did earlier migrants.
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César, a Colombian who has lived in London for 20 years, notes the conflicts: “Though we are all Latin American, our experience as immigrants has been very different. So there is a clash between the people of the same culture. Those [Latin Americans] who have come through Spain, have a completely different experience and expectation. The way they do things and express themselves is completely different.” César also notes how much harder it was for early Latin American migrants who arrived without documentation, as opposed to newer migrants who arrive with documentation allowing them access to better jobs. Santiago, a Colombian Uber driver who spent 10 years in Spain before arriving in the UK, confirms. “There is a different mentality. I know Colombians who been working here 30 years cleaning buildings. That’s so depressing. I just couldn’t do it.” Santiago, however, is considering moving back to Spain, finding London too harsh.
Culture and Language Unites While the numbers tell stories and anecdotes abound, it is often on the dance floor where the barriers are really broken. While many Miguels (and certainly not only Spaniards) don’t like Salsa, Latin DJs in London are telling another story. “I’ve been DJing many years and I’ve definitely noticed in the last couple of years that most of the people requesting tracks are Spaniards, especially urban Latin tracks and pop. Latin music is such a big part of Spanish pop, this has broken down a lot of the old prejudices,” says Jose Luis, one of London’s most established Latin DJs.
And beyond the dance floors, music and culture tells a similar story. Amaranta Wright, who runs the Latin UK Awards, describes how the Spanish embraced the idea of celebrating their culture and achievements alongside Latinos. “We were quite wary of including Spanish artists in the Latin UK Awards because we didn’t know how much Spaniards would want to identify themselves with Latinos. But they totally embraced the opportunity, because in the end they saw how useful it was to them. They were immigrants just like the Latinos were. They wanted recognition for their talent and had no problem sharing the same platform, especially when there are obvious overlapping identities.” She adds: “The LUKAS has brought diverse communities together. Not only do you have all different kinds of Latinos –from Argentines to Mexicans and Bolivians – celebrating their commonality and diversity, but now we had Spaniards in the mix, and I feel it was really something special and unique to London.”
“In the clubs where I DJ, most of the people requesting Latino tracks are Spaniards” The realities surrounding Spanish and Latin American migrant groups could see another change. The UK’s exit of the European Union continues to manifest in ways still too early to determine, but a key area of discourse remains that of immigration. Through all the scaremongering and conjecture that will inevitably develop as details of the UK’s exit of the European Union take shape, solidarity is paramount. So while the Spanish and Latin Americans living in the UK may have distinct cultures and migration experiences, they still share a language, a history, and spaces to share their own journey stories, dreams for their children and plans for a collective, united future.
After two months of intense public voting and the verdicts of over 50 specialist judges for each award, experts in their fields, The Latin UK Awards announced the winners of The Latin UK Awards 2017. Congratulations to all the winners, the finalists and all those who took part.
AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC Alternative Act of The Year Winner: Telajeta Runner Up: Family Atlantica Brazilian or Portuguese Act of the Year Winner: Tropicalia Show Band Runner Up: Batala London Samba band Club DJ of the Year Winner: DJ Luigi Sanchez Runner Up: DJ Urbano Classical, Jazz or Folk Act of the Year Winner: Omar Puente Runner Up: Angelica Lopez & Papayera Musician of the Year Winner: Ernesto Marichales Runner Up: Wilmer Sifontes Tropical Act of the Year Winner: Grupo Lokito Runner Up: Kalison Tropical DJ of the Year Winner: Mauricio Reyes Runner Up: Fernando KBSon Urban Act of the Year Winner: Mike Kalle Runner Up: Lucani J Vocalist of the Year Winner: Juanita Euka Runner Up: Adrian Garcia
European Tropical Act of the Year Winner: Tromboranga (Spain) Runner Up: Mercado Negro (Switzerland) Production of the Year (e.g. EP, Album) Winner: Edwin Sanz - Overflow Runner Up: Tromboranga - Salsa, Sudor y Salsa
AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO DANCE Dance Production of The Year Winner: Immortal Tango @ The Peacock Theater Runner Up: Zikâ€™r @ Peacock Theatre Tropical Dance Performers of the Year Winner: Leandro Charanga & Jessica Guastella Runner Up: Otradanz Tropical DJ of the Year Winner: Mauricio Reyes Runner Up: Fernando KBSon Brazilian Dance Performers of the Year Winner: London School of Samba Runner Up: Tropicalia European Tropical Dance Performers of the Year Winner: Tropical Gem Runner Up: Maykel Fonts
AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO ARTS Theatrical Production of The Year Winner: In the Heights @ KingsCross Theatre Runner Up: Manuelita @ Rosemary Branch Theatre Visual Artist of the year Winner: Armando Marino (Cuba) Runner Up: Fernando Guibert (Argentina) Film of the year Winner: Embrace of the Serpent (Dir. Ciro Guerra) Runner Up: El Hombre de Mil caras (Dir. Alberto Rodriguez)
AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO SPORTS Footballer of The Year (UK) Winner: Alexis Sanchez (Chile) - Arsenal Runner Up: Salomon Rondon (Venezuela) - West Bromwich Albion Sports Personality of The Year (International) Winner: Caterine Ibarguen - Long Jump (Colombia) Runner Up: Nairo Quintana - Cyclist (Colombia) For details on THE LUKAS Gala Ceremony visit www.thelukas.co.uk To nominate a candidate for awards in MUSIC, DANCE, THE ARTS and SPORT for The LUKAS 2018 visit www.thelukas.co.uk
English for Life
English for Work
REvolution Three Decades of Flow
When quintessentially English band Clean Bandit was recently rocking X Factor with their latest hit ‘Rockabye,’ few watching would have known that the country that invented its catchy beat was banned from playing it for years. Not many even realise that the beat has a name and a history. Only those that recognise the Reggeatón rhythm will know how far it has come since it burst out of Puerto Rico in the early Nineties. From the slums of Panamá to the celebrity clubs or Grime dance floors of London, people who’ve never heard of Reggeatón are now dancing to it, when the hottest tracks from Major Lazer (Lean on), DJ Snake & Justin Bieber (Let me Love you), David Guetta (All The Way up Remix), or even Lethal Bizzle’s (Fester Skank) start playing. It’s not presented as Reggeatón, and no one says its Reggeatón, but it’s the same unmistakable beat. The good news is that the Urban Latin scene, which was once underground, dismissed as a ghetto phase of an irrelevant Caribbean island, is now well and truly over ground and, because of it, Latin music in the UK is bigger than ever. “Fifteen years ago people thought Reggeatón was a Jamaican thing,” says DJ Jose Luis, who broke Reggeatón in the UK
ten years ago with the legendary La Bomba party at Ministry of Sound. “Now, you get East European, Indian or Turkish partiers in clubs asking DJs to play J Balvin.” US Urban music producers such as Diplo were instrumental in taking Reggeatón to the mainstream. From Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ to Justin Bieber’s ‘Cold Water’ it’s the Reggeatón beat that got American music history by getting Urban, Latino and mainstream Pop radio stations playing the same song. It was just a question of time before these tracks spilled over the Atlantic. “The bad part”, says Jose Luis, “is that there is no official recognition of what Reggeatón has done for the music industry. They call it tropical pop now, but its not tropical, its not Jamaican, it’s Latin.” That aside, having already proved itself to the industry that once brushed it aside, Reggeatón is still moving onwards an upwards. And as La Bomba celebrates 10 years of pioneering Reggeatón to the UK with a party at the O2 Academy Islington on 30th March, we thought its about time Latinolife spelled out exactly what happened when, with a comprehensive time chart detailing 30 years of Latin Flow. …continues next page
ThE REGGEATON TIME LINE Early 1990s Panama.
The Panamanians fuse Jamaican beats with Spanish lyrics to create a unique sound, epitomized by El General and Nando Boom, the original Reggetóneros.
Reggeatón gets banned in Puerto Rico. Stories abound of drivers getting fined $US500 on the spot for playing ‘Underground’ or Ritmo Playero, as it was known on those days, in their cars.
1990 - 2000 1992 -1994 Puerto Rico. Vico C creates Hip Hop
en español, and this begins to influence the Puerto Rican music scene. DJ Playero and the ‘Noise’ nightclub, start producing a huge amount of Puerto Rican artists and a series of now legendary mixtapes.
1996-2000 The Puerto Rican Output goes International.
The Puerto Rican output goes International, hitting the streets of New York, Miami, Venezuela and Colombia with no support from major labels and little radio play with artists such as Big Boy, Baby Rasta & Gringo. The term Reggeatón is coined by DJ Nelson and the bootleg business is booming, with producers and artists earning fortunes selling mixtapes from the boots of their cars Major labels start signing international distribution for some artists such as Tempo (Sony). Panamanian producer El Chombo releases Cuentos de la Cripta I, II and III, gaining international recognition.
The Latin Grammies introduce an ‘Urban Music’ category, renaming the genre to make it acceptable to mass market. DJ Blass releases Sandunguero produced using Fruity Loops – a cheap software which would allow a new generation of young producers to enter the game.
The Reggeatón Golden era.
Lil Jon, one of the US’ hottest Hip Hop, produces Pitbull’s M.I.A.M.I, opening doors for Latin artists to do crossover collaborations.
Major labels rescind to the genre popularity, and begin distributing the 5 Albums now seen as classics: Tego Calderón’s El Abayarde, Loony Tunes and Noriega Mas Flow, Don Omar’s ‘The Last Don’, Hector & Tito’s A La Reconquista and Daddy Yankee’s Barrio Fino.
