International Playwrights: A Genesis Foundation Project
28 Sep-21 Oct
By Guillermo Calderón Translated by William Gregory
A play by Guillermo Calderón whose recent work includes the award-winning film NERUDA. The acclaimed Chilean writer makes his Royal Court debut with the world premiere of B, a new play exploring what revolutionary violence means to two different generations. “Guillermo Calderón is an authentic genius of the theatre.” The New Yorker
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I S S U E N0.15 Autum n 2017
WELCOME TO We’re still recovering from the plethora of Latin hits that dominated the sound waves this summer – with ‘Despacito’ breaking records around the world (I know, we’re done with that one too) and four Spanish language tunes together in the UK top 20 for the first time ever. The question remains: have UK listeners really discovered how good Latin music is and don’t care if they can’t understand the words? Or will the craze all blow over, rendering ‘Despacito’ like all the other Latin hits that came and went without leaving a trace? These are the questions we ask and try to answer in our feature article. Once we got going, we couldn’t stop…we just had to do a timeline of Latin Hits, dig up the most shocking one-hit Latin wonders (even though we’d rather they remain well buried), predict the future Latin hit makers and, of course, pay tribute to the trailblazers of Latin music, who made in-roads into the English speaking market long before their time. We loved doing this issue – which turned out to be our most quintessential Latin music edition to date - and we hope you enjoy reading it! Amaranta Wright, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT SECTION: Latin Hotlist, News and Gossip
LA GALERIA: Livin’ the Latin vibe
INTERVIEW: Gilberto Santa Rosa
MUSIC FEATURE: Just One More Lonely Latin Hit? The Phenomenon of Despacito and Reggeatón pop
THE TRAILBLAZERS: The ones who made Latin hits possible
ONE HIT WONDER SHOCKERS: Painful but Necessary
THE NEW HITMAKERS: Ones to Watch Out for
THE LATIN HIT TIME LINE
TOP TEN: Latin Jazz
UK Latin Chefs’ reveal their favourite dishes
WHAT’S ON: Your listings guide to Latin London
REVIEWS: The UK’s Latest Latin CDs
35 Latinolife is produced by: Editor: Amaranta Wright • Music Editor: Jose Luis Seijas Film Editor: Corina Poore • Listings Editor: Lewis Bakeman • Designer: Antonella Perreca
www.latinolife.co.uk • twittercom/latinolifeuk • facebook.com/LatinoLifeWeb
THE LATIN HOT LIST
It’s been a labour of love for this passionate independent outfit making Latin American sauces. But the hard work is now paying off with distribution in Sainsbury’s and a ‘Great Taste’ award for its Mexican Chilli and Honey sauce. Based on Puerco al horno con salsa de chile ancho y miel, Capsicana use chipotle and ancho poblano chilli peppers as well as honey, which has featured in Mexican cooking ever since Mayans believed that a native stingless bee had been given to them by one of their gods to link them to the spirit world. No artificial colourings or flavourings, gluten free, non GM. www.capsicana.co.uk
Latin Film Fever
Colombian Ceramics Maria Cabrera’s style is influenced by her Colombian upbringing in the 70s and the six months she spent on a glazing scholarship in Nagoya, Japan. Now based in London, all Maria’s pieces are hand made – thrown or slab built, fired, and then decorated individually before being fired again, so each piece is unique.”I love the combination of colour, design and technique,” says Maria. “My wish is to make things that are both beautiful and useful.” www.mariacabrera.uk
It’s that time of year again when film buffs start salivating, and this year’s London Film Festival has its usual crop of Latin talent. From Argentina comes Santiago Mitre’s ‘The Summit’, Diego Lerman’s ‘A Sort Of Family’ and ‘Zama’ by Lucrecia Martel. Brazil offers ‘Araby’ dir, Affonso Uchoa and ‘Good Manners’ by Juliana Rojas while Colombia comes up with the goods this year with Samir Oliveros’ ‘Bad Lucky Goat’. Don’t miss Humberto Solas’ restored Cuban classic ‘Lucía’ depicting key stages in the country’s struggle for liberation, through the eyes of three women named Lucía. And there couldn’t be a film festival without Mexican contributions, this time in the form of ‘Devils Freedom’ by Everardo Gonzalez and ‘Aprils Daughter’ by Michel Franco. www.whatson.bfi.org.uk
Craft, Technique and Glamour
Finally a shop that showcases Latin Ameri ca’s spec tacular fashion. On this site you’ll find talented designers from all over the continent including Ecuador’s Ximena Kavalekasm, Argentine father and son duo Julio and Luciano’s Perez Sanz and Escudo from Peru, whose garments evoke the pastel beauty of the country’s coastal landscape. We think Londoners will particularly like Angelica Balanta’s stunning Afro-Colombian turbans, Venezuelan Efrain Mogollon’s beautiful ruffled skirts and blouses or Mexican Yakampot’s Colonial-style yet timeless linen shirts and dresses. www.cooperativashop.com
Back at No. 1
Just when they’d written him off, Rafael Nadal, is back at no.1 overcoming years of injury to prove he’s not just one of the greatest tennis players of all time; he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time. After five years since being at the top, with injuries and mental struggles making his return more unlikely, the Spanish bull snatched the no.1 spot for the fourth time only Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe have had more weeks at no.1 - and about to barge his way to London’s 02 for the ATP Masters Finals in November.
Summer of Historic Hit-Making
This really was the summer that Latin music took over the world. With Despacito’s 11-week reign over the UK charts, Puerto Rican duo Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi created the UK’s longest-running foreign language #1. It went on…by August it became the most streamed song in history, blasting away the Adeles, Sheerans and Biebers of this world. And by September, more reggeatón tracks were charting - Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Subeme la radio’, and J Balvin’s ‘Mi Gente’ and Little Mix/CNCO ‘s ‘Reggeatón Lento’ - making it the first time ever that four Spanish-language songs appeared in the UK’s Top 20 at the same time. A game changer, us thinks.
Not one, not two but three fantastic and diverse Latin festivals hit London this summer. La Clave Fest, London’s largest free Latin music and arts festival, kicked the summer off with a fantastically diverse programme, showcasing the UK’s upcoming Latin talents. Next came London’s first ever Reggeatón Fest, with Daddy Yankee and Ozuna pumping out the dembow at Wembley. Having had their fill of perrea, London’s adrenalin-fuelled Latinos flocked to the 02 to fill their tanks of bachata, berengue and rock with Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes headlining its first ever attempt at a Latin festival Hola London! So the new wave of Latin hit-makers have a new generation of exciting Latin festivals to feed the capital’s craving. Bring on the 2018 season!
It was surely a day of mixed emotions for Venezuelans when Yulimar Rojas claimed their first-ever World Athletics Championships gold, winning the women’s triple jump by two centimetres from Colombian Caterine Ibarguen in a tense see-saw battle. The 21-year-old’s win came one day after Venezuela won its first medal of any colour when Robeilys Peinado took the bronze in the women’s pole vault. Inevitably, President Maduro tried to claim the glory (what ‘golden generation’ Mr Maduro?) just like the Argentine dictators did after the albacelestes’ 1978 World Cup victory. But let’s not let politics dampen the incredible achievement of two women, who are a credit to the Ven ezuelan spirit and its battle against adversity. An inspiration to all Venezuelans in these hard times?
