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I S S U E N0.16 March -April 2018

WELCOME TO Latino Life is all about celebrating Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese culture. But this edition is dedicated to celebrating the celebrators; the Latin UK Awards (known affectionately as the LUKAS) Europe’s answer to the Latin Grammys, incredibly, in its sixth year. Founded in 2012, the LUKAS has brought the UK and Europe’s previously unrecognised Latin talent to the attention of the public and media. Each year, the social networks start cranking as the public campaigns and votes for their favourite Latin personalities in music, dance, sports and the arts. After judges input and winners chosen, it all ends in a fabulous gala ceremony, doubtless the most colourful one on these shores. Since attending one back in 2015, I was curious about the story behind The LUKAS. Having been a journalist at the BBC’s Latin American Service, I began to make enquiries and, considering the editor’s close association with the awards, ended up insisting that I take over this edition of Latino Life to write about it myself. I hope you don’t mind an imposter editor hijacking this edition and that you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing!


FRONT SECTION: Latin Hotlist, News and Gossip


LA GALERIA: Livin’ the Latin vibe


INTERVIEW: Natalia LaFourcade


FEATURE: The Latin Momentum The Story of the LUKAS…


The LUKAS 2018 Categories


MUSIC: German Cornejo’s Top Ten Astor Piazzolla


MUSIC Reviews


ARTS Reviews


FOOD Reviews


Where to Eat, Drink and Party in London: The Definitive Latin Directory


UK Latin Chefs’ reveal their favourite dishes


WHAT’S ON: Your listings guide to Latin London


J Balvin’s Fantasy Island Tracks

Corina Poore, Editor



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Latinolife is produced by: Guest Editor: Corina Poore • Designer: Antonella Perreca • twittercom/latinolifeuk •



Glam up your Winter

A favourite destination for London’s most glamorous Latinas, Kensington Skin Care’s team of beauty experts are a busy bunch. Chief beautician Ada Gartenman’s internationally qualified winter gloom busters boast 20 years of experience, putting the shine and shimmer back into skin with Advanced Aesthetics, Non-Surgical Beauty Treatments and Laser Skin Rejuvenation. Call 020 7352 4150 or visit to book your FREE CONSULTATION and mention “Latinolife” on the phone to receive 15% off your first treatment.”

Shine Out the Winter Blues

Our trusted friends at Dominican Hair Care have brought us another crazy but effective product range, this time based on, er…garlic. Don’t worry, it smells delicious despite combining the benefits of garlic, horse radish and vitamin A. Most importantly, while softening and repairing damaged hair, Alter Ego Garlic also protects it from damage caused by chemical processing, straightening and heat. Particularly popular with Dominicans and Colombians wanting to keep their gorgeous shine, garlic shampoo and hair mask are the best Latin defence against London grime.

Spice up your 2018

There is nothing like a good salsa to give a dreary English day a kick up the pompi. The Yucateco Salsas, a company created in 1968 by Mr. Gamboa, started out as a small family business devoted to the production of homemade habanero pepper sauces. Nowadays it is a world-renowned company, producing and exporting its fiery recipes. Alongside its facility are its own Habanero and Annatto fields, where they source their ingredients. A splash a day definitely keeps the winter blues away. Available at

The Perfect Party Chip

No salsa would be worth it’s weight in tomatoes without great tortilla chips. We love the variety and quality of these ones made by Manomasa, whose owners apparently had their ‘light bulb moment’ whilst travelling in Mexico. Since then they’ve been adding great tasting variations to their chips. Our favourites include Manchego & Green Olive, and this hexagon shaped variety with Serrano Chilli and Yucatan Honey. Essential for any party; you’ll find us dipping them into homemade Guacamole and sipping them down with a margarita or two at ours!



LATIN MOMENTS… Mariachi Magic

Anyone who happened to be in Camden Lock on a certain winter’s evening was in for a surprise when, out of the blue, several men clad in white embroidery emerged one by one to join in a chorus of Mexican song. In fact, the flash mob turned out to be the Mexican Navy’s famous 16-piece Mariachi band - one of the country’s finest - who had been invited to the UK by the British Navy. What do Mariachis do after a stint on SKY news followed by a stuffy naval banquet? Search for a party, of course, which inevitably ended in a four-hour tequilafuelled street concert. The usual punters of Gabeto, where the concert and its audience finally moved to after two hours outside, were treated to the full repertoire of Latin classics by Mexico’s top musicians. Priceless.

The Infanta Fights Back

Latino activists in Elephant and Castle recently celebrated a minor victory when Southwark council failed to approve Delancey property developers’ plan to redevelop the area. Local residents and traders of this vibrant Latin American community claim the proposals will price them out of an area that they have made their home for the last 40 years. It’s also encouraging news for sister campaigners at North London’s Seven Sisters Latin market, also fighting redevelopers for the right to exist. So the spirit of Catherine of Aragon, La Infanta de Castillo, (Henry VIII’s mistreated Spanish wife, which Elephant and Castle allegedly owes its name to) lives on…for now. But the battle for both sites is not over so please support their campaigns.

Pure Peru Pleasure

It made our year when Peru qualified for the World Cup. Not having much to celebrate with yet another President exposed to be as corrupt as his predecessors, the country erupted in euphoria after beating New Zealand in the last play-off. The crowds in the stadium and in the surrounding park where the match was being shown on big screens, even set off Lima’s earthquake sirens. The next day was declared a national holiday. It’s a great achievement to qualify ahead of Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador and without any star players (both legs were played without Paulo Guerrero, their only one). It’s all down to team work, discipline and making the most of the talent they’ve got, and a great Argentine manager. Well done Peru; another great reason to watch the Mundial this summer.

Pura Latina Hustle

We love it when we see pure Latina hustle barge its way onto the global stage and this year it’s the turn of Bronx-born Dominican Cardi B. For suddenly, the charismatic Latina, formerly known as Belcalis Amanzar, has topped Beyonce to become first woman with five simultaneous Top 10 hits. Not bad for a girl whose risen to fame purely through digital platforms, where she vehemently defended her background as a stripper: “it was my only way out, a way to earn enough money to escape my dire situation and get an education.” She’s done it the hard way; with true grit, hussle and a lot of Latina sass. Respect.