Hector el Father releases Sangre Nueva featuring presenting the new generation: Arcangel, De La Ghetto, Yomo.
2001 - 2010 20042006 The Crossover period.
Hiphop artist N.O.R.E records Oye mi Canto with Tego Caledron and Daddy Yankee, which is played on Urban radios in the US, and opens the door for songs like La Gasolina. The The Chosen Few documentary is released, finally giving a face to Reggeatón.
La Bomba @ Ministry of Sound, becomes the UK’s first major Reggeatón party in the UK, kicking off the movement in Europe with residencies in Ibiza, Germany, Cyprus and Brighton.
Moombahton is created by producer David Nada, bridging traditional Reggaetón with Dutch House (precursor of America’s EDM sound) probably the most significant spring of Reggaetón.
2006-2010 The Game Changing Years.
The Reggeatón beat makes Shakira a global star when she releases ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ with Wycliffe Jean - the most played song in US Music history Radio. Daddy Yankee records with Black Eyed Peas and Universal creates Urban Latin label Machete music. Music industry opens doors to a new generation of Puerto Rican artists such as Wisin and Yandel and Calle 13 to become global hits..
THE REGGEATÓN REVOLUTION
2011-2014 Commercial Consolidation.
Reggeatón has now replaced all other Latin music as the continents most popular – from Cuba and Mexico to Argentina and Chile. The beat gets incorporated into pop music and EDM, making huge hits for artists such as Major Lazer.
Enrique Iglesias releases El Perdón, featuring veteran Reggeatón pioneer Nicky Jam and then Bailando featuring Cuba’s hottest act Gente de Zona. Both become monster hits across the globe.
2011 - 2017 2011
Don Omar releases Danza Kuduro – the most watched videoat the time and probably the most successful song of the whole year across the planet.
2015-2017 A Global Beat.
Colombia starts making waves, becoming a major player in Reggeatón production and artists, with J Balvin and Maluma on their way to becoming global stars. Reggeatón is now the beat of choice for global pop artists, While on the other side of the world, Sean Paul, cheap thrills and ‘Rockabye’, with Clean Bandit. Old forgotten Reggeatón stars are now being employed and recognized again and the old sound is being re-developed by Dominicans under the original name “Dembow.”
La Bomba celebrates 10 years of Reggeatón parties, with a special old skool vs new skool DJ battle. Tickets @ www.reggeaton.co.uk
BACHATA Ar tis ts
With its hypnotic beat and heart-renching melodies, this Dominican music began to take the world by storm when Urban Latin took over Latin nightclubs and romantics were left wanting. But Bachata has a long history; from rural Santo Domingo to the streets of Harlem, it was associated with dodgy venues and prostitutes, and looked down on by the music industry for years. Now it is dominating the global charts, challenging Salsa as the number one Latin dance music across the world and spawning a whole bunch of sub-genres; modern, traditional, Urban. As life-long Bachata fans, long before it was popular, Latinolife brings you its top 10 Bachata acts. Enjoy! Romeo Santos
The undisputed king of commercial Bachata, Bronx-born Anthony ‘Romeo’ Santos, of Dominican origin, was the engine of Aventura, the best-selling Bachata act to date. After topping global charts with hits such as Obsesión and Un Beso, his solo career shows no sign of slowing down. With a string of collaborations including Drake, Usher and Marc Anthony, Romeo Santos has become one of the US’ biggest pop artists.
Another young contender, Royce’s Bachata version of Sam Cooke’s 1950s R&B classic ‘Stand by Me’ earned him a ton of mainstream non-Latino followers and made him one of the new faces of Latin music. Arguably the second most important Bachata singer, Royce is destined to become a global star in years to come.
Monchy & Alexandra If you fell in love with Bachata before it hit the global dance floors then you were listening to Hoja en Blanco, by this dynamic duo. Released in 1999, the track hypnotised romantics over the sound waves of Miami and New York’s Latin radio stations and sowed the seeds for the commercial successes to come. Subsequent hits include Hasta el Fin and Perdidos and, though accruing neither the wealth nor fame of later artists, they were instrumental in popularizing Bachata outside of the DR.
MUSIC Toby Love
Another ex-Aventura member, this Puerto Rican descendant from Bronx had his Dominican stepdad to thank for exposing him to the genre that was to later make him famous. His style is truly unique, combining American R&B into his modern Bachata.
Formed by Danny Mejia and Steven Tejada, Xtreme inherited some of the mantra Aventura left when they split as Bachata’s forefront boy band. Their good looks and love songs are aimed at the younger audience.
Anthony ‘El Mayimbe’ Santos
Hector ‘El Torito’ Acosta
Former Luis Vargas’ band member, Santos is another pioneer who by introducing softer/romantic lyrics into his music, gained more airplay and opened the door for Bachata to be more socially accepted.