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Celebrating his 40 years in the music industry with a world tour, Gilberto Santa Rosa shows no sign of slowing down. Jose Luis Seijas caught up with the Puerto Rican icon to discover that the rumours were true: he really is ‘The Gentleman of Salsa,’ as often referred to - the nice guy of Latin music. There have been a lot of salsa singers, but only a few have become living icons of Latin music. Some of them have a great catalogue of productions but are not great performers. Some of them are great performers but have a weak discography. A lot of them have great voices but can’t really improvise - a trademark of any self respected sonero. Some of the great improvisers struggle with the more subtle notes of the bolero and slower songs. But Gilberto Santa Rosa has it all - the voice, the sonero chops, the live show and a discography of more than 35 solo albums (including six grammys) to back it all up. He’s accrued the adoration of millions of fans worldwide, from the hardcore salsero to the newbie salsa rookie plus the recognition and respect of his peers. Gilberto Santa Rosa is Salsa! Latino Life: You have been already recognised as one of the top salsa singers in history, but there are a lot of great salsa singers who have not been able to stay on top long. You are already on your 40th anniversary and still going strong, what is your secret!
Gilberto Santa Rosa: Well obviously there is the hard work and the years of commitment. But like you say, I have met people who are really talented and very hard working who unfortunately have not been able to maintain their careers for long. You have to take into consideration the people who have contributed to keeping us up there, who believe in what you do, that your work should be known and they help make that happen. Sometimes we artists believe that we discover music and that it is only us who make things happen. But I have been very lucky in that many people have helped me.
“if you were not up to scratch with your soneos…it could be the death of a singer.” LL: Your style of singing is very unique and distinctive. How has that changed since you started? GSR: Well when I first started I didn’t really have a style, I had no deep musical knowledge. I was young, I had talent and instinct but what I knew was very basic. So I started listening to the greats for ideas. For example as an improviser I looked to people like Cheo Feliciano, Chamaco Ramirez, Marvin Santiago…and I have to mention Justo Betancur. These guys made me go Whao! And from the singing side, the quality and interpretation, I have to say Andy Montanez, Pellin Rodriguez, Tito Rodriguez, obviously, Machito. I like Machito a lot, Miguelito Valdez, Benny Moré. I adapted those influences and worked them into my own style. I am always listening, always learning, even from my contemporaries. LL: Such as…? GSR: Of my contemporaries I would say Axel Martinez who sadly died very young. He was a great improviser and also a very good lyricist and you know what, I am glad this is the very first time I have the opportunity to mention him. I had a great admiration for him. There are people such as Cano Estremera who has an extraordinary capacity for improvisation, Jose Alberto “El canario” who has a very spontaneous style..even Oscar D’Leon who might not even be considered from the same age, we actually were talking the other day and found out that we pretty much started at the same time! Charly Aponte, Jerry Rivas are also great improvisers! Now we have in Puerto Rico a guy called Willito Otero, Juan Pablo Diaz.. and I am sorry I am just mentioning the Puerto Ricans ones, there are some fantastic singers from Colombia and Venezuela, also Panama and I apologise for not knowing all those names but yeah I like listening to loads of people… but hey, I just jumped a generation of soneros, Victor Manuel’s generation (laughs) I didn’t mean to! Victor Manuel also Michael Stuart those guys have a gift for improvisation!
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LL: You have an amazing discography, how have you managed to do that given the changes the music industry has gone through? GSR: A big part of my career and of anyone who is successful in this industry, if they are honest, is down to luck. I love recording and I think I have got better at it as years go by and I like it more than ever before. I have been privileged to record as a solo artist over 30 productions but it has been down to hard work, consistency, luck and the fact that I made recording an integral part of my career. Something that has been key in my career too is the fact that we Latinos have migrated around the whole world and taken their culture. Salsa dancing is popular everywhere, from Tokyo to Finland. That has allowed my music to get to parts of the planet that I never dreamed of reaching and has also allowed my music to stay relevant.
LL: Puerto Rico’s influence around the world in terms of music is really incredible; the ‘Despacito’ phenomenon, the reggaetón explosion, which must make you proud. But do you wish these young artists were singing salsa?
LL: If you had the chance to change what salsa sounds like today, what would you change?
GSR: I wouldn’t change a thing. When salsa started to change around 30 years ago, with the popularity of Romantic salsa, the purists were outraged, but this change brought benefits, because it rejuvenated the genre. The problem now is different and has to do with a changing industry. There are so many media platforms and so much going on, that it’s more difficult to be heard as an artist. What was an advantage has become a disadvantage. There usual structure, the balance between the traditional media and the new social networks, is gone and artists and the industry are unsure about how to promote their music.
GSR: Ha ha! There a few of them who do have that singing talent and they have a lot of rhythm and expression that is vital in popular music. I recorded a duet with (reggeaton artist) Don Omar and was surprised to see Don doing it so well. He sang very well but also did really good when it came to the soneos (improvisations), so if Don Omar at any point would like to flirt with salsa he could do it and be successful. The problem is with the live performances. You know with all that technology they can make you sound great on record but when it comes to live (laughs)…but I have seen some of them live I say to myself “Caramba” that kid has the talent to make a career as a salsero.
“A big part of my career, and of anyone who is successful in this industry, if they are honest, is down to luck” LL: Indeed the soneo (improvisation) seems to be a dying art and good ones are timeless! In the past the soneo was a fundamental part of great salsa, but is that true now?
Continues on page 45...
14Just Just Another Another Lonely Lonely
Latin Hit? We’ve seen it before, the querky pop tune with a tropical feel that gets under the UK’s skin for a while. Every so often they hit this cold little island, create a Latin craze and then disappear. In the nineties we had ‘Mambo no.5’ and ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ and in the noughties we had ‘Gasolina’. So is this summer’s Latin hit ‘Despacito’ any different? Amaranta Wright thinks so, and explores what the record-breaking song says about the changing nature of the music industry. The UK is notoriously stubborn when it comes to embracing music in another language. No matter how catchy the tune, consumers can never quite bring themselves to take it seriously. It may move the stiffest hips, some even find themselves singing along, but it will never quite escape that damning adjective ‘cheesy’ and surpass the ironic inference, to acquire the perception of coolness. One cannot help think that this time, however, things are different. The eleven week chart reign of ‘Despacito’ featuring Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi, has been already followed by another Latin track at no.14 ‘Subeme la radio’ (Enrique Iglesias and Zion and Lennox) and J Balvin’s ‘Mi Gente’ at no.12. The UK’s biggest girl band Little Mix has even teamed up with Latin boy band CNCO to chart ‘Reggeatón Lento’. It’s the first time ever that four Latin songs have appeared in the UK’s Top 20 at the same time.
So what's different this time?
