I S S U E N0.16 May-J une 2018
WELCOME TO We were spoilt for choice when it came to choosing a cover for this issue, with so many big Latin artists descending on London – Shakira, Carlos Vives, Residente, Maluma, Grupo Niche, Bad Bunny and Enrique Iglesias to name but a few. But the decision was easy; hit-makers there are a plenty but artists that last the test of time, there are few. We’ve been singing the songs of Rubén Blades since we were kids, and our children (mine, named after him!) and grandchildren will be singing them too. His lyrics have touched the hearts of millions, made them cry, laugh, sigh, and think, with music that they can’t but dance to, and it’s our dream come true to have this great artist on our cover. Where will the next Rubén Blades come from? Well that’s where the LUKAS Awards comes in, bringing new generations of Latin talent out of the woodwork and on to a platform. This year is the strongest year in terms of nominees, a testament to the great Latin talent in the UK, Europe and beyond. Check them out at www.thelukas.co.uk. And, if you want to see some former winners and this year’s contenders live, head down to City Hall on the river (between London and Tower Bridges) on June 9th for La Clave Fest, London’s FREE Latin music and dance festival. It’s going to be a great summer for Latin music. Enjoy! Amaranta Wright, Editor
CONTENTS 4 6 8
FRONT SECTION: Latin Hotlist, News and Gossip LA GALERIA: Livin’ the Latin vibe INTERVIEW: Rubén Blades
WORLD CUP: The Stars of Summer 2018
The Pull-out LA CLAVE Fest Guide
LUKAS Voting begineth
All Hail the Vinyl Collectors!
Where to Eat
WHAT’S ON: Your listings guide to Latin London
Latinolife is produced by: Editor:"NBSBOUB8SJHIUtDeputy Editor:-FXJT#MBLFNBOtArts Editor:$PSJOB1PPSFtMusic Editor: Jose Luis 4FJKBTtDesigner: "OUPOFMMB1FSSFDBt Cover Artwork by: Miguel Francisco Osorio Valderrama www.latinolife.co.uk • twittercom/latinolifeuk • facebook.com/LatinoLifeWeb
THE LATIN HOT LIST
No Venezuelan wants to talk politics these days. But the Franceschi family have pursued an ideology that no one can argue with; their love of Cacao and its environment. We first heard about the brand in an unlikely North London Venezuela vegan café called Miranda, when we were offered Cacao tea. A cup of watery chocolate? Uuuugh, no thanks, we thought. But a sip was forced upon us, lo and behold, we felt unbelievably refreshed and invigorated. The tea is made from the remaining cacao husks after making nibs. Little did we know that Cacao husks contain antioxidants, theobromine, magnesium, potassium and fibre. Forget caffeine; theobromine, acts as a mild stimulant with a slow release effect, helping release the body’s endorphins, accounting for the pick-me-up ‘kick’ that you sometimes need in the afternoon, especially whenediting a magazine! www.fncocacao.com
It’s summer time and it’s the World Cup. Definitely time for some very cool t-shirts showing what side you’re on. Oops someone though of it before us…we love these retro, vintage, faded American college-style t-shirts. Taking a clever twist on American Apparel, Latin Apparel are set to be the next cool exclusive design such as a ‘Salsa icons’ and ‘Latina Power’ series. What we like about this first series of identity t-shirts is that you don’t have to be a football fan to wear them. Just wear your identity and be cool. To buy yours email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who’s the Greatest?
Inspired by manly artisan cultures, these Gaucho belts, fusing art and craft with an appetite for adventure, caught our eye. Especially treated for a well-worn appearance, the bold designs evoke the Gaucho culture of exploring new frontiers. www.gutinstinkt.com
Between them, Ronaldo and Messi have scored over a thousand goals, won the Ballon d’Or nine times and redefined modern football. They are also locked in an intense personal rivalry previously unseen in football, which has dominated the sport for the past decade. Want to know more? Try reading Jimmy Burns new book, Cristiano and Leo: The Race to Become the Greatest Football Player of All Time, timed to come out just before the World Cup starts on 14th June. www.macmillan.com
BGT Gets Some Swing
Just as we predicted last year, UK’s reggaetón fever shows no signs of waning as the pop collaborations keep coming thick and fast. First it was Little Mix and CNCO with Reggaetón Lento. Then 1D’s Liam Payne hooked up with J Balvin (Payne definitely got the better deal there). Jason Derulo just had to do a ‘Colors’ remix with Maluma, probably the hottest Latin act right now, and Mayor Lazor teamed up with Brazilian hotty Anitta for Sua Cara. The latest cherry is Kylie and Gente de Zona with ‘Keep me from Falling’. Never mind that the music gets more ghastly as reggaetón gets more popular, at least it means that that these great Latin acts are coming to UK shores, where they’ll be playing the great repertoire that got the global pop acts hooked in the first place!