Also known as El Príncipe de la Bachata, Reyes has been a prolific singer and has been active since the late 80s. On of the most popular bachata singers in Dominican Republic, he is known for his work ethic as well as his sweet voice.
One of the most iconic voices in Latin music, El Torito was the leading voice of the legendary Los Toros Band. His solo carear has been as successful and has become one of the Dominican Republic’s most loved artists.
One of the pioneers outside the DR and probably Bachata’s first international star, Vargas is also a great guitar player, and was instrumental in introducing electric guitar to the genre. After 28 albums, Luis is still top of the game and very active in the touring circuit.
Another pioneer of modern Bachata. As well as Anthony Santos, Raulin’s departure from Bachata’s traditional and often crude lyrics helped him to become a huge star in DR and in the States, paving the way for the likes of Romeo Santos and Prince Royce.
S W E I V E R C I S MUJose Luis
Various Artists (Vampisoul)
La Voz del Pueblo by Edwin Perez
(Edwin Perez Music)
A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about a new salsa band called La Excelencia, a solid band from NY delivering hard salsa with a message. It sounded a bit raw, kinda 70’s, and it had tons of swing. They toured around, including the UK, even performing for a BBC special! Somewhere down the line they fizzled away… luckily not for long. Back comes Edwin Perez, its co-founder and main singer – a sonero with flavour, swing and his very own style – with his first solo album. This is swinging salsa from NY, moving away from the jazzy/harder sound that has been coming out of the US, but maintaining sophistication and punch. It’s a more more mature production than La Excelencia and includes some great guests such as Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon on piano and Luisito Quintero, probably the best timbal player alive. A great debut from the Puerto Rican.
Macondo was the name of an Uruguayan record label which, between the 70’s and 80’s, released almost 200 records. Quite an achievement for an independent label. Apart from the big catalogue, a lot of their albums were of non-Uruguayan genres such as Guarachas, Cumbias, Bomba and Plenas. So the result was a fascinating music scene in Montevideo of Caribbean music, with its own southern characteristics and sonority, and heavily influenced by the local sounds. Interesting that Puerto Rican Plena had a big influence on the movement due to its rhythmic similitude with Candombe. So we get a really nice mix of bands such as Grupo Electronico Keguay, Las Estrellas de Macondo, Sonora Boriquen and many more. Another rare gem for the lovers of musical subcultures from Latin America!
Andres Landero (Vampisoul)
Landero was one of those not so rare cases of an artist incredibly talented and prolific who for some reason did not get the due recognition in his homeland. Born in Colombia, his nickname ‘The King of Cumbia’, is quite a title in a country that’s produced Alejo Duran, Lisandro Meza, Alfredo Gutierrez, Aníbal Velásquez and very long list of Cumbia greats. Anyhow, Landero was one of the best accordion players of his generation, not very well known in his native country, but loved in other territories. Some say that he was bigger than Michael Jackson in Mexico, and even the late Joe Strummer got inspired by his music. This is a compilation with the best of his music, or at least an attempt at it, since he managed to produce a fantastic discography. What will you hear, apart from great music, is a musical testament to one of Colombia’s finest folk artists.
“Fenix” Nicky Jam (Sony Music)
Cubofonia Dayme Rocena
Since Celina Gonzalez, no singer has been hailed the ‘Queen of Cuban music’. Yet I believe Dayme is becoming just that. The combination of an astonishing voice and her deep knowledge of music allows her to go from jazz to rumba with absolute ease. This album is her best so far as she travels through the world of Cuban genres owning each one of them. She still sings some songs in English, which for me didn’t work that well before, but now she is singing in English to the Cuban beat creating a much deeper and better result. From her rendition of Manteca and Mambo Na’ Ma to the beautiful bolero Todo por Amor, Dayme do no wrong on this album! It’s a fantastic work also from the production point of view: tight percussion, sumptuous string arrangements and beautiful brass…this is contemporary music at its best, Afro-Latin at heart but reaching out to be more than just that. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Nicky Jam is a Puerto Rican rapper, as important as Daddy Yankee until about 2003, when legal and drug problems sent him to commercial coventry. Even during his ‘lost years’ as he watched the success of the genre he helped create, he kept recording and it was by chance that he went to Colombia and found a new love for him and his music. Now with the surge in Urban Latin Super-artists from Colombia, Nicky Jam is back bigger than ever. This album is his first in 10 years and its packed with the new Reggaetón-pop radio- friendly style that is becoming a trademark for Colombia’s Reggaetón. Collaborations with Sean Paul, Daddy Yankee, Plan B, Cosculluela, Arcangel, J Balvin, El Alfa and Enrique Iglesias guarantee an array of hits. Not the most experimental album around but good enough for at least another year or two of Nicky ripping dance floors across the world.