The word on everyone’s lips is ‘streaming’. ‘Despacito’ is officially the most viewed song in Internet history, accruing more than 3bn views on YouTube. The Puerto Rican hit was already no.1 for four weeks in the UK before Radio 1 (the UK’s traditional hit-maker) even played the song. It flew over the heads of mainstream radio and, as if not knowing what to make of it, the only media coverage referred not to the value of the song itself, but to the viral phenomenon. “Thanks to streaming services, Latin hits now have more visibility in countries that previously might have ignored them,” wrote the Guardian in a brief article. There was no analysis of the song or interview with the artists (Fonsi was erroneously referred to as a reggeatón artist), perhaps for fear of drawing attention to the obvious; that gone are the days of traditional media influence over music consumption.
Why and how did this happen?
Looking back, you can understand why those one-hit-wonder ‘Latin’ tracks never led to anything; they weren’t authentic expressions of their genre. ‘Mambo no.5’ was a parody of a genre sung by a German, and Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ was a bi-lingual pop product packaged for export. Both these hits were, in different ways, driven by the music industry and their collaborating media. They were anomalies that expressed nothing deeper. By contrast, ‘Despacito’ expresses something much deeper: Latin America’s great pop-writing tradition, the authentic and appealing beat of the Latin Caribbean, oh, and the power of YouTube.
The Bigger Picture It’s not the first time that authentic Latin music has caused a stir in the UK. Remember Buena Vista Social Club? Those cool Cuban dudes who produced sounds that mesmerized the world? Yet, essentially, the Buena Vista CD was confined to the book shelves of the middles classes. “For me, there are two waves of Latin music success that set the precedent for what we saw this summer,” says Jose Luis Seijas, the UK’s leading urban Latin DJ. “Buena Vista and ‘Gasolina’, the first authentic Latin urban pop track that became a UK hit (2005), but this wave we have now is more likely to stay because there is a bigger picture going on.” That bigger picture is the mainstream success that urban Latin music is enjoying, not only across Europe but across the globe, in the clubs, on the radios, and of course online. ‘Despacito’ topped the charts in nearly 50 countries, the most viewed and liked YouTube video ever; more than Adele and Katy Perry. And the track was well on its way to being a global hit before Justin Bieber jumped on the bandwagon.
Latin music experts suggest that global audiences have been groomed to receive a pop-reggaetón song after years of dancing to ‘tropical’ beats. DJ Jose Luis has seen the change on dance floors all over Europe, from the UK to Spain, where Latin tracks, once dismissed as folksy, are being embraced like never before. “In Spain, Latin music has gone from making summer anthems (canciones de verano) to being the nation’s pop music all year round. In clubs in London, it’s the Spanish and Asian kids who are asking for J Balvin, not Latinos. Sometimes, I get the impression that Spaniards think reggeatón their music. They sing the lyrics like they are their own.”
According to Wayne Marshall, an ethnomusicologist who teaches music history at Berklee College of Music, this sense of ownership or familiarity can be partly credited to the wide use of tropical beats in pop tunes of the last 10 years. In a recent article in Vulture he claims: “Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, released earlier this year, owes dancehall reggae money. Ariana Grande’s ‘Side to Side’ sounds an awful lot like it was built atop a subtle rearrangement of Junior Reid’s “One Blood.” Jose Luis Seijas adds that Clean Bandit’s ‘Rockabye’, Major Lazor’s ‘Lean On’ and Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Fester Skank’ more directly employed reggeatón beats.
“It’s the Spanish and Asian kids who are asking for J Balvin, not Latinos. They sing the lyrics like they are their own.” Jose Luis Seijas Jose Luis, who pioneered reggeatón in Europe with his now legendary club night, La Bomba, suggests it was simply a question of time: “Latin America has been making great pop for years. And reggeatón pop is easy for DJs to play because it’s soulful, accessible, but also edgy because it has that street element.” He adds: “Globally, Latin pop artists are the new movers and shakers; these are cool guys who Justin Bieber wants to hang out with and make tracks with. And that’s the bottom line; there is nothing to be ironic about anymore. There is no gimmick element to it.” Indeed in ‘Despacito’, reggeatónero Daddy Yankee and seasoned pop act Luis Fonsi (who may have previously thought reggeatón risky) make a perfect duo; Fonsi helped make reggeatón more palatable and Yankee maintained the tracks’ credibility for hard-core reggeatóneros.
More importantly, as Marshall explains, two crucial elements helped give ‘Despacito’ its universal appeal: the primal Jamaican and Puerto Rican ‘Dembow’ beat that drives the song, stems from one of the oldest Africanderived rythmns that has long threaded its way through the Americas. The second is ‘Despacito’s’ use of four of the most common chords in popular music over the last century. In essence ‘Despacito’s co-author, the Panamanian songwriter Erika Ender, who has contributed to over 40 hit singles in multiple markets, followed the harmonic pattern of a classic pop hit.
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Is beat more important than language? ‘Despite not being in English’ is the key phrase used by British media in its alarm at the success of Latin tracks. But we live in a global consumer society, where most people don’t speak English and perhaps even English consumers are less interested in riding the language high horse than the media thinks. ‘Despacito’ is only one of a host of Spanishlanguage reggeatón acts making chart history in recent years, including Enrique Iglesias (“Bailando” No. 8 spot with 2.3 billion views), Shakira at No. 24 (with one of her Spanish songs), J Balvin at No. 35, and Nicky Jam at No. 45 Marshall claims that YouTube is ushering in a new era in music consumption, where people are having a vote, and perhaps they don’t have the language prejudice that the media and record labels assumed they did when labels dictated what they listened to. He muses: “In a moment of resurgent isolationism and xenophobia, there is something reassuring about a popular vote that elevates Spanish to the US’ No. 1 language for most of Trump’s tenure to date.”
Andy Wood, who has been promoting Latin music in the UK for 30 years, comes to a similar conclusion. “It’s interesting that, at a time when Brexit is dominating the media, nonEnglish language music is the most popular in the UK. Maybe it’s a kind of a reaction against Brexit. Perhaps the music and lifestyle that reggaetón artists portray is attractive to people at the moment.”
“These are cool guys who Justin Bieber wants to hang out with and make tracks with…there is nothing to be ironic about anymore. There is no gimmick element to it.” Jose Luis Seijas It also helps, Wood points out, that reggeatón lyrics “are not very sophisticated.” Indeed, many have remarked on the catchiness of the word despacito, as key to the song’s success.
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Those who have followed reggeatón for years may already be growling at pop’s appropriation and sanitization of the genre. But they can also be reassured by the fact that one of its original creators, Daddy Yankee, is back at the top and reminding the industry that what recently made history is still reggeatón. “We’ve been on this wave for a long time. Now it feels good that the whole world gets to surf with us.”
“We’ve been on this wave for a long time. Now it feels good that the whole world gets to surf with us.” Daddy Yankee The new wave, is indeed an urban Latin wave, and although nobody can predict how long it will last Wood for one is reassured by “the longevity of reggaetón. It has been around for a while and different people are working with it now, and maybe that means it will be around for quite some time to come.”