Fearless Soul Multi-instrumentalist and owner of a unique voice, Natalia Lafourcade has become one of Latin America’s the most successful artists. Ever since the young Mexican, daughter of a Chilean refugee, first broke into the charts in 2003, she’s established herself as a multi-Grammy winning pop artist. Yet, her latest highly-acclaimed album, ‘Musas’, delves further into the roots of Mexican and Latin American folk, a journey both risky and instinctive that may well have earned her a place amongst Latin America’s greatest female artists. Santiago Oyarzabal caught up with the rising star as she tours the world. One could say that Natalia Lafourcade’s destiny was set at birth. Daughter of two distinguished musicians, her Chilean father an acclaimed Clavichordist (a medieval keyboard used in Baroque music), she studied flute, piano, guitar, saxophone and singing and, at 10, was already singing in a Mariachi group. Her fate might well have been as an obscure classical musician and not that of a pop star. So, now at 33, and with a successful pop career behind her, to fearlessly delve further into folk, is perhaps a risk that not every pop star would take. For, even while Hasta La Raiz (2015) was still winning awards, notably a Grammy for best Latin Rock Album in 2016, Lafourcade hotly followed it with Musas (2017) a self-declared ‘homage to Latin American folklore.’ But perhaps instinct and bravery are closely allied and, well, who cares, when the result is already being considered one of the most impressive Latin American albums of the 21st century, granting the Mexican not only immense critical acclaim but also more popularity; Musas also just snatched the artist another Latin Grammy for Best Folk Album. It turns out that bringing together versions of the region’s consecrated classics with songs of her own, proved a risk worth taking. Musas not only shows Lafourcade at the very peak of her pow-

9 ers as a singer-songwriter but also well on the way to becoming herself a ‘muse’ joining the select club of Latin America’s most loved singer-songwriters; Chavela Vargas, Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa, Elis Regina, Chabuca Granda, Celia Cruz, Omara Portuondo and Lila Downs. Classics such as “Tú me acostumbraste” (ft. Portuondo),“Qué he sacado con quererte” or “Tonada de luna llena” talk the same language as Lafourcade’s own “Soledad y el Mar”, “Rocío de todos los campos”, “Mexicana Hermosa” (anthem to the country’s flag), “Mi tierra veracruzana” (dedicated to her native Veracruz), and “Tú sí sabes quererme” (the album’s first single). So, was Musas a risk-taking project or simply a work of passion? “You’re right,” Natalia laughs. “Musas was a real challenge, but it also gave me a lot of pleasure. I also allowed myself to relax a little bit, because sometimes without realising we let ourselves be intimidated. I think one of the best things of this project is that we brought the younger generation closer to the universe of Los Macorinos (the legendary duet of guitars – Juan Carlos Allende and Miguel Peña). I wanted to break that barrier, and that’s one of the things that makes me so happy about this project.”

“When I was young I had a strong need to search, to explore and to experiment. Back then I tried everything. Those albums were more eclectic. Today my projects are more ‘rounded’. ‘Hasta la raíz’ was a search for my own voice as a composer. ‘Musas’ is Latin American folklore in a style that is a bit that of Los Macorinos and a bit my own.” Los Macorinos accompanied the great Mexican singer Chavela Vargas until she passed away in 2012. The album includes also versions of artists such as VIoleta Parra, Agustín Lara, Simón Díaz, Roberto Cantoral, Frank Domínguez and even Harry Warren’s “That’s Amore” (Son amores), popularised by Dean Martin with Jerry Lewis in 1953.

Not stopping there, Lafourcade will release Musas Vol 2 in early 2018, with more classics ranging from the traditional “Duerme negrito” (popularised by Mercedes Sosa) and “La llorona” (famously versioned by Vargas) to Lecuona’s “Eclipse” and María Grever’s “Alma mía”. Some of Lafourcade’s own compositions in Musas Vol 2 are “Danza de gardenias” (future single – its video was recently shot in Puerto Vallarta) and “Hoy mi día uno”. Also the already classic – “Un derecho de nacimiento,” which Lafourcade composed in support of the Mexican university student movement called “Yo Soy 132”, a social movement against institutionalised corruption and the bias media coverage of the 2012 general election in favour of President Peña Nieto. One wonders how Lafourcade has managed to do all this whilst being on tour for the last three years! “I tried to balance both aspects, touring and spending time at home, but I write the songs wherever and whenever




“I’m always trying to find ideas. Also, making the album with Los Macorinos was an enormous pleasure! We went to a house in the ‘Desert of the Lions’ National Park near Mexico City, listened to a lot of music, selected the songs, rehearsed… And we recorded it all live there. For me this was very important because I’d never recorded an album like they used to do in the past and I wanted to experience that”.

Experimenting didn’t seem to get in the way of making hits though, and Casa had several: “Ser humano”, “Casa” and “Un pato”, a Spanish version of the Brazilian classic popularised by João Gilberto in the 1960s. The album also won the Latin Grammy for Best Rock Album. Even more hits would come with the even-more-difficult-to- pigeonhole Hu Hu Hu (2009) with songs such as “Ella es bonita”, “Cursis melodías” and “No viniste”.

Natalia describes Musas as ‘life-changing,’ which is interesting considering that her life had already changed considerably when at only 17, her album “En el 2000” was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Yet, it was clear that Natalia Lafourcade decided her path would not be restricted to that of pop star, as she experimented with salsa, bossa nova and rock in the eclectic sound of Casa (2005).

Reflecting about that time Lafourcade explains. “I started very young, when I was only 17 I had a strong need to search, to explore and to experiment. This has always been a constant, but back then I tried everything. Those albums were more eclectic and the range of styles was more diverse. Today my projects are more ‘rounded’, more contextual, more conceptual. ‘Hasta la raíz’ was a search for my own voice as a composer. Musas is Latin American folklore in a style that is a bit that of Los Macorinos and a bit my own.” Although the big breakthrough came with Hasta la raíz (2015), the album she is still touring –now together with Musas – it was her tribute to Agustín Lara in Mujer divina (2012) that catapulted her to the very top among Latin American musicians. It’s clear, however, that rather than a calculated risk, Lafourcade’s fascination with folklore is more an exploring at herself, her background and the influence of her elders (not least her parents). “It started with the collaboration with [the young Mexican conductor] Alondra de la Parra in 2011. Through him I re-discovered Mexican and Latin American folklore. In connecting with Lara I realised what my dream as an artist was. It changed my approach towards music, stages and audiences, and also my standards when writing songs. Exploring great artists such as Violeta Parra, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Simón Díaz and Roberto Cantoral helped me have a stronger sense of self as a Mexican, a Latin American and as an artist. I feel very proud of where I come from. As a composer that enabled me to make songs such as “Mexicana hermosa”, “Tú sí sabes quererme”, or the bolero “Soledad y el mar”.

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“Mi tierra veracruzana” which flirts a bit with son “jarocho” [Veracruzan rhythm] and “Rocío de todos los campos” [an elegy to the Mexican modern dancer Rocío Sagaón, who died in 2015]. Indeed, the audiences at Lafourcade’s concerts are noticeable for the generational diversity. She agrees. “It’s very nice to see people of all ages, and how they’re really open to listen to whatever we have to offer. I love that because I’ve allowed myself to play without locking myself into specific styles, and to explore other things. So that was my dream come true!” When you consider her background, the unconventional path Lafourcade has taken should be of little surprise, however. Natalia grew up watching her father making and playing harpsichords, and her mother, María del Carmen Silva Contreras (Macarsi), taught music in such an inventive way that a method was named after her: The Macarsi Method of Musical Education. “I was talking with my mom the other day, saying how lucky I was that I had a really happy childhood. I was all the time seeing them play and teach music and that marked my life. There was music paying all the time… from Beethoven to Erik Satie and Brahms or Bach. Also traditional music, Violeta Parra, Astor Piazzola. Mom also listened a lot to Armando Manzanero, Agustín Lara. Music was always very present… …Later I grew interested in other types of music, like Björk, PJ Harvey, later Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone. After listening to a lot of music from abroad, in English, I eventually returned to Toña la Negra, José Alfredo Jiménez, Chavela [Vargas], Juan Gabriel, La Lupe.”