(Dir. by Marcel Camus 1959, re-released on Blu-Ray 2017)
Shot in 1959, before the sambódromo was built, Marcel Camus’ Rio carnival adaptation of the ancient Greek tale of two lovers falling in love, pursued by the macabre figure of Death, brought Brazilian music to the world. The Bossa Nova and Samba them tunes of Antônio Carlos Jobim, Luis Bonfá, and Vinicius de Moraes, the who wrote the original play on which the film was based, became massive hits. When these tunes are not playing, the film rocks to the undulating rhythms of superb Brazilian batucada drumming, with the distinctive sounds of the atabaque, agogô, berimbau, cuíca, and the pandeiro, the latter played with great panache by Zeca, (Aurino Casino) a street kid. Partly thanks to use of non-professional actors, the film is permeated with a natural freshness and innocent charm. Despite the bittersweet tale, the stunning background scenery, the sweeping photography and the richness of colour and detail, combine to hold this timeless love story together in a unique and powerful way. This brand new Blue Ray copy has restored the original film meticulously and the result is a treat for all film and music lovers!
Top 10 “Must-Dos” in
Nicaragua Charming colonial cities with cobblestone streets, Pacific breakers producing perfect surf year-round, tiny Caribbean islands you can make your own for a day, and the smoothest rum that ever came out of an oak barrel. Nicaragua is hot at the moment as more and more travellers discover the delights of the land of lakes and volcanoes and more areas. Following the Sandinista uprising that toppled the dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979 and the ensuing Contra War sponsored by Washington, the image has persisted of a country wracked by conflict. The reality awaiting travellers couldn’t be more different. Nicaragua is actually the safest country in the Americas after Uruguay, your budget will stretch further here than in other Latin American destinations, and there’s a real Wow! factor around every corner. Costa Rica is cool, and Guatemala is great, but Nicaragua is currently the most exciting travel destination in Central America. Travel author Russell Maddicks lists 10 Nicaraguan Must Do’s:
Go Colonial in Granada
Founded in 1524 by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the charming cobblestoned city of Granada can lay claim to being the oldest European city in the Americas. Successively sacked by British and Dutch pirates and reduced to ashes by the US filibuster William Walker, it hasn’t lost its colonial grandeur, and there is many a surprise to discover behind the facades of its brightly-painted mansions. From the mustard-yellow cathedral on
the main plaza take a horse and carriage to visit the chocolate museum, seek out some of the finest cigars outside of Cuba, or delve into Nicaragua’s archaeological past at the Convento de San Francisco. At night the action moves to La Calzada, a leafy street of bars and restaurants animated by serenading guitar groups, and the swirling figure of La Gigantona, a papier mache giant who dances to drums with her tiny sidekick Pepe, El Enano Cabezón (the Big-Headed Dwarf).
Nosh on a Nacatamal
Locals joke that the country runs on gallo pinto (fried rice and beans) as Nicaraguans will happily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A “full Nica” is a filling plate of gallo pinto, scrambled eggs, fried cheese, and fried plantains. In Granada the signature dish is a bed of creamy boiled yuca and chicharrón (pork scratchings) topped with a vinegary salad of chopped cabbage and carrot that is served on a banana leaf and eaten with a dash of home-made chili sauce. It’s called vigorón because it makes you strong, and the best place to eat it is in Granada market. Don’t leave Nicaragua without trying a nacatamal, a corn-dough pocket stuffed with vegetables, rice and either pork, beef or chicken, which is wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed or boiled. Nicaraguans insist on eating them on Saturday or Sunday mornings accompanied with a coffee, preferably with a hammock for a post-nacatamal siesta.
Relive the Revolución in Leon
With a Sandinista government in place, and a statue to national hero Augusto César Sandino in every village square, the Sandinista Revolution is still a palpable part of daily life for Nica-
raguans. In the university city of León most people come to see the cathedral, which is the largest in Central America and houses the tomb of Nicaragua’s most illustrious son, the modernist poet Rubén Darío. Take time to cross the plaza to the Museo de la Revolución where you can hear first-hand accounts of the street fighting that took place here in the late 70s from men who can point out their younger selves (and the comrades they lost) in the yellowing newspaper clippings adorning the walls.
Ashboard down a Volcano
There’s only one place in the world where you can slog to the top of an active volcano, don a boiler suit, and sled down a steep slope of black, gritty ash on a rudimentary wooden toboggan and that’s Cerro Negro, one of the youngest volcanoes in the Americas. A 30-minute drive from the city of León, the 2,300-foot volcano is worth visiting just for the views from the top, which can be reached in an hour, but it’s the volcano boarding that has earned Cerro Negro a reputation as a bucket-list fix for adrenaline junkies. Think snowboarding, but sitting down, using your shoes for brakes while you hurtle
down a slope of unforgiving black gravel at speeds of up to 60 km an hour. The experience is pit-of-the-stomach exhilarating, bum-numbing, and over too soon. If you want a less energetic experience, take a tour of Masaya Volcano, between the capital Managua and Granada, where cars can park by the rim of the massive crater and visitors are treated to a whiff of sulphur and impressive views of the lava lake bubbling below.