The Saulo we love, one of London’s favourite salsa teachers and LUKAS winner 2014, is usually giving classes in Elephant and Castle. But it lit up our Saturday when we caught him on the sidelines of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ proudly watching his mini Cali Swing team, as they wowed Simon Cowell with their Colombian-style salsa. One cheeky chubby chappy even showed his Latin lover credentials by blowing kisses and winking at judge Alesha Dixon. A shining example of Latino londoners’ hard work and flair, these children of immigrants from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and beyond impressed the judges even more when by revealing that they’d would spend their money on a new studio, as they’d been rehearsing in the back of a restaurant. Get your fingers ready to vote when they get through to the next round!
Best Latin Film Year Ever
Will Smith’s Colombian Corazon
You’d have thought that the Pope had arrived, by the reaction of Cartagena locals when word got out that Will Smith was in town. They lined the streets and were in virtual hysteria as his 4X4 nudged its way through the picturesque Caribbean town, where he happened to filming his latest movie ‘Gemini Man’. It’s not the first time the Hollywood film star has shown his love for Colombia. During the last World Cup, whist in Neiva with his friend Marc Anthony, he was spotted cheering Colombia’s 2-0 win over Uruguay. To be fair, he probably didn’t have much choice but, hey, the shirt looked good.
The you can tell from the Film list in The LUKAS Awards this year, that Latin Film has never been so strong. And this isn’t counting the big ones the swept up all the awards; Guillermo del Toro‘s ‘The Shape of Water’, which ended up with four Oscars, 12 BAFTA nominations (winning Best director) and the Critic’s Choice Movie Award and ‘Coco’, Pixar’s Day of the Dead flick. Chile’s ‘A Fantastic Woman’ was the Foreign Language winner all around, and actors like Rita Moreno, Gina Rodriguez, Eiza González, and Salma Hayek, made the 90th Academy Awards feel like a celebration of everything Latino. Or, as Cuban-born Oscar Isaac put it while handing out one award: “Viva Latinoamérica!”
At first dismissed for his wordy complexity, Rubén Blades - composer, singer, salsero, lyricist, narrator, poet, social conscience and political activist - soon proved to be Fania Record’s biggest money spinner and Latin music’s best selling Latin artist for decades. Ahead of what could be his last big concert in London, Amaranta Wright talks to Latin America’s iconic music star about his life, music and, of course, politics.
Leaving the hospital, after seeing my mother battling against a cancer that can’t be cured, I saw a family pass by; a father, a mother, two kids and various others. Beside the man, a youngster was walking, his head down, with an air of regret. He was the cause of a discussion, which we were invited into, as the old man cried: “Even if you’re a thief and you’re in the wrong, it’s our duty to help you. And however many drugs you take, and however much you abuse us, we have to look after you. When you have children, you’ll understand that the duties of a parent never end, that the love of a mother and father never tires, that we want for you what we never had, that despite all our problems, family is family and love is love.” As I saw this family move away with their tears, walking together, into a labyrinth of better and worse, I thought about my family, whom I loved so much in that moment, that my feelings overwhelmed me. This is a scene I have imagined so many times I almost believe I have seen it myself. It is the story of my family, your family…a family in Panama, in London or anywhere in the world. And yet it is just a dance track. There are many great Salsa tunes; ones that, when you hear them in a club and you’re dancing, you don’t want them to end. But when you hear this Salsa tune you find yourself almost…as the song itself goes, drowning in feeling. You want to cry, you want to embrace the person you love, tell them that you love them and, in the end, as its tempo quickens into a crescendo of optimism, you want to dance and celebrate life. This is the Rubén Blades effect.
This 1992 song and album of the same name, Amor y Control (Love and Control), are not Rubén Blade’s most famous. By the time it was released, Blades had already had a major Impact on Salsa sales for the New York-based Fania la bel with Siembra (1978) - the best selling Salsa album for almost 20 years (until Marc Anthony’s Contra el Corriente in 1997). His 1984 album Buscando America (Looking for America) had made him a world-wide artist whilst his lyrics, translated into English and reflecting the struggles against the dictatorships sweeping Latin America, earned him the adoration of millions. Yet Amor y Control marked a huge leap in defining Rubén Blades as a complete artist – the composer, the singer, the lyricist, the narrator, the poet, the social conscience, the political activist, all rolled into one – which set him apart from every other Salsa artist and eventually earned him the legendary status he has today.
A Salsero beyond his genre Born in Panama to a Cuban mother and a father of English descent (hence the name), Blades was of a notably more middle class and whiter heritage than many of his Salsa peers from New York and Puerto Rico. Two important things, Blades says, marked his upbringing. One was Panama’s musical, cultural and ethnically mixed environment; the Panama Canal had brought labourers and engineers from all over the world - the West Indies, Europe and