The bigger question is, now Latin music is taking on a life of its own, how will the labels and music media, react? They had no role in creating the hype, but you can be sure as hell they’ll want to make a buck out of it. But can they keep up when it is consumers and not the industry that are ahead of the game? Wayne Marshall is the co-editor of ‘Reggaetón’ (Duke University Press, 2009). DJ Jose Luis runs the UK’s leading reggeatón website www.reggeaton.co.uk and La Bomba at 02 Academy www.labomba.uk. To get in touch: www.joseluis.co.uk Corina Poore contributed to this article
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It would be a crime to talk about hit making history without mentioning the Latin heavyweights whose music making reached foreign shores before its time, and would be used again and again by others, in order to make hits of the future.
José Feliciano Blind and Latino in the age of segregation, the odds couldn’t have been more stacked against this supremely gifted Puerto Rican guitarist and singer-songwriter. Yet, back in 1968 Jose Feliciano had not one but two hits – ‘Light my Fire’ and ‘The Sun will Shine,’ and then later another ‘Feliz Navidad’, which is still one of the most played Christmas songs ever. Feliciano was the first Latin musician to become a household name, but his career was severely damaged by the backlash from racist audiences after being chosen to sing the national anthem at the 1968 World Baseball Series, which he did beautifully. He was saved by the fact that every big artist continued to queue up to do duets with him and be touched by his genius. He remains an icon for serious music lovers, including Jools Holland, who invited the legend to tour with him this year.
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes Brazil’s Lennon and McCartney, this bossa nova duo wrote some of the greatest songs that emerged from Latin America. ‘La Garota de Ipanema’ (The Girl from Ipanema), released in 1964 in Portuguese, by Joao Gilberto
accompanied by Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz became a hit worldwide and reached UK #29, unprecedented for a jazz track in a foreign language. It is believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history, after “Yesterday’ by The Beatles, including by Amy Whinehouse.
Carlos Santana The Mexican-American guitarist emerged from the legendary 1969 Woodstock concert to become one of the first Latino crossover artists. By 1975 he had had multiple hits in the US such as ‘Oye Como Va’ and ‘Black Magic Woman’ and was already charting in the UK with his timeless ‘Samba Pa’Ti.’ Decades later 1999 album ‘Supernatural’ delivered several #1 hits in the US and 3 top 10 UK hits, including the megahits ‘Smooth’ and ‘Maria Maria.’ Recently, the guitar legend’s instantly recognizable guitar riffs were recruited by make the global and UK #1 hit ‘Wild Thoughts’ for DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.
Pérez Prado A titan of Latin music, the Cuban bandleader, singer, pianist and composer pioneered the Mambo craze that took over USA in the 1940s and 1950s. Known as the ‘Mambo King’, his Latinized version of the French song ‘Cherry Pink
and Apple Bossom White’ made #1 in 1955. Fifty years later Perez hit the #1 spot again, post-humously, when a German dressed up as him recorded his Mambo no.5.
Jorge Ben Everyone will have heard ‘Mas que Nada’ whether on an advert during the world cup or watching the animated film classic ‘Rio.’ The song has been a hit time and time again; from when originally recorded in 1962 (#34 in the US) to #4 in 1996 (US) with Sergio Mendes’s version. While it’s author Jorge Ben has been a prolific hit maker in Brazil, this song has been climbing the worldwide charts in different versions. Echobeatz reached #10 with a house version of it in 1998, and when Black Eyed Peas got their hands of Mendes to make the latest version it hit #6. No doubt it’ll make no.1 one day, meanwhile we hope the song has been making Ben some nice royalties.
Gilberto Gil A superstar in Brazil, this singer, musician and politician was exiled in London, and became a great influence on the underground music scene in London, together with Caetano Veloso. This was recognized a decade after he left the UK in a rare charting foreign language song ‘Toda Menina Baiana’ back in 1984.
One-Hit Latin Wonders British consumers love a bit of kitch, and there’s nothing like a foreign-ish song to give the drunken punters a laugh on the pub dance floor. From the pastiche to the parody, they were painful at the time, but now a dying genre, we can laugh at the most bizarre ‘Latino’ style songs ever.
‘Better Do It Salsa’ by The Gibson Brothers (1978) This is the song that drunken British dudes used to ask for in Latino clubs back in the 90’s. Given that the singers themselves sound like a bunch of drunks in a pub, it’s hardly surprising. What ‘doing it salsa’ actually means is still a mystery but you can be sure that some talentless local DJ will bring it out when he wants to get funky.
‘Everybody Salsa’ by Modern Romance (1981) Kind of the ‘Asereje’ of the 80s: a mega cheesy sing-along tune that would get every Brit in the house trying to do a conga. It spent ten painful weeks in the UK top 100, peaking at no. 12. This is what most UK people thought Latin music was about.
‘Asereje’ by Las Ketchups (2002)
‘Mi Chico Latino’ by Geri Halliwell (1999) Attempting to catch Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ wave, the former Spice Girl stripped off, jumped on a boat, and whispered to camera in terrible Spanish, “Donde esta el hombre con fuego en la sangre.” The next thing you know, not one, not two but six tanned Latinos in lycra have answered her call and appear out of nowhere to smother her in luuurv. She goes on:“Take me back to my sweet la vida, Find my love my dolce vita, Show me where I need to go, Donde esta mi Chico Latino.” Unbelievably it reached no.1. and is now a Karaoke favourite.
One Hit wonders las Ketchups brought us the globally loathed “Asereje”, which made it to Number 1 in the UK. It started a frenzy of British ladies out on hen nights moving their hands rather fast while trying to sing the diabolical chorus...“Sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí...”
‘Chacarron Macarron’ by ‘El Chombo’ Feat. Andy Val Gourmet (2006) Reggaetón meets mumble rap before mumble rap was invented. Nobody knows how this crime against music, in the form of cancion del verano infiltrating the UK Charts, reached number 20. But, tragically, it did. And even made it onto the years ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ compilation.
The new latin
Hit Makers Latino Life predicts who will be the Latin hit-makers of the next few years. These are the names to look out for.
Nacho Already a household name in the Latin urban world as part of the duet Chino & Nacho, the Venezuelan’s first solo song has been a massive hit. His capacity to write nice lyrics without loosing that Caribbean edge and his media friendly image makes him a strong contender in the next wave of Latin superstars.
I am Chino Pitbull DJ, Grammy-winning producer and young prodegé is in pole position to become the Latin answer to the American superstar DJs. At ease with EDM and reggaetón, IAMCHINO is already ranking up the views on YouTube with his hit “”Ay Mi Dios”!” and is poised to hit Europe hard in 2018.
Already one of the biggest reggaetón artists on the planet, Ozuna has not had a crossover hit yet, which is due to happen pretty soon, so expect to hear big American acts featuring Ozuna, and vice versa, in the near future.
Karol G Reggaetón has only had a small number of women getting any attention. That might change soon with Colombian Karol G. Talented and cool, she could be the first reggaetónera to make it big since Ivy Queen.
Bad Bunny Like Ozuna, Bad Bunny is already a massive name in Latin America, the leading light of the Latin ‘Trap’ movement. Without having recorded reggaetón by himself, the Puerto Rican is already to rapper to go when you want some street cred in your tune. Potentially the next big thing.
El Chacal A veteran of the Cuban reggaetón movement, El Chacal has legendary status on the Caribbean island. Now based in Miami, he has the chops to become a global star.