13 Natalia was 10 when they moved from Veracruz to Mexico DF where rock and pop was more prevelant. Café Tacvba, Aterciopelados, Julieta Venegas, Jumbo, and Gustavo Cerati were her first choices then. “I also loved Pedro Piedra, Javiera Mena, (US/ CHile), Joni Mitchell, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Silvio Rodríguez… Francisca Valenzuela, and Mon Laferte. From Mexico Little Jesus, Zoé, Vicente García, Carla Morrison. And I’m forgetting many”, she explains, “I listen to everything, everything. I embrace every rhythm and learn from all of them, even reggaeton… ….In Mexico City we all wanted to be rockers. I had my own rock band… But then, I realised that what I loved was melodies and lyrics. So little by little, music became more and more personal to me. For instance, at the very beginning of the work with ‘Musas’, I wanted to record the songs but they were so personal and intimate that I was doubtful. Fortunately my management team loved it and said this needed to be my next project and so it was. For me this was beautiful because it meant that they liked something that for me was very pleasurable.” It sounds strange that with such meteoric success, Lafourcade has never played in London apart from two very small concerts near London Bridge some years ago. The very good news for those attending the show is that Musas Vol 2 will have just come out by then.

“I allowed myself to relax, because sometimes without realising we let ourselves be intimidated” “Because we never stopped playing in almost three years, we’re now still presenting both albums together Hasta la raíz and Musas with my own band and Los Macorinos”, she explains, before offering a real scoop, “In London we’ll be also presenting new songs from Musas Vol 2!” Natalia will perform at KOKO on February 12th For tickets go to


The LatiN


Last year, Latin music topped the charts in almost every country on the planet. But in the UK, where all six Latin tracks released made the Top 10, the passion for all things Latin was preceded by something else. The Latin UK awards, known affectionately as the LUKAS, was launched six years ago to recognize the impact of Latin culture in the UK. Today it is Europe’s only Latin Awards ceremony and its widest-reaching Latin event, the viral nature and global media coverage of it engages 20 million people every year. Corina Poore explores how the LUKAS became an expression of the UK’s Latin take over, and a reflection of the impact of Latin culture and the Latin diaspora globally. When I attended the LUKAS for the first time in 2016 – invited by an old friend of mine Jorge Spiteri who was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for pioneering the UK Latin Funk scene back in the 1970s - it was an immensely moving experience. I could not believe the variety of attendees; people from all over Central and South America, Spain and Portugal. It was thrilling to see the expressions of enthusiasm and joy, from Colombian dancers, Argentine singers, Brazilian musicians, to the welcoming words from the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and Bianca Jagger. There was an amazing array of celebrities, sport and TV personalities, and performances by international artists. For me, even as an Argentine, it was a window into the vast richness of our common Latin culture.


Founder Am

I know that, in the 1930s, there was a phase of popularity in the UK for Mambo with Edmundo Ros and Tango with Carlos Gardel, but it fizzled out and only reached a few countries. Now, with the internet, Latin music and dance is truly conquering the world in an unstoppable way. The LUKAS seems to be very much part of this momentum and I wanted to know more about it and how it was conceived. On meeting the founders, Amaranta Wright and José Luis Seijas, in a Central London Burrito bar, it quickly became clear to me what a sacrifice it has been and their passion for its success. Argentine-born Amaranta, a bubbly blond, and José Luis, a dark and serious Venezuelan, themselves seemed to epitomise the diversity of the LUKAS, which is in now in its sixth year - a stunning achievement.

aranta Wrig


15 “It’s been a labour of love…” admits Amaranta, whose obvious single-minded determination has been the motor behind it. “…and a roller-coaster with many ups and downs, but it’s also addictive. The year we started, in 2012, it was simply an impulse we had. We just knew we had to do it. And then, as soon as we did the first, it took on a life of its own. The first ceremony was small but the atmosphere was amazing, and it was clear to us that this was something special. The need for it was obvious and it just hurtled forward…like being on a high-speed train; terrifying and exhilarating, and impossible to stop!” It was the Colombian percusJosé Luis, a DJ and muthe original idea to crethe contributions of so “It’s ing properly recog-

sionist Roberto Plá who inspired sic promoter, to come up with ate the Awards. He felt that many Latinos were not belike nized, as he explains:

being on a

“I knew how hard it was for Latin artists high-speed train; to get recognition and make a living terrifying and here… and some of them, like Roberto exhilarating, Plá, have had a huge influence on both and impossible British and Latin musicians…[yet] people didn’t really know about him… to stop!” and he wasn’t getting the recognition he deserved in my opinion. Roberto Plá helped so many English musicians, who went on to become commercially successful, for example ‘Snowboy’ used to be Roberto Pla’s student. The same in the dance world; for example, ‘Strictly’, the most popular show on British TV, has amazing Latin dancers, like Yanet Fuentes, working behind the scenes. Jorge Spiteri was another; he influenced many UK musicians such as the young Guy Barker, Pete Thoms, and Dave Defries in the 70s and 80s. And Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, the first Latinos to play in the Premier League, paved the way for many other Latin American stars. This was the original intention of the LUKAS, to recognise talent that nobody else was recognising… although of course it has morphed into something else.” Amaranta and José Luis decided it was time to recognise the impact of Latin culture, which has been growing steadily over the last 30 or 40 years. In this way, the LUKAS have been a precursor. It is to date Europe’s only awards ceremony to celebrate Latino culture in all its diversity and manifestations: music, dance, theatre, film, arts, and sport. Awards include Alternative Act, Brazilian Act, Classical, Jazz or Folk Act, Vocalist, Urban Act, Tropical and Brazilian Dance Performers, Visual Artist, Film, Footballer, and many more, not forgetting

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the Lifetime Achievement Awards, won by stars like Colombian guitarist Phil Manzanera, (Roxy Music), Royal Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, and Bianca Jagger for her contribution to Human Rights. In the second year, Amaranta and José Luis had one of those lightbulb moments.


David Gilmore and Vivienne Westwood celebrating Latin culture. I mean, that’s not going to happen in Miami is it? So, yeah, we realised how exciting this was and the potential it had.”

It’s also clear that international acts, such as Juan Luis Guerra or last year’s Gente de Zona, love the idea of receiving an award “We suddenly noticed that we in London. But there have also been were getting a huge amount challenges, points out José Luis, of votes from Ecuador and and building the trust of the Mexico, which was recommunity at the heart of the “The LUKAS were ally strange. We started Awards was also key to the to explore online and LUKAS’ future: the first to recognise found that ESPN had me and it certainly picked up the fact that “Initially, there was resisthelped my career, as Antonio Valencia and ance from some sectors; the Royal Ballet directors Chicharito Hernánthe Latin community has were very aware of the dez were nominated many layers, and also publicity surrounding it” for our Footballer of comes with its own histhe Year, and this set tory and baggage. Some Fernando Montaño off a lot of media covhad a general mistrust, beerage in those countries. cause they had been burned before, so we had to work hard Then other countries started to earn their trust. They feared twe giving media coverage to their winmight be hand-picking the winners and ners and we realised there was a huge in- doubted it would be democratic. It kind of ternational potential. Latin Americans are surprised us…I mean, what would be the very proud when their countrymen and fun of picking the winners? We didn’t even women do well abroad, and were voting for know most of the nominees. But I guess them, so this was really becoming an inter- it’s understandable for people to have national event. No other UK awards, not the thought…well, who are these guys, what’s MOBOs or even the BRITs, has the poten- their motive? So, I would say that gradutial of such an international audience. ally people have come to trust us. You are And I can’t think of any other awards never going to keep everyone happy, eswhere you’d have British icons like pecially since there is only one winner and many ‘losers’, although I think people can see how much exposure winning or being a runner up, or even participating, can help their careers, and they can also try again the following year.”