Learn to Surf in San Juan del Sur
If you prefer a softer landing when you surf, head to San Juan del Sur, a former fishing village that has boomed into Nicaragua’s numberone party town on the Pacific without completely losing its charm. Surf schools here take advantage of the year-round waves at nearby beaches like Maderas that cater for all levels. One US surfer, Ashley Blaylock, liked it so much she set up Chica Brava, a surf school that caters exclusively for women. Intermediate surfers should head north to Popoyo and pros should continue on to the point at El Astillero. For an upmarket surfing experience, follow the Hollywood A-listers south to Nicaragua’s newest and most luxurious resort, Mukul, which is owned by the Flor de Caña rum-magnate Don Carlos Pellas. If the waves get mushy you can play a round of golf instead.
Break the Ice with Some Nica Speak
There’s no better way to break the ice in Nicaragua than to master some Nica-speak, or Nicañol. Diacachimba means cool, awesome, and is popular among surfers. Tuani also means cool as does Salvaje (savage). Forget Gringo as a way to describe anybody vaguely blonde, blue-eyed, pasty-skinned, or just foreign, in Nicaragua you’re more likely to be called a chele, an anagram of leche (milk). If you find speaking in Spanish difficult get an ice-breaker T-shirt like “Dale pues, Chele!” (Go for it, white boy!) from local designers Jincho.
Drink a Coco Loco in the Corn Islands
Nicaragua’s wild Caribbean coast is finally opening up to tourism as transport links improve and word spreads. If time is short fly to Big Corn Island, a laid-back, tropical gem that you can cycle around in an hour, stopping to snorkel at beaches where the only development is the odd wooden shack selling cold beer, spicy patties, or if you’re lucky lobster. The language here is Creole, a legacy of British influence in the 1800s, which makes interaction easier for non-Spanish speakers. Scuba diving with local outfit Dos Tiburones is world class, and best concluded with a Coco Loco rum cocktail and a hearty Run Down, a seafood, plantain and cassava stew that is guaranteed to stick to your ribs. The car-free paradise of Little Corn Island, where
you can kick off your shoes for the duration of your stay, is just 40 minutes away by panga (fishing boat) and should definitely be factored in to your plans.
Visit the Cliff Carver of Tisey
Alberto Gutiérrez Jirón, 76, is a hermit who has been carving figures into the cliffs of his family’s coffee farm in the Tisey Natural Reserve for over 30 years, creating an open-air gallery of sculpted figures that range from snakes, jaguars and elephants to biblical characters and scenes from Nicaragua’s history. Every morning he spends three hours carving the exposed rocks that look out across the valley towards the city of Estelí, famous for its revolutionary murals and cigar factories. The inspiration for this Herculean task came to Don Alberto when he was nine years old in a 3-hour dream that he says was so vivid it was like watching a movie in the cinema. British expat Jane Boyd, who runs Treehuggers Tours in Estelí, combines day trips to visit Don Alberto in Tisey with a dip in the Estanzuela waterfall.
Explore the Magical Island of Ometepe
Rising out of Lake Nicaragua like something Gerry Anderson might have designed for Thunderbirds, the twinvolcano island of Ometepe is a rural haven that is still unspoilt by tourism despite its growing popularity. Dotted with stones covered in pre-Columbian petroglyphs
it feels magical and stuck in time. Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater body in Central America so there’s no salty tang when you dive into the waves at Santo Domingo beach and wild horses will often come down to drink the water and play in the surf. Don’t swim out too far. Local fishermen tell tales of the days they would catch bull sharks in these waters, although overfishing has reduced their numbers. If you’re fit it takes a full day to trek to the summit of Concepción volcano (1,610 metres) or Maderas (1,394 metres). Alternatively, head for Ojo de Agua, a swimming hole fed by spring water. Howler monkeys and capuchins are found in abundance.
Volunteer Your Time
Things may be improving in Nicaragua but it’s still the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti. If you want to get involved and give something back contact the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign in London, which works with 13 twin-town groups, schools and social organizations in the UK that support a wide variety of cultural, educational and environmental projects in cities and towns across Nicaragua.
Russell Maddicks is the author of Culture Smart! Guides to Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico and is currently writing and researching a guide to Nicaragua. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @LatAmTravelist.
JAN-FEB 31st January – 18th February
10th February – 20:00
Argentina’s hottest dance stars return with some of the speediest footwork and tightest twirling in the business. Lead by international World Tango Champions German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi, the cast of extraordinary dancing couples and brilliant live musicians take you on an explosive journey through the history of this most seductive dance.