Yomil & Danny In Cuba these guys are as big as Gente de Zona and are about to explode onto the international scene. With a very unique production, we believe they’ll be the next big thing to come out of Cuba.
Feid One of the composers of the Mega Hit ‘Ginza’ with J Balvin, this is another Colombian already tasting fame. The guy has a knack for catchy hooks and girls love him, so he has a good chance to make it to the major leagues!
For more updates check out www.reggaeton.co.uk
ThE Latin HiT TIMELINE 1981
Julio Iglesias’ Begin the Beguine (Volver a Empezar)
Not even the strange translation couldstop Spain’s biggest export, global phe nomenon and all round ladies man finally snatching the UK #1.
‘No way Jose’, by Tequila
Peaking at #47, it deserves a mention because this Venezuelan singer, Victor Hugo, is the only UK based Latino who ever cracked the UK Top 50 in the UK charts.
Masters at Work present India ‘I Can’t Get No Sleep
Production duo Little Louie Vega and Kenny Dope’s biggest UK chart hit to date at #44, featuring young La India on vocals, a club classic that is still played in dance floors across the UK.
‘Don’t Wanna Lose You’ by Gloria Estefan
The Cuban born diva has been one of the most successful Latino crossover artists. Embraced by the UK in the eighties and nineties, she had 30 songs in the top 75 with this one reaching #6.
Macarena’ by Los del Rio
One of the most iconic examples of trashy 1990s dance music. Ranked #1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time” by VH1, the reworked “Macarena (Bayside Boys remix)” spent 14 weeks at #1in the U.S, one of the longest runs in chart history. In the UK it peaked at #2, kept off #1 by Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’.
Buena Vista Social Club
Album goes platinum in US and spends several weeks in #1. In the UK the CD and accompanying movie became middle class ‘must-haves’ of the year.
2001 ‘Hero’ by Enrique Iglesias
It’s #1 everywhere for Iglesias jr. with both single and album, 20 years after his father started his love affair with the world.
Rise of the Latin Divas
Two Latina crossover artists begin smashing UK charts. The first ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh) by Lumidee, is probably one of the most played songs in UK urban clubs and reached #2. Then half-Ecuadorian Christina Aguilera swiftly became Gloria Estefan of the noughties, with four UK #1s, ‘Beautiful’ being the most significant.
Livin’ la Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin
Souring to UK #1, this ground-breaking track paved the way for other Spanish-speaking artists (Enrique Iglesias then later Shakira) to crack the UK charts.
‘Mambo no.5’ by Lou Bega
Two years after the Buena Vista phenomenon, a German producer dressed like Compay Segundo shoots to #1 with Perez Prado’s Cuban classic. Strange, to say the least. Even stranger that two year’s later that children’s quintessential personality ‘Bob the Builder’s remix.
Urban Latin make a break
Two talented Latin rappers break the charts in eth same year: NORE’s ‘Nothin’ became a massive club tune that took him to #11 and Fat Joe’s ‘What’s Luv?’(featuring Ashanti) reached #4 and made Fat Joe a household name in the UK.
Daddy Yankee spends 3 weeks at #5 with the quintessential reggeatón track ‘Gasolina’. The first time a Latin artist tops the UK chart with an authentic Latin track fresh from Puerto Rico.
Reggeatón is the new Pop By now Pitbull has had 3 UK #1s and 13 Top Tens, ‘Give me Everything’ and ‘Timber’ being his biggest. Probably the most played Latino artist played in the UK radio…ever.
‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira Interestingly, whilst the Colombian had several pop hits in the UK, her first #1 came with her most tropical and reggeatóninfluenced track to date. In the same year.
You could say it was Cuban reggeatón act Gente de Zona, that made a waning Enrique Iglesias relevant again with ‘Bailando’, which shot to #1 in the US and #12 in the UK, and became a huge worldwide hit. A prime example of how LatinCaribbean flavour has added much needed spice to increasingly bland pop.
Unprecedented Latin Success
Jennifer Lopez ‘On the Floor’ Queen of the Nuyorican divas, this third UK #1 was a duet with Cuban reggeatón artist Pitbull.
The year it went crazy with ‘Despacito’ at UK #1 for 11 weeks. Then J Balvin with ‘Mi gente’,Enrique Iglesias (yes again) with ‘Subeme La radio’ and newcomers CNCO & Little Mix with Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos). Never before have four largely Spanish-language songs graced the UK’s Top 20. For the first time labels, radio and audiences agree on how great Latin music is!
From the early 19th century, the mutual fascination and connection between American Jazz musicians and the plethora of Latin American talent gave birth to a whole new world of music we now know as ‘Latin Jazz.’ With a heritage as mixed as London’s human landscape, Alex Wilson shared with us his passion for the genre.
Peruchín ‘Cuban Rhythms’
The original Latin Jazz pianist, Peruchin recorded this pioneering album in 1958 which includes interpretations of American jazz standards with a Cuban rhythm section. A kind of Cuban Nat King Cole on the piano. Vital listening for anyone interested in the history of latin jazz..
Belmonte & His Afro Latin 7 - ‘Olé!’ Cut in the 70’s and led pianist by Larry Harlow, this album takes up Peruchin’s baton. Back in 1994, I was given the Latin night at the (now closed) Jazz Bistro on Farringdon Rd. – a tiny club where we would start with polite “dinner latin” and by about 1am, all the musicians would descend from their gigs for jam session until sunrise. I used Belmonte tracks to drive my piano-led Afro-Cuban quartet.
Charlie Palmieri - ‘A Giant Step’ Brother of renowned pianist Eddie, Charlie Palmieri was THE virtuoso. This was the last album he recorded in 1984 before his death - an amazing display of virtuosity combined with tasteful playing and steeped in history and tradition. I always recommend this album to piano students who want to delve deeply into the playing tradition.
Arturo Sandoval - ‘Hothouse’ You want a big band latin jazz album? This is the one! Ridiculously expressive and dazzling arrangements and performances …as one would expect from this trumpet maestro.
Klimax - ‘Klimax & Friends’
Gonazalo Rubalcaba - ‘Mi Gran Pasion’
An early-career album recorded in the late 80’s from the Cuban who was to become a household name and the main reference for modern jazz. I love this album because it places traditional danzón and uses largely western classical instrumentation which later gave birth to cha cha cha and mambo and puts this elegant tradition in a modern postbop jazz context with Gonzalo tearing up the piano.
Ralph Irrizary ‘Best Kept Secret’
Recorded by New York/ Puerto Ricans in 2000 and featuring percussion royalty such as Giovanni Hidalgo and Roberto Quintero, you can hear salsa moderna with elements of Cuban timba but yet still very Puerto Rican and definitely rooted in New York jazz.
Recorded in 2002, when timba was still fairly new, this album is a great example of how far Cuban musicians can push the boat out. From the opening track which features traditional bata drums, lush orchestration, Kenny Garrattinspired saxophone solos to the middle of the expression train of the Torre de Cali, track you can hear these guys are on a mission!