Fernando Montaño and Vivienne Westwood




LUKAS Co-Founder Jose Luis Seijas

This career impact can be clearly seen LUKAS is no quick fix. in the boost experienced by the Royal Ballet soloist, Colombian “It’s still a baby. I mean, Fernando Montaño, who the big awards… how was featured on the long have they been “ The original news and covers of running? For 60 or magazines both in intention was 70 years. I was the UK and back in watching ‘BBC to recognise Colombia, where Sports Pertalent that nobody else he was chosen to sonality of the perform in front was recognising… Year’ the other of Prince Charles day and they although of course it and then became mentioned that has morphed into a judge on Cothe first one was lombia’s version of something else.” 64 years ago! I ‘Strictly’: ‘Dancing with remember when it the Stars’’. was just in a little studio, and now it’s in an are“Being a black ballet dancer from Co- na. But I’m beginning to feel lombia has not always been easy, and that we are established, the winning the LUKAS put the spotlight on media know about us and me. I’d never got that kind of publicity refer to us. It’s been a real in the UK before. And suddenly back in Colombia I was in almost every nation- struggle because we’ve al newspaper, magazine and TV news. never had any backing or Then the news reached the US and investment, but I think in they made a documentary about me some ways it’s made us for Univision,” says Montaño. It prob- stronger; the slower you ably helped that Vivienne Westwood grow, the stronger you presented him with his award. “I can’t build. The money is more say all this is 100% because of the LU- useful when you’re ready KAS, but these Awards were the first to for it, and now I feel we’re recognize me and it certainly helped my ready” career, since the directors of the Royal Ballet were conscious of the publicity José also talks of the phenomenal strain and surrounding them.” effort involved: Despite its successes, Amaranta is very “After every year we’re, aware that establishing Awards like the like … ‘why are we doing this? It’s so crazy! We can’t do it again…’ and then the next day you find yourself already planning for the next year, what you’ll do differently, how to improve.

Boris izaguirre and Yanet Fuentes



Maybe it’s totally masochistic, but at the same time, there are so many things that bring so much joy. When you see how enthusiastic people are, when they get up on stage and “There are no they dress up and they are so happy, how the audience reother awards where sponds, it you’d have British icons kind of makes it all worthwhile. The like David Gilmore biggest challenge has and Vivienne Westwood been not having enough m o n e y . celebrating Latin culture. It’s a high-risk I mean, that’s not going and it takes business to happen in someone with vision and a Miami is it?” leap of faith to get involved. But I know that person will come.” ”Besides,” adds José Luis “It would be very hard to stop Amaranta from doing the LUKAS.” Amaranta laughs: “I’m probably about the most determined person I know, I mean, you have got to be…. completely single-minded. We wouldn’t have come this far otherwise.” Both Amaranta and José Luis are very clear that the main purpose of the Awards is to promote and celebrate Latin culture. They believe it will eventually be Europe’s answer to the Latin Grammys, but their real reward is to hear how it has helped so many people in their careers, and the praise from those who have attended, including celebrities like Bianca Jagger, who said, “I had a wonderful time at the LUKAS evening. Thank you for all your efforts. It meant a lot to me to receive the LUKAS Lifetime Achievement Award. Or from Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore: “Thank you for looking after us so well and for a great evening. We had a fantastic time and many congratulations on all your hard work.” Luis Suarez, Footballer of the Year, 2015



The core team of the Awards is small but compact. Amaranta Wright and José Luis Seijas are supported by Music Director Steve Lewinson (Simply Red), Production Manager Kenny Underwood, promoter Andy Wood, and TV Director Mathew Amos. And now, one of Latin America’s most prestigious branding agencies, Amen, has jumped on board to promote the LUKAS in Latin America.

“The LUKAS is a brilliant celebration. I look forward to it every year.” Jeremy Corbyn

And so, the LUKAS has evolved a great deal since the first modest celebration at Floridita in Soho in 2012. It expanded the following year to the Café de Paris in Regent Street, then on to KOKO, Camden Town’s iconic venue. This year, the LUKAS Gala Ceremony will take place on August 9, at The Troxy, with a confirmed full concert performance by Grupo Niche, who will also receive the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. For the other 20 award winners, voting starts on May 1. Nominations are being invited now on the website: w w w. t h e l u k a s . c o . u k

“We love the LUKAS!” Gente de Zona, International Act of the Year 2017 “I feel honoured and delighted to accept this prestigious award.” Juan Luis Guerra, International Act of the Year 2016 Carlos Acosta y Tamara Rojo


Awards for Contribution to Music Alternative Act of the Year European Alternative Act of the Year Brazilian Act of the Year European Brazilian Act of the Year Classical/Jazz/Folk Act of the Year European Classical/Jazz/ Folk Act of the Year Tropical Act of the Year European Tropical Act of the Year Musician of the Year (band leader or outstanding soloist) Vocalist of the Year Club DJ of the Year Tropical DJ of the Year Urban Act of the Year Production of the Year (e.g. EP, Album) European Production of the Year Song of the Year European Urban Act of the Year

Awards for Contribution to Dance Brazilian Dance Performers of the Year European Brazilian Dance Performers of the Year European Tango Dance Performers of the Year Tropical Dance Performers of the Year European Tropical Dance Performers of the Year Dance Production of the Year

Awards for Contribution to Sport Sports Personality of the Year Football Personality of the Year Manager of the Year

Awards for Contribution to the Art Visual Artist of the Year Film of the Year Performing Artist of the Year Theatre Production of the Year

Special Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Rising Star Award International Artist of the Year International Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Nominate and vote for your candidate at Nominations close on 25th April 2018. Voting starts on 5th May 2018


Germán Cornejos



This piece is a fascinating blend of subtlety and delicacy. Listening to it transports us to another place, another reality. For me personally, the melancholy and longing that it transmits inspires me to create an intimate dance, stripped bare, free of stereotypes, with bodies undulating softly in time to the music.

Of all history’s great musicians and composers, there are only a few names that last the test of time and are passed down from generation to generation… Mozart, Bach, Elgar, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, to name a few. The Bandoneon player and composer, Astor Piazzolla, is certainly one of those. Born in 1941, in Mar del Plata, the Argentine transcended his genre of tango. To this day his towering compositions transport listeners to sublime musical journeys of emotional crescendos, ecstatic climaxes and melancholic descents. German Cornejo, one of the world’s leading tango dancers, pays tribute to Argentina’s most famous musical export with his choice of ten tracks, each one unique and intensely beautiful, that have inspired him as a dancer. Adios Nonino

A Piazzolla anthem par excellence. Piazzolla wrote this as a farewell to his grandfather (Nonino) and from the first introductory chords of the piano, the intense nostalgia of the farewell to loved ones who are no longer with us is intoxicating. Each note that is played, each chord that resonates, reminds us of those important people in our lives, like my father, whom we have loved and who are no longer with us.