Mexican music pioneers fuse the brassy indigenous Tijuana sound with 21st century technology, taking the traditional horns and accordion of Norteño and kicking it into a new level.
Bostich & Fussible
Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA
Location: The Peacock, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT
Flamenco Festival London Dance Sadler’s Wells’ renowed annual season of flamenco dance and music returns. In a fortnight featuring seven unique shows, audiences will be able to enjoy performances from some of the world’s most outstanding flamenco talent. Location: Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R
23rd February - 20:00 11th February
Jenny & The Mexicats Music The ska/flamenco/pop sensation that has amassed tens of millions of You Tube hits and go gold in Mexico, return to the UK, where they performed their very first concert together in 2008. Location: The Forge, Camden 1st February – 20:00
12th February – 18:00
The excellent Garifuna musician brings his unique take on the paranda – a soulful acoustic style originating from his homeland of Honduras.
Expect a wide range of songs and genres from the hugely popular 28 year-old from Fortaleza, Brazil.
Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA
Location: O2 Forum Kentish Town, 9-17 Highgate Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 1JY
Danza Contemporánea de Cuba Dance Mixing Afro Caribbean rhythms, jazzy American modernism and traditional European ballet, this electrifying new show sees the company team up with leading chorographers, including Olivier award winner Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, the UK’s Theo Clinkard. Location: Barbican, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS
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13th March – 20:00
Brazilian sertanejo star Gusttavo Lima performs some of his hits, including “Rosas, Versos e Vinhos”, “Inventor dos Amores”, “Cor de Ouro” and the international hit “Balada.”
One of the most inventive Latin Jazz musicians of this new generation, the charismatic Cuban pianist and band leader performs his new album ABUC with support from Cuban/Iranian quartet Ariwo.
Location: Indigo at The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX
Location: Barbican, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS
14th April – 19:00
Daymé Arocena Music 24 year-old emerging Jazz talent Daymé Arocena, who won the prestigious Marti y el Arte award in 2007, continues her conquest of the UK Jazz scene. Location: The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London, NW1 7PG
La Bomba “10 years of UK’s Latin Explosion” Clubbing After its hiatus, Europe’s pioneering Reggaetón rave is back, celebrating its 10th anniversary. Witness some of the original La Bomba crew take on London’s new generation of selectors in a battle of the Old School vs New School: DJ Jose Luis, Padrino, Saul Maya and DJ Chino will battle Luigi Sanchez, Pedro Suave, Carlos Ortiz and guests in their attempt to define the next generation of La Bomba residents. Plus special PA guest by Colombian-born , London-based Reggaetón duet JP & Olimac Location: O2 Academy Islington, Angel Central, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield St, Islington N1 0PS 11PM to 5 AM Infolines: 07725 368361 Website: www.reggaeton. co.uk
25th March - 18:30
Nicky Jam Music
Hugely successful Reggaeton star Nicky Jam performs with support from Colombian musician Silvestre Dangond.
18th April - 19:30
Location: SSE Arena, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0AA
Grammy award winning pop singer Julieta Venegas will perform hits from across her career including ‘Me Voy’ and ‘Limón y Sal’ with regular collaborators Matias Silva and Sergio Saavedra.
7th and 8th April – 19:30
Roots of Rumba 2017 Dance This festival of Urban & Afro Latin dance theatre & culture, Roots of Rumba, returns for the 4th year, with two nights of Latin dance theatre performances. Expect plenty of Tango, Salsa, Capoeira, Samba and Rumba, as well as workshops, food and Djs! Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA Website: https://www. richmix.org.uk/events/dance/ roots-rumba-performance
Julieta Venegas Music
Location: Barbican, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS
23rd April – 19:00
20th April – 19:00
Future Latin Sounds: Minology & La Kasha Music La Linea shows looks to the future by showcasing two of the most exciting new Latin acts, Minology - the result of almost ten years of music experimentation, with cleverly sculpted soundscapes and smart dance floor friendly beats – and La Kasha, a new collective that mixes the rich cultural heritage of Latin American folklore with London’s evolving electronic music landscape. Created by Venezuelan DJ/producer Jose Luis and Colombian Percussionist Emeris Solis, La Kasha aims to become the new sound of Latin London.