Ivan “Melon” Lewis - Ayer y Hoy
This pianist performed at the London Latin Jazz Fest 2016 and I love this album. It is steeped in the Cuban tradition but yet very modern at the same time. A virtuoso performer, Ivan is not afraid to leave space where space is required which gives his music all that more impact.
Tony Martinez ‘Marferefun’
Led by this Cuban multiinstrumentalist based in Switzerland, the album features some of the best musicians from both sides of the Atlantic and from the outset you can hear how hard hitting this band is, not least with a piano solo on the first track by Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Other musicians include the “Cuban Jimi Hendrix” Dany Labana (aka Martinez), Brazilian bassist Dudu Penz and Cuban drum kit virtuoso Julio Barretto.
Antonio Arnedo Travesía
Led by the Colombian saxophonist, this intriguing album delves into the rich Colombian music traditions of cumbia, porro and currulao but with an amazing sense of space so much is implied rather than played. No piano on this album - rather a Pat Metheny-esque Ben Monder on guitar, which enhances the beautiful airy sound.
Alex Wilson will be playing a double show on Saturday October 21st as part of the London Latin Jazz Festival at Pizza Express Jazz Club, alongside vocalist Nolita Golding. For full programme visit www.londonlatinjazzfest.com
www.cabana-brasil.com @CabanaBrasil CabanaBrasil CabanaTV CabanaBrasil
La Cocina de Mamá
Latin Chefs and Foodies Reveal their Favourite Dishes Eduardo’s EnchiladasVerdes
Cocco’s Asado de Tira
When I was a child, we used to go every Sunday to visit my grandma, together with all my uncles, aunties and cousins. There were lots of dishes but my grandma would always make enchiladas verdes (green enchiladas) for me only! All my cousins were so jealous as I was her favourite (and still am!). Enchiladas verdes are very easy to make if you have the right ingredients, time and passion! You only need corn tortillas, green tomatillos, chicken breast, white cream, queso fresco and onions. Eduardo runs www.tequilafest.co.uk
“My favourite dish must be Asado de Tira al carbon. Like much of Argentine cuisine, the concept is simple: quality beef – in this case short ribs - and fire. It’s from an age of hungry gauchos with their facón (knife), cows roaming the Pampas and little else. This cut from the meatier part of the cow’s ribs is not the leanest meat but it’s dripping with flavour, and from a young age I was always told of the necessity of a good glass of wine to aid digestion. Other required tools: a sharp knife and clean fingers so that the bones from the tira can be picked up and properly savoured. From all life’s many pleasures nothing really compares to carving a slowly cooked tira plucked straight from an asado, before the satisfyingly savage delight of sucking on the bones (chupando los huesitos) like a true gaucho. If possible a tira is best enjoyed with good friends, a medicinal bottle of wine and al the time in the world.”Cocco is head parillero at www.lapatagonia.co.uk
Martín’s Causa Santa Rosa “Causa is a Peruvian classic style of dish meaning ‘the cause’. It originates from the wives of Peruvian soldiers who made a wonderful salad style dish from cold potatoes and various fillings including seafood and avocado. This is featured in our Ceviche cookbook and was served at Ceviche Soho. Named after the patron saint of Lima, this vegetarian causa is one of our customer’s favourites and the one I get the most emails about.” Martin owns www.CevicheUK.com
Marlon’s Lechona Ben’s Moqueca “There’s nothing quite like a bowl of freshly made moqueca, a deliciously fragrant Brazilian fish stew. Traditionally from Espirito Santo in the south, I prefer the Bahian variant. If I’m making it I usually use king prawns but it’s great with monkfish or red snapper as well. Whenever I’m in Brazil I always head to Bahia for my moqueca fix!” Ben inventst sauces at www.capsicana.co.uk
“Colombians love pork, and this stuffed pork, presented with a whole head attached, is the ultimate party feature served for Christmas, birthdays and any special occasion. It’s filled with pigeon peas and cooked rice (deliciously yellow from Annatto spice) then baked under a crispy skin. My favourite way is to cook the pork belly in sous vide, which makes the meat very tender and extra juicy. The yummy crackling tops it and I also like to add a British touch apple sauce - as well as my own homemade gravy. I often do this for Quinceañera parties – girls´ fifteenth birthday celebrations, which are still very popular within the UK Colombian community.” Marlon cooks divine dinners at www.marlonskitchen.com
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Rafael’s Arepas Venezolanas
Carlos’ Tres Leches It’s one of Latin America’s most-loved deserts – a sponge cake made with condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk. I was recently working at my restaurant when I looked up to find the comedian Romish Ranganathan ordering a Burrito. I’m a big fan so I expressed this by giving him my favourite desert of all time. A couple of months later the BBC called me telling me Romish was a vegan, but had found me so friendly he couldn’t bring himself to reject my cake. He had asked them to ring me to come on his proramme “Would I lie.’ So I went on the programme and had a blast, thinking this is all down to the good vibes produced by the Tres Leches. Carlos works at www.benitos-hat.com
Gizane’s Feijoada “Ultimate comfort food: the feijoada is a hearty stew of pork, jerk beef, black beans, heaps of garlic and other things that bubbles for hours on low heat. Every cook includes their own twist, but the one my mum makes is a winner, with orange zest and a shot of cachaça. It’s a dish you prepare in large quantities, for a huge gathering, be it with family, friends or strangers. I met one of my best friend’s at a feijoada held at a warehouse in Rio, where I was passing by one Saturday afternoon and, seeing a group performing samba, decided to walk in. I didn’t know anyone there, but I danced all afternoon and evening, drank vast amounts of caipirinha, ate like a pig and ended up in another party. There is nothing more carioca than meeting your BFF at a feijoada!” Gizane is part of www. comidafest.co.uk
My Tio Juan Carlos makes the most amazing arepas which I dream about all the time. What makes them so good? They are thin and crunchy and he lays out loads of things to stuff them with, like chorizo, black beans and Latino cheese. My dad makes extremely nice arepas too; really big so you can put a lot of food in them. In Venezuela they have different names for arepas, like ‘La Peluda’ (the hairy one) which is filled with carne mechada (shredded beef) or ‘La Reina Pepiada’ (the glorious queen) which has chicken salad. Infact my dad has invented his own, named after where we live in London. We fill it with bacon, cheddar and guacamole and call it ‘La Crouchendera’ (The Crouch Ender). Rafael, 11, budding food critic
David’s Linguica in Cachaca This is a dish that takes me back to my care free days in Rio, when I could enjoy long afternoons in bars with a chopp, an extra cold beer served in small glasses so it doesn’t get warm too quickly. Linguica is a spicy garlic sausage, but you can substitute in for chorizo which has the same cured flavor and is easier to get hold of. David founded www.cabana-brasil.com
See the recipes for all the above dishes on www.latinolife.co.uk
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From 22nd Sep
Our Last Tango Film
7th Sep - 12th Oct
Amigo Month Festival
A 5 week annual period to celebrate the history, culture and contribution of the UK’s 3 million Spanish/Portuguese speakers. More info: www.amigomonth.com Till 14th Oct 2017