This masterfully composed tango is perhaps one of Piazzolla’s most emblematic pieces. The passion that emanates from it demands a dance full of vitality, power, life in the raw. I’ve identified with this music for a very long time, because it was one of the first tangos I danced to on stage.



Las Ciudades

Another Piazzolla gem, not one included in his best known repertoire, but which shows us what visionaries Piazzolla/Ferrer were, and helps us understand why their vision dominated the avantgarde of the genre from the Seventies onwards. For me, it reflects our society, its materialism and ambition. We always want more, often behaving insensitively to others, insatiably hostage to the mass consumption and superficiality of globalization.


The vibrant frenzy transmitted by this tango draws me towards a frenetic, almost chaotic, dance. To a certain extent it liberates my darker side, the music channelling that machismo inherent in the tango.

Moriré en Buenos Aires

This is a letter of farewell to life, embracing of death. Clearly an acceptance of destiny and a declaration of the bohemian way of life of the classic tango dancer: night and solitude.

Muralla China

One of Piazzolla’s little know relics. Listening to it transports me back to the Buenos Aires of today. Fast-paced and bustling. Reflecting the light and shade of his incredible city, crammed with stories.

Los Pájaros Perdidos

A feast for the senses. It conjures up a whole mix of emotions from surrender, resignation, and acceptance. Dancing to it al lows us to personify these emotions through movement, and perform a full dance of contrasts, ranging from entwined and suspended, to agile, quick and enveloping.


This intoxicating Piazzolla piece is an invitation to navigate between the sensuality and sexuality of its musicality in a hypnotic, seductive fashion. It prompts me to create an intense and clearly sensual dance. A constant game of seduction between the sexes, where provocation is given free rein.

German Cornejo performs exclusively to the tunes of Astor Piazzolla with his dance company of 10 world-class Argentinean dancers in ‘Tango After Dark’ from 28 February to 17 March at The Peacock Theatre. Book tickets at


An array of emotions. Probably one of my favourite pieces at the moment, and a Piazzolla masterpiece. The variety of sounds achieved by the instrumental solos enables us to appreciate, in all its splendour, just how avant-garde Piazzolla’s work is, with each instrument taking us onto a different plane: the honesty and warmth of the guitar solo, the sweetness and fullness of the piano solo, and the nostalgia and melancholy of the violin solo. It would be hard not to get emotional listening to the exquisite, grandiose composition of this piece.


lafourcade 12 FEBRUARY LONDON






Mby UDJ Jose Luis

Salvavidas de Hielo ‘Jorge Drexler

La LLorona

Chavela Vargas Whilst widely worshipped in Mexico as the Queen of the rancheras, Chavela Vargas was in fact born in Costa Rica. She recorded over 80 albums which made her a household name in the Americas. Chavela took the rancheras – a male dominated genre mostly sung from the “macho” perspertive - and sang them in her very own style, performing almost uniquely with a guitar and with a slower drunken-like tempo, giving it almost a comedic twist. Rumour has it that in her youth she used to perform in Mexican beach resorts dressed as a man and carrying a fake gun. She was a fascinating gender-bender character who eventually would come out and become an LGBT hero. Her music had a sort of renaissance when Pedro Almodovar discovered and used it in some of his films. “La LLorona” is a finely curated “best of” and a great introduction to the world of the iconic singer.

Reviewing a Jorge Drexler album is a pretty hard task, at least for me, just because there are not many contemporary artists to compare him with. This, his 6th album is so well made on so many levels; the instrumentation, the production, the quality of the playing and, most of all, Drexler’s delivery and lyrics: poetry, literary references and clever worldplay. Ditching the dance-led elements of his previous album, Drexler has reverted to a more acoustic sound on this one, driven by his guitar and the sound of the Peruvian cajón, which gives the album almost flamenco like feel to it. But make no mistake, this is such a cleverly crafted album that within the simplicity of the instrumentation, you can find traces of a plethora of genres. Duets with Julieta Venegas, Mon Laferte and Natalia Lafourcade, give the album a pop sensibility but as a whole this production solidifies Drexler as a titan of Latin music. This guy is the real deal.

Two Beats One Soul, feat. Little Louie Vega

Cuba has been a tour de force in American music history since the 19th century, but when Chano Pozo and a few other congueros went to New York in the 1940s and started jamming, then recording with American Jazz bands, the world started to take notice. It was a turning point for both American and also Cuban/Latin music. Since then, the mutual fascination has produced collaborative gems, and this brand new album can be counted as one of them. First off, the album has everything; r&b, soul, hip hop, house…even reggaetón. But there are no fillers here; every song is crafted to a high degree of sophistication. Two Beats One Soul brings together an all star cast; from the USA Ray Chew, Louie, Vega and Sergio George on production and fantastic vocalists Eric Benét, Jon B. and Josh Milan. On the Cuban side there’s super-producer Manolito Simonet alongside Ruben and Gabriel Rodriguez, Xiomara Laugart and Milagros Hodelin on vocals. Throw in Puerto Rican singer Jean Rodriguez, house diva Anané from Cape Verde and special guest Shaggy from Jamaica and you get and intoxicating mix. From the monster bass of the opening track ‘Sound Of Cuba’ to ‘The Rhythm’ a soulful percussion driven ballad, this album delivers on so many levels that it’s sure to become a classic.

28 28


T u e s d ay s








S W E I V rt RE re




a Po n i r o C by

The Shape of Water (Dir.) Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro’s stunning and superbly crafted fairy-tale fantasy is brimming with imagination, profound empathy and a deep and powerful sensuality. A modernist ‘Beauty and Beast’, we have a mesmerising Sally Hawkins as the janitor Elisa who falls in love with a strange and mysterious water creature who is being cruelly ‘researched’ at a secret laboratory. With the assistance of her neighbour, Giles, (sensitively played by Richard Jenkins) and her colleague, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), she tries to help the creature escape from its watery prison. The ravishing mise-en-scène is quite magical, as the drama is believable, despite its eccentricity. True to Del Toro form, as the cavernous spaces in the underground facility give the narrative a sense of foreboding, gentle humour seeps in, as we find ourselves routing for them to succeed. Set during the Cold War period of the 1960s, the screenplay contains some punchy dialogue and a few very funny gags, to lift the spirits. The make-up, visual and special effects are stunning. Not as dark as some of his previous work (The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth), Del Toro’s latest offering is a charming love story, original, heart- warming and an astounding visual feast. THE SHAPE OF WATER, (15) is released by Fox Searchlight Pictures on February 14th

La Casa de Bernarda Alba By Federico Garcia Lorca

It’s no wonder that this stunning new version of the great Spanish playwright’s powerful play, returns for an extended run. Presented in English as well as Spanish with some of the cast replaying their roles in both languages, the Cervantes Theatre’s bi-lingual production is some feat. Widely considered to be the last part of a ‘Rural Trilogy’ preceded by Blood Wedding (1932) and Yerma (1934), this was to be the last play written by Lorca before his murder in 1936. The play is set in the dark rooms of the Alba home where Bernarda imposes a despotic and devastating 8-year period of mourning on her five daughters, aged between 20 and 39, following the death of her husband. The women are trapped inside an inferno of intense summer heat and tyranny. The movements of men outside are followed longingly from behind the barred windows, tantalizingly present and out of reach. As the theatre is built into a railway arch, the sporadic rumbling of the trains give the effect of volcano brewing with repressed sexual energy. The play opens with the endless tolling bells from the funeral service at the church. Through Bernarda, Lorca challenges the repression and hypocrisy that he sees in Catholicism, revealing how it creates the very degradation it fears, as the girls shed layer upon layer, until they end up writhing on the floor, half naked, baring their primeval emotions. The bi-lingual interpretations are also revealing; the English is more cerebral, precise, with moments of irony that have the audience laughing out loud. There were no laughs in the Spanish version, which is more intense, gutteral, earthier. Amparo Climent as Bernarda in the Spanish version is terrifying. The English Bernarda, on the other hand, played by Mary Conlon is more complex as we are invited to empathise with her inner dilemmas. The anguish is palpable in each and every character; no one is spared, and least of all it’s author, whose execution two months after completing the work, in a touch of prophecy, heralded years of Catholic influenced repression under General Franco.