The Hugely successful Catalan ‘rock/rumba’ duo Estopa bring their World Tour to London, following the release of their 9th studio album Rumba a lo Desconocido. The duo consists of brothers José and David Muñoz, who fuse rock, rumba, and flamenco to create a unique and exciting sound. 21st April – 19:30
Antonio Zambujo sings Chico Buarque Music
Location: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, White City, London W12 8TT
Portugal’s most popular make singer-songwriter plays the songs of the great Chico Buarque, The concert will also include favourites from Zambujo’s earlier albums. Location: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, London SW1X 9DQ
Location: Concrete, 56 Shoreditch High St Shadwell, London, United Kingdom E1 6PQ 21st April – 20:00
Orkesta Mendoza + DJ Scratchy Music A night of cumbia, mambo, indie and Tex-Mex psychedelia – all in well-cut suits. Blending cumbia and mambo with psychedelic rock, polka, country and electronica, Orkesta Mendoza’s brash, widescreen style and witty reference to ‘60s instrumental pop is both effortlessly classy and enormous fun. Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA
april 21th – 23rd April
The Teesside Festival Dance A four day extravaganza of Salsa, Kizomba, Bachata and Cuban workshops, clubnights and shows by World champion dancers Johnny Vazquez, Adrian and Anita, Dominican Power (Italy) and Marvin Ramos (Colombia) and many more… Website: www.teessideFestival.co.uk 25th – 29th April
Violetta’s Last Tango (with Omar Puente) Music Enter the world of tango diva Violetta, a singer who lives out her dreams in the Milongas of Buenos Aires. Virtuoso Cuban jazz violinist Omar Puente leads a tango band with star bandoneon player Julian Rowlands of Midnight Tango to accompany Violetta in a fusion of opera, tango and dance that tells an enchanting tale. Location: Wiltons Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB
28th April – 19:30
Totó la Momposina y sus Tambores Music Now in her 70s, Totó has become a legend worldwide for her work with traditional music from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Investigating and preserving the music of her homeland when it was unfashionable to do so, she has inspired several generations whilst constantly developing her own musicaltraditions. Her new show features members of her family, tambores (drums), flutes and voices and also features projections showing the history of the music and dance in performance. Location: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, London SW1X 9DQ Website: www.lalineafestival.com
29th April – 20:00
Eliane Correa & En El Aire Project + London Lucumi Choir Music Eliane Correa is a Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader. Tipped by BBC 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson as one of the freshest new sounds to come out of Havana, her music is a genre-defying melting pot of sounds. Location: Rich Mix Main Theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA Website: www.lalineafestival.com
LATIN LONDONER Emeris is one of Europe’s best Latin percussionists and the epitome of the Latin immigrant who has earned success in London through his craft. Chilled, good humored, and professional, he is a master in Colombian folklore, especially in the music from the Pacific coast. He now co-directs a new collective under the name of La Kasha, which fuses Afro-Latin folklore with London’s cutting edge electronica. I’ve inherited my musicality from my mother, but my father has been the most influential figure in my life. My first memory is playing the drums. I was 6 year old. Later many people thought it was a waste of time going to music school, but my father always told me to follow my dreams wherever they took me. And I’ve inherited my calmness and steadfastness from him. The artist that has most inspired me is Alekuma Cantaoras, a Colombian folklore group mixing music from the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts. It was the first time I worked with people from the both coasts of Colombia, including the best tamborero, el maestro Batata. The event that has had most impact on my life is the Peace process in Colombia. Even though I am far away, I know what it means. I grew up surrounded by violence, and the fact that we are finally achieving peace makes me feel most optimistic and gives me energy. What I most like about London… is the freedom and independence I have. As long as you don’t break the law, you can just do what you want to do without anyone batting an eyelid. My favourite question is… Are you ok? My least favourite word is… Parce, which is Colombian for ‘mate’ but for me it has bad connotations and sounds like when some people are planning to do something bad. I know its not rational, it’s just a feeling.
Emeris will perform with La Kasha at Concrete on Thursday 20 April, 7pm as part of La Linea Festival http://www.comono. co.uk/live/future-latinsounds/
If I could go back in time, I’d go back to my home town Guapi, on the Pacific coast in Colombia, a hundred years ago. At my funeral, I’d have them play… anything in the Currulao Rhythm. I’m most excited by… all my projects for this year, especially La Kasha, which fuses my heritage with the influences and technology that surround me in London.
Nortec Collective presents
BOSTICH+FUSSIBLE Tijuana Sound Machine
THE LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL
18 Julieta Venegas + Gizmo Varillas Barbican
20 Future Latin Sounds Minology & La Kasha Concrete
Friday 10 February Rich Mix A NIGHT OF THE BRAVEST NEW MUSIC FROM CUBA
ROBERTO FONSECA + ARIWO 13 MARCH
21 Antonio Zambujo Sings Chico Buarque Cadogan Hall
21 Orkesta Mendoza
Rich Mix & on tour to Leeds, Manchester, Gateshead, Brighton, Cambridge
O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
25-29 Violettaâ€™s Last Tango Wiltons Music Hall
28 Toto La Momposina y Sus Tambores
30 MAY ROYAL ALBERT HALL ROYALALBERTHALL.COM 020 7589 8212
29 Eliane Correa En El Aire + London Lucumi Choir Rich Mix
lalineafestival @lalineafest lalineafestival.com
FRIDAY 14 JULY O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON BOOK ONLINE COMONO.CO.UK