Theatre Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical Evita makes a highly anticipated return to the West End to mark the 65th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón. Location: Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0JP 14th Sep - 28th Oct 2017
‘Quote Unquote’ and ‘Cave Project: Diario’ Art Two solo exhibitions by leading Colombian artists. Jim Amaral’s ‘Quote Unquote’ presents 24 surreal watercolour paintings that depict erotic and playful floating figures. Valentino Cortázar’s ‘Cave Project: Diario’ debuts pages of Cortázar’s diary that contain works produced during his travels from Deia to Ibiza. Curated by Lucinda Bellm. Location: LAMB Arts, 10 White Horse Street, Mayfair, W1J 7LJ
22nd Sep - 23:00
La Bomba Clubbing
After a summer dominated by the sounds of reggaeton on UK radio, London’s pioneering reggaeton party delivers full on Latin music with 10 of the best DJs across 2 rooms. A back to school special, hose in uniform have the chance to win a £150 bar tab and VIP tickets for future La Bomba events. Location: O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1 0PS www.labomba.uk
OUR LAST TANGO tells the life and love story of Argentina’s most celebrated tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego (now 83) and Juan Carlos Copes (now 86). Argentine born Director German Kral is a former pupil of Wim Wenders. Location: various cinemas www.ourlasttangofilm.co.uk 25th Sep - 13:10
An Evening in Seville Music (clasical) An evening of cosmopolitan opera, zarzuela and song, set against the gorgeous background of Spain’s exuberant southern capital. FREE Location: St Martin-in-theFields, Trafalgar Square, WC2 N4J 26th Sep – 19:00
Todo Latino @ Salsa Temple Clubbing London’s Biggest ever Super Latin Club presents the newest Salsa party with the UK’s best Latin DJs. Room 1: Salsa Dura, Brava & Clasica, Bachata & Cha Cha with resident DJ Tuli. Free Intro class at 7pm. Room 2: Reggaeton, Merengue & Latin Pop with DJ Jose Luis & Guests. 7:30pm-9:30pm- 2 hours of classes in Bachata. Happy Hour 5pm-8pm with 50% off drinks. Location: Salsa Temple, Temple Place London WC2R 2PH
Music (pop) The Latest Latin pop sensation, Colombian singer-songwriter and record producer with over 290 million views on his track ‘Felices los 4’, hits the UK. Boyfriends watch out! Location: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT Every saturday
Amigos Saturday @ Cartel Clubbing Every Saturday, South London’s hot new venue specialising in Tequila and Tacos with a very special Mezcal bar in a separate room. Reggaeton and Latino beats from 9 to 2. Free entry before 10 http://cartelbattersea.co.uk/ Location: Cartel, 517-519 Battersea Park Road London, SW11 3BN
sep-october 1st Oct
Chincha Sundays Clubbing Inspired by the informal gatherings of Lima’s underground Peñas, Ceviche Old St’s Chincha Sundays bring a flavour of Lima’s Afro heritage to London. 28th Sep - 21st Oct 2017
Guillermo Calderón’s ‘B’ Theatre The world premiere of ‘B,’ by acclaimed Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón, writer of the film ‘Neruda’. ‘B’ is presented as part of International Playwrights: A Genesis Foundation Project and directed by Sam Pritchard. Location: Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Royal Court Theatre. Chelsea, SW1W 8AS
Location: Ceviche Old St. 2 Baldwin St, EC1V 9NU 6th Oct 2017 - 20:00
Romantic Piano from Cuba, Curaçao and Venezuela Music (classical) How might Chopin’s music sound if the composer had been born in the Caribbean? Clara Rodríguez and Gustavo Corrales Romero pay tribute to two great Chopin influenced- figureheads: Cuban composer Manuel Saumell, and from the Caribbean mainland, Venezuelan composer Teresa Carreño. Location: The Other Palace (Studio), 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA 7th Oct 7.30pm
Kid Creole & The Coconuts Music 28th Sep - 19:00
An evening of music drawn from life and times of American artist Basquiat featuring Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Arto Lindsay.
Location: Barbican Hall, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS
GUITARRISIMO Nirse González: Centenary Homage to Antonio Lauro Antonio Lauro (Venezuela, 1917-1986), was one of the 20th century’s great guitarists best- folk-inspired valses. Marking Lauro’s centenary, the Venezuelan virtuoso guitarist Nirse González performs his best-loved works. Location: Bolívar Hall, 54, Grafton Way, W1T 5DL
8th Oct - 15:30
Singing Through Spain Music/Family In this accessible, fun and interactive family concert aimed at 6-11-year-olds, the Aglaia Trio trio perform some of Spain’s most beloved songs.
Location: St Saviour’s Church, St George’s Square/ Lupus Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3QW 13th October 13:10
Iberian Music for Viola & Guitar Music This award winning Portuguese trio explore the music of Iberia, present new versions of works by Spanish composers Albéniz and Granados, and an original work by Portuguese composer João Loureiro. Location: St James’s Church, 197, Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL
17th - 21st Oct
London Latin Jazz Fest Music/Jazz Bringing together world-class artists such as Kishon Khan, and his funky Cuban-Bangladeshi fusion ensemble ‘Lokkhi Terra,’ and Dele Sosimi, who joins Kishon for ‘CubAfrobeat,’ an all-star 10-piece groovetrain that links Cuba to its Nigerian Yoruba roots. LLJF curator-in-chief Alex Wilson joins Nolita Golding and Cuban Timba star Osvaldo Chacón’s old-school timba arrangements played by London’s finest young Cuban musicians will delight both your ears and your hips! Location: Jazz Club Soho, 10 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3RW
24th Oct - 11th November 2017
Vamos Cuba! Dance
Set in the crazy chaos of Havana airport, where reality calls and dreams take flight, we experience the joys and vibrancy of Cuban life. ‘Vamos Cuba!’ is an exuberant mix of traditional and modern dance styles including salsa, rumba, cha-cha-cha and reggaeton, accompanied by a live band of Cuba’s top musicians. Location: The Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT
29th Oct - 19:00
‘PanAmericana’: Musical Border-Crossings Through the Americas Music Classical This kaleidoscopic programme encompasses an eclectic range of influences, from jazz, lied, tango, opera and musical theatre to folk and film music - from US composers such as Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin to Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos, Ginastera and Lecuona. Location: Barbican (Milton Court Concert Hall), Silk Street, EC2Y 9BH
Sat 25th Nov
23rd November - 19:30
Kevin Johansen + The Nada
London premier Reggaeton/ Latin event is back for the October edition with international DJ guests and the very best of Latin music across 2 rooms. Location: O2 Islington Academy, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield St, Islington N1 0PS Website: www.labomba.uk
Music virtuoso and presenter of BBC’s iconic show ‘Later’, Jools Holland is joined by Grammy Award winner José Feliciano, one of the most prominent stars in Latin America and revered musicians in the world, for a very special tour. Jools Holland says of José Feliciano: ‘A man whose voice and guitar I’ve idolised all my life. A unique innovator whom I am immensely looking forward to working with’.
Location: St James’s Church, 197, Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL
Live Mussic (Jazz/Pop)
Location: Royal Allbert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
The multi-award-winning Spanish flautist, Pedro López showcases Astor Piazzolla’s evocative Histoire du tango on the instrument for which it was originally conceived, alongside other works by Rodrigo and Schubert. Entry is free.