7 La cochinita

Los tacos

30 30


El mole

12 Los nopales


El tequila

14 La nogada


1 La michelada

The Best Mexican Food Groceries


11 Las enchiladas

13 Las tortillas

Los frijoles

available in the UK

4 El guacamole


La paloma


El pastor


Los chiles



Casita Andina, Soho Stepping into the cosy second floor room of a creaky house, tucked away in one of Soho’s narrow streets, it’s easy to imagine being welcomed into a Cusco home with the colourful Andean textiles lifting the spirits.

This is exactly the effect Martin Morales wants to produce with this latest chapter of his Peruvian gastronomical adventure. ‘Casita’ is inspired less by the fashionable Nikkei and Peruvian haute cuisine, and more by his grandmother’s cooking. Though most people expect to eat ceviche in a Peruvian restaurant, we were drawn to the menu of elaborate and original meat dishes, in this cold winter’s night. The Short Rib Escalopada, braised beef with flamed scallop carpaccio, chilli gelée and spicy potato purée, was so deliciously intense that we cleaned it up in a flash and were about to ask for another one. Luckily, with the portions being tapas sized, the Pato Santiago (braised smoked duck leg) swiftly appeared, this time with an incredible butter bean and pumpkin purée, as delicious as the meat was succulent. A third delicious meaty morsel followed sweatbreads in dark beer sauce – tormenting our tastes buds into ordering yet another meat dish– the Annato-marinated lamb accompanied by uchucuta herbs and cancha powder. The magic here is in the rich sauces and their secret ingredients, as well as the excellent purées and other wonderfully original accompaniments; we couldn’t get enough of the peanut and chilli dip that came with the roasted potato chips. The above was of course washed down with plenty of Pisco sours, which I would recommend over the fancier cocktails on the menu. And so we emerged from Soho’s little Peruvian cottage, happily immune to the prospect of a cold ride home on the Vespa. It was indeed the perfect Andean antidote to a London winter’s night.

Casita Andina, 31 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LP. Tel: 020 3327 9464


Bar Esteban, Crouch End Suddenly, I feel like a sherry. Which is strange when a. I never feel like a sherry and b. there is little obviously Spanish about this quirky abode, tucked away in North London no-man’s land. But there is a warmth, despite the sparse décor, that is immediately relaxing. Less seems to be more here, especially when Naroa, Esteban’s infectious hostess, fills the bare-bricked space with life, amidst the fairy lights. The menu beckons with both classic Spanish dishes and others with a distinctive sense of adventure. I would recommend venturing out of your padrón peppers comfort zone, for the more unusual dishes are truly outstanding. We opted for pig’s cheek croquetas, which were really something special, and a divine courgette flower stuffed with goats cheese, tingling with a dash of honey. The arroz negro with crab is definitely the star of the show, the white meat sitting on a moist bed of soft black rice. The lamb cutlets were juicy and its aubergine puree full of flavour. And the chorizo with lentils and migas, were spectacular tasting; a gastronomic dark horse. One gets the sense that something just clicks in this place. The food, though a little pricey, certainly delivers on both taste and ambition. Of course what tips the bill over the edge is the luxurious array of sherries and desert wines, which are much too tempting to resist, especially when the food is so good. I would highly recommend holding back on a few olives and salted almonds to indulge in the deliciously smoky-sweet manzanilla en rama. Above all, one gets the sense of a team having fun. The Scottish owner Stephen (aka Esteban) has certainly chosen well in his Catalan executive chef Pablo Rodriguez (previously at Michelin starred Jean luc Figueras) and the effervescent Basque manager Naroa. Indeed, something must be working, with a sister, Escosesa, in Stoke Newington and talk of a third child. “Perhaps we’ll call her Naroa” Stephen says, with a touch of recklessness. What the hell, it’s recession time, give me another sherry.

Bar Esteban 29 Park Rd, London N8 8TE. Tel: 020 8340 3090






Latin Culture has hit the high street in a big way, but how do you tell the quality from the crass? Here’s our definitive directory of London’s best Latin and Spanish eats, drinks and clubs.


105-107 Southgate Rd, N1 3JS

Buen Ayre


La Patagonia

31 Camden High St, NW1 7JE

50 Broadway Market, Hackney


Casa Malevo

Santa Maria del Sur

23 Connaught St, W2 2AY


52 Tanner St, SE1 3PH


176 Upper Street, N1


60-62 Brick Ln, E1 6RF


Priory House, 10 Kingsgate Pl, NW6 4TA


159 High St, NW10 4TR

129 Queenstown Rd, SW8 3RH

Made in Brasil

La Pampa


4 Northcote Rd, SW11 1NT


Various locations

12 Inverness St, NW1 7HJ 38 Lexington St, Soho, W1F 0LL

Rodizio Preto

73 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, W1D 6LN 0LL

Sabor Brasileiro

639 Harrow Rd, NW10 5NU Cabana in Covent Garden

Cabana Gaucho

Various locations including Covent Garden, Brixton and Stratford

Tia Maria

126 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1KB


1024 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, NW10 5NN



3 Bell Lane, E1 7LA

Na Brasa

2 Colham House, Bakers Rd, Uxbridge UB8 1RG


5 Langley Street, WC2H 9JA

El Muro

259 Muswell Hill Broadway, N10 1DE


Various locations, check

Santo Remedio

152 Tooley St, SE1 2TU

La Bodega Negra 10 Old Compton Street, W1D 4


103 Hampstead Road, London NW1 3EL

Boho Mexica

151-153 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ

Viva! Dalston

2 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XN

Casa Morita

9 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB




17 Frith Street, London W1D 4RG

Ceviche Old St

2 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU

Various locations, check

Crazy Homies

125 Westbourne Park RD, W2 5QL


Ceviche Old St.

La Taqueria




Casita Andina


141-145 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS 16 Stoke Newington, Church Street, Hackney, N16 0LU


1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ 31 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LP

118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NW 4-6 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG

Señor Ceviche

18 Charlotte Street, London, Covent Garden, W1T 2LZ

Tierra Peru

164 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LY


31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1JH

Lima Floral Taco con mole @Mezcal Cantina

14 Garrick Street (Entrance On Floral Street), WC2E 9BJ




El Parador

Dishes from Pisqu

245 Eversholt Street, Camden Town, NW1 1BA El Pirata

El Pirata

5-6 Down Street, Mayfair, W1J 7AQ


23 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1HZ


La Rueda Barrica

62 Goodge Street, W1T 4NE

66 Clapham High Street, Clapham, SW4 7UL

Bilbao Berria

Mar I Tierra

2 Lower Regent Street, Mayfair, London SW1Y 4LR

14 Gambia Street, Waterloo, SE1 0XH

4 Panton Street, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4DL



Various locations, check

34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE

Angels and Gypsies


29-33 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR


Various locations, check



Salvador and Amanda

110 Whitfield Street, W1t 5ED

Ban Esteban

25 Ganton Street, W1F 9BP


29 Park Road, Crouch End, N8 8TE

67 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington N16 0AR


El Molino

43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AJ

379 Holloway Road, N7 0RN

67 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PH

8 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7JA

La Albufera

Melia White House, Albany Street, NW1 3UP


2 Eccleston Place, SW1W 9NE



La Fonda de Maria 273A Clapham Rd, London SW9 9BQ

Leños y Carbon

113 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB

Cambio de Tercio

Marlon’s Kitchen

163 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW5 0LJ


Little Havana (Cuban) 20 Inverness Street, NW1 7HJ

Gabeto (Latin)

Unit 23 The Stables Market, NW1 8AH

Embargo (Mexican) 533 Kings Road, SW10 0TZ

Salsa Temple (Tropical)

96 Charing Cross Rd, WC2R 2PH

Chotto-Matte (Nikkei) Tapas Revolution

Tapas Revolution

Various locations, check


54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, WC1N 3LW

Don Pepe

99 Frampton Street, Marylebone, NW8 8NA


Marlon’s Kitchen

Supper Club, for next event

WHERE TO DRINK Cubana (Cuban)

59-61 Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HA Cubana in Farringdon

Costa Azul

102A Rockingham St, SE1 6PG

La Bodeguita

Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Walworth Rd, SE1 6TE

Made in Brasil Boteco (Brazilian)

48 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ


7-12 Sloane Square, Chelsea, SW1W 8EG

Cartel (Tequila Bar)

519 Battersea Park Rd, SW11 3BN

Capote y Tores (Ham and Sherry Bar)

El Rancho De Lalo

Village Market, 94-95 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PS

11-13 Frith Street, London W1D 4RB

Benitos-Hat (Burritos and Margaritas)

Various locations, check

Guanabana (Latin Caribbean)

85 Kentish Town Rd, NW1 8NY

157 Old Brompton Road SW5 0LJ

38 @CabanaBrasil CabanaBrasil CabanaTV CabanaBrasil


WHERE TO PARTY Mondays @ Tiger Tiger

One of the longest running Brazilian nights 54 The Mall, London N22 6YQ

Tuesdays @ Salsa Temple

Two rooms of banging full on Latin party until 2am. Temple Place, London WC2R 2PH

Wednesdays @ Nomad

Semba/Kizomba all the way 58 Old St, London EC1V 9AJ

Wednesdays @ Bar Salsa

METROLATINA is Londons longest running weekly Salsa night with free intro salsa and bachata classes Venue: Bar Salsa, 96 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JG

Classes @ Metrolatina

Thursdays @ La Pollera 

The Latinos’ Latin dance club  4 London Bridge St, London SE1   

Fridays @ Gabeto 

The Cuban spirit lives on in North London  Unit 23 The Stables Market, London NW1 8AH     


Saturdays @ Bar Salsa

Central London’s Latin place to be 96 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG

Saturdays @ K-Che

Pure flavour in Latin London’s heartland 516 Old Kent Rd, London

Saturdays @ Salsa City @ Nollywood

For the true Salseros… 319 Camberwell Rd, London SE5 0HQ

Cuban Sundays @ Salsa Temple

Jorge Andre’s kicking Cuban night with classes, Temple Place, London WC2R 2PH

MONTHLY PARTIES Chincha Sundays @ Ceviche Old St.

Sunday afternoon Afro Peruvian session - the only one of it’s kind in the UK and led by percussionist Kieffer Santander + full band + DJs. Special Afro Peruvian food menu selected by Martin Morales. For the hipsters into cool Latin vibes 2 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU

La Bomba @ O2 Academy Islington, Every Second Friday, 11pm-5am Celebrating 11 years in the biz, La Bomba is the UK’s pioneering Reggaetón party and longest running urban latin night, with a monthly residency at the O2 Academy Islington. With the charts finally reflecting what this party has known for years that reggeatón is the most danceable music on the planet - La Bomba is more popular than ever. This group of All-Star Latin DJs know their stuff and work this accessible, fresh, and loyal but discerning crowd into a frenzy the second Friday of every month. Location: 16 Parkfield St, London N1 0PS


FEBruary-MARCH Feb 9, 11pm-4am

February 16



Welcome to the UK’s longest running Urban Latin night and number one Reggaetón party, now with a residency at the O2 Academy Islington. London’s elite reggaetón DJ’s work the crowd into a frenzy every month with the latest reggaetón releases and old classics, this time with a romantic twist.

Congolese Soukous meets Salsa in Grupo Lokito. Suported by Colombian DJ Edna Martinez who’s currently taking Berlin by storm with her Tropical Pico parties..

La Bomba’s PreValetine’s Special

Location: O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1 0PS Monday 12 February Doors 7pm

Grupo Lokito + Edna Martinez

Location: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ 21 to 25 Feb

Stardust: A leaf. A line. A life.

Natalia Lafourcade



Selling out its original run at Southwark Playhouse for CASA Latin American Theatre Festival 2017, Stardust shines an unflinching light on Colombia’s heart of darkness, telling the tale that turns a coca leaf, sacred to indigenous communities in Latin America, into a line of cocaine on a mirror in the western world.

The innovative, Grammywinning singer/songwriter makes her London debut, weaving sounds from her native Mexico with elements of jazz, rock, bossa nova and folk. She pays tribute to Latin American folk music in Musas, through recordings and videos that exemplify her maturity as a collaborative artist. Location: Koko, 1A Camden High Street, NW1 7JE

February 14-25

Flamenco Festival London Dance Sadler’s Wells’ renowned annual season of flamenco dance and music returns. In a fortnight featuring 12 unique shows and film screenings, audiences will be able to enjoy performances from some of the world’s most outstanding flamenco talent. Location: Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R


Location: The Vaults Launcelot St, Lambeth, London SE1 7AD February 23

Love Carnival presents El Búho Clubbing Producer El Búho makes his London club debut with his blend of Latin American rythmns and melodies with digital sounds and bass. Followed by Love Carnival DJs & MC Fedzilla’s Tropical riddims, Global Bass, Dancehall & Carnival sounds. Location: @ Total Refreshment Centre, Unit 1, Groundfloor Foulden road, N16 7UU

February 28 - March 17

Tango After Dark Dance

An intimate and sensual performance with exquisitely danced choreography to the wonderful rhythms of the great Astor Piazzolla. Tango superstar German Cornejo leads his superb dance company of 10 world-class Argentinean dancers in this mesmerising new show. Location: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT March 2-3

DEODATO Music Legendary Brazilian-born keyboardist, arranger and producer, Eumir Deodato best known for his brilliant theme tune to 2001: A Space Odyssey (a Latin-tinged take on Strauss’ classic theme) makes a welcome return to Ronnie’s. Location: Ronnie Scott’s 47 Frith St, London, W1D 4HT


19 New Row London WC2N 4LA 020 7240 5815 12 Great Castle St. London W1W 8LR 020 7436 6709

12-14 St John St. London EC1M 4NT 020 7490 4727

4-6 Market Square Bromley BR1 1NA 020 8460 2070

56 Goodge St, Fitzrovia London W1T 4NB 020 7637 3732

Social, Westgate Oxford OX1 1NU 018 6520 1268

Kings Cross station Pancras Rd. London N1 9AP 020 7812 1304

MARCH-april Friday 30 March 10pm-5am

Love Carnival x Guacamayo Tropical Clubbing

Friday March 9

La Bomba Anniversary party Clubbing Celebrating 11 years as the UK’s pioneering and leading Urban Latin club night, with Guest DJ Santarosa (Dj City). The one and only original Reggaetón party, with a permanent residency at Islington’s 02 Academy, playing the latest reggaetón releases and classice to an accessible, young and friendly mixed Latin and non-Latin crowd. Location: O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, London N1 0PS www.