La Bomba @ The O2 Academy
8th Nov -13:10
History of the Tango
Fri 20th Oct
Fri 24th - Sat 25th Nov
Music Kevin’s beautiful songs draw on his love of popular music from Fairbanks, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, in styles ranging through cumbias, tangos, milongas and chanson, all played by the immaculate big band The Nada. Location: Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA
Gilberto Santa Rosa Live Mussic (Salsa) Known as ‘The Caballero de la Salsa’ this icon of Latin music returns to the UK. Known as a great performer and improviser, the Puerto Rican has accrued millions of fans worldwide, from the hardcore salsero to the newbie salsa rookie. A rare chance to see one of salsa’s greatest artists in action. Location: Coronet Theatre, 26-28 New Kent Road SE1 6TJ
Continued from p.11 GSR: …indeed, even if you had a good voice, ‘te mataban en la ralla’ (they could kill you in the gap). But sometimes we tend to make the artists responsible for the changes that our music goes through, when the audience has moved on. Maybe the singer’s capacity for improvisation is not longer that important, maybe now the most important thing is to be able to communicate other feelings and touch people’s heart. At one point it was the biggest challenge salsa singers had but now the main challenge is to be able to move your audience. Still people really enjoy it when the soneo is put into motion, it’s just not a priority. Before, people used to come to concerts and value that part of the concert, and if you were not up to scratch with your soneos they would give you hell (laughs). It could be the death of a singer (more laughs). LL: One of my favourite soneos, apart from your classic ‘Perdoname’ obviously, are the ones that you did with the Willie Rosario Orchestra on ‘Lluvia.’ GSR: Thanks a lot! I’ll tell you something that happened to me…about a year ago I had the honour of recording with Eddie Palmieri, which i hope will come out in 2018. It all happened so spontaneously, so true to the essence of salsa that I did not allowed myself to prepare for the improvisations that I was supposed to do. I decided to accept the challenge to go and improvise over what they had done because Eddie had said some beautiful things about me in a previous interview, praising me as a sonero, so I couldn’t just turn up with a notebook full of ideas when the man himself has told everyone that I was the real deal (laughs). So it was a beautiful experience for me and a fantastic challenge to put my abilities to the test! LL: I am sure you passed the test with flying colours!
GSR: Ha ha, as Don Pablo Milanes would say ‘todavia quedan restos de humedad’ (there is still a trace of perspiration) LL: So for the 40th anniversary tour, what is going to be your repertoire? from beginning to end of your career or just the latest stuff?
“I decided not to prepare and improvise over what they had done because Eddie Palmieri had said some beautiful things about me, praising me as a sonero, so I couldn’t just turn up with a notebook full of ideas when the man himself has told everyone that I was the real deal” GSR: That is something that I decide as we go. There is audiences that listen to me that are young and don’t know that old repertoire. I play to mainly Latino audiences, but in countries like Venezuela, Colombia and Panama they know my music with the maestro Willie Rosario, also in Peru. But I will play some of that repertoire on this tour and bits of all the rest of my discography as a solo artist. It is a very comprehensive play list, we try hard to please everyone. LL: thanks a lot for your time and we will see you in London soon! GSR: My pleasure! Thanks for the taking the time to do this interview! Gilberto Santa Rosa will be playing at The Coronet Theatre on Saturday 25th November
S W E I V E R C I S MUJose Luis 46
Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo Vice Versa ‘Viajando Com o Som’ (The Lost ’76 Vice-Versa
Sabrina Malheiros ‘Clareia’
After a six-year hiatus, one the princesses of Nu Bossa Nova, Sabrina Malheiros, returns with ‘Clareia’, a journey through Brazilian music. A very fine example of a production that sounds effortless and yet full of funky bass lines, great instrumentation and punchy percussion. A sound that could be described as ‘retro’, Sabrina’s beautiful voice is fresh and soulful. Being the daughter of music legend Alex Malheiros (bassist of legendary samba jazz-funk band Azymuth) no doubt helped her recruit a list of impressive musicians who deliver an album that has all the elements to become a new MPB classic.
What an achievement for a label to reach its 200 release. This is Far Out’s 200th and what better way to celebrate than by putting out a masterpiece by cultural icon, multi-instrumentalist and composer extraordinaire Hermeto Pascoal. In 1976 after an all star concert, the man from the remote Lagoa da Canoa, in the Brazilian state of Alagoa, decided to record with these particular set of musicians which he did but then the tapes got lost and 40 years on they were found and restored and this is the result. Pascoal is out there, even by Jazz standards. To put it in perspective Miles Davis used to refer to him as “the crazy white guy with mad hair” when two collaborated on Davis’ most experimental albums ‘Live-Evil’. Davis also referred to him as “one of the most important musicians on the planet”. This is real gem and a rarity, jazz beyond any commercial restrain and with total creative freedom. A great piece of Brazilian music history has been recovered!
Lizandro Meza “Salsita Mami”
‘Odisea’ Lisandro Meza is one of Colombia’s biggest musical figures. Graduated from iconic band “Los Corraleros de Majagual,” he was associated more with cumbia and vallenato but after a tour around the Americas (with the Corraleros), he got infected by salsa that was sweeping across the continent and decided to assemble a big band to sound like the big boys of the time, such as Ismael Rivera and Benny Moré. He didn’t disappoint. Another of those hard to find and sought after “Discos Fuentes” salsa dura releases, this is fast and furious like most Colombian salsa of the time, with that kind of “Richie Ray” feel that was so influential in the South American country. What the album lacks on originality it made it up in flavour and swing. A surprisingly good album that any self respecting salsero would have in his/her collection!
Make space for the next superstar of reggaetón, Ozuna. This young is already a veteran of the scene, having cut his teeth as hype man of pioneer reggaetonero Guelo Star. after having enjoyed almost two years of immense chart success across the Americas (recently charted 8 songs in the US Hot Latin Songs), he dropped his first full album ‘Odisea’. The 11 songs, including the already mega popular “Si No te Quiere”, “Tu Foto” and “Dile que tu me Quieres” plus collaborations with J Balvin, Zion & Lennox, Nicky Jam, Anuel AA and De La Guetto. ‘Odisea’ is set to be the soundtrack for young latinos across the world for the next six months. Having recently performed in the UK as the opening act for Daddy Yankee, it was obvious Ozuna is here to stay.
Royal Court Theatre and LIFT co-production
MINEFIELD By Lola Arias
“Work of extraordinary compassion.” Evening Standard
“Astonishingly moving, sensitive and humane.” Time Out
Six Falklands/Malvinas war veterans who once faced each other across a battlefield now face each other across a stage. Following its sell-out 2016 run at the Royal Court, MINEFIELD by Argentinean theatre-maker Lola Arias returns to London for just 10 performances.
Tickets from £12. 020 7565 5000 (no booking fee)
royalcourttheatre.com Sloane Square London, SW1W 8AS royalcourt #MINEFIELD royalcourttheatre Sloane Square Victoria Station
MIA HAV CUN SDQ
ASU COR MVD BUE
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