Love Carnival hosts Madrid’s finest exponents of Cumbia and Tropical beats, Guacamayo Tropical, who merge spread Latin-American traditional sounds with new rhythms. Location: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST Easter Sunday 1 April

Easter Extravaganza Bank Holiday Allnighter Dance Festival 4 rooms • 7 shows • 10 Djs • 24 Masterclasses. The UK’s Biggest Latin Clubnight returns featuring THE WORLDS MOST FAMOUS BACHATA ARTIST - Jorge Ataca Burgos, star of motion picture SHINE. Location: Scala, 275 Pentonville Rd King’s Cross, London Friday 13 April, 10pm-4am

La Bomba Soundclash


Friday 20 April 7.30pm

Sonorama: Latin American Composers in Hollywood Music Mexican Institute of Sound joins a host of special guests for a special tribute to the Southern California sojourns of artists such as Juan García Esquivel, Lalo Schifrin, Maria Grever, and Johnny Richards, all of whom found their way into legendary Hollywood recording studios and onto screens large and small. Location: Barbican Hall Silk St London EC2Y 8DS Saturday 21 April, 9pm-2am

Muévete Clubbing

Movimientos’ Cal Jader and guests with Latin beats from heavy Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton & Merengue mashed up with Brazilian rhythms, Soca, Afrobeats, Dancehall and Tropical Bass at this monthly night on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Location: Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JQ


Saturday March 10

Movimientos presents Wara + Sofree Music Another packed night of live music and fresh Latin beats welcoming the mighty Cuban-London powerhouse Wara plus Sofree who play Neo Soul, and Jazz with Afro Cuban beats in support + Movimientos DJs until 3am. Location: Hootananny Brixton, 95 Effra Road, SW2 9DF

It’s Old School Vs New School at the UK’s premier Latin event and longest-standing Reggaetón clubnight, with one of its legendary soundclashes. For 11 years, La Bomba pioneered the scene the music would later explode over Europe and around the world and is home to a loyal crowd of reggaetón fans. Location: O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, London N1 0PS

Saturday 21 April 7.30pm

Gisela Joao Music

Considered one of today’s most important interpreters of fado, Gisela exploded on the scene in 2013 and soon after was awarded the nation’s highest musical honour, the “Prémio Amália” awards, for Best New Artist. Location: Union Chapel, 19b Compton Terrace, N1 2UN



Sunday 29 April 7.30pm

Mexrrissey: La Reina is Dead Music

Thursday 26 April Doors 7pm Monday 23 April Doors 7.30pm

Ariwo + Soundspecies (live) Music

The band brings together Pouya Ehsaei and three of London’s most influential Cuban musicians: Hammadi Valdes, Yelfris Valdes; and godfather of London’s Cuban scene, Oreste Noda. Ariwo pushes beyond traditional Cuban and Iranian identity, creating a unique and universal sound. Location: Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ

Ana Tijoux: Roja y Negro Music Considered one of the most respected rappers in any language, Ana has established a standard not only for female rappers or for rap in Spanish, but for rap itself at a global level. In her new project Roja y Negro: canciones de amor y desamor, Ana has made a change in sound and style, exploring a more intimate side dedicated to love and heartbreak. Location: The Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG

Having circled the globe spreading the #MexMoz love, playing sold out shows from Manchester to Los Angeles and Sydney to Buenos Aires, Mexrissey return with new arrangements, mariachi suits, films and swagger. La Reina is Dead opens a new chapter for the Mexican reyes and their songs of love loss and longing. Location: Barbican Hall, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS Monday 30 April Doors 7pm

La Pegatina Music

Party with a capital P. La Pegatina’s live show is quintessentially and energetically Catalonian. Masters of frenzied rhythms and catchy sing-along choruses, they combine Latin rhythms, lively urban rumba, ska and punk, with infectious lyrics in Spanish, Catalan and French. Location: Electric BrixtonTown Hall Parade, SW2 1RJ

Friday 27 April 7.30pm Wednesday 25 April 7.30pm

Eliades Ochoa Music

Orchestra Baobab Music

Considered one of the most important Cuban musicians of all time, Eliades achieved worldwide recognition with the Buena Vista Social Club. For this show he uses traditional Cuban instruments such as the marimba and botijuella: Latin American folk sound in its purest style. It will feature special guests who will add a touch of blues to the mix.

West Africa’s most iconic band, steeped in Afro-Cuban traditions, rightfully take their place in London’s Latin Music Festival. Almost half a century since their formation, Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab has returned with a timeless set of classic, swaying tunes in the group’s trademark style fusing Afro-Cuban rhythm and Portuguese Creole melody with Congolese rumba and high life. Expect some special surprises.

Location: Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP

Location: Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS

Monday 30 April 7.30pm

Jorge Drexler Music

The Uruguayan troubadour returns with his album Salvavidas de Hielo, His profoundly literate lyrics are supported by the clever acoustic samba/candombé that made his name. Location: Cadogan Hall 5 Sloane Terrace SW1X 9DQ


If you were stranded on a desert island, which tracks would you absolutely need, to get you through those times of despair? Man cannot live on sun and fish alone right? Our castaway, J Balvin, one of Latin America’s hottest urban pop acts right now, puts in his requests for musical salvation... 1. ‘El Cantante’ sung by Hector Lavoe (written by Rúben Blades 1978)…” This was the music we grew up listening to, with lyrics so real and deep, full of meaning and pain. When I die, I want this song sung at my funeral” 2. ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana (1991)… “When I heard this track it blew my mind and made me want to learn the guitar. In fact it was the first guitar song I learned to play.” 3. ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica (1991) “This was the day I fell in love with Metallica…forever.” 4. No Scrubs’ by TLC (1999)… “Wow, wow, woo those melodies , the use of the guitar and the video are all fantastic” 5. ‘Smooth Criminal’ by Michael Jackson (2001)… “This one opened my eyes to the power of dancing videos and entertainment alongside quality music.”

6. ‘Gangster Paradise’ by Coolio (2006)… “This was the beat and the melody that made me fall in love with Hip-hop” 7. ‘I’m Da Club’ by 50 Cent…” “50 made me want to be a Hip Hop star lol” 8. ‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin and Willy William… ”This is the one where we switched the game”











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Latino Life Winter 2018  

Latino Life Winter Guide 2018

Latino Life Winter 2018  

Latino Life Winter Guide 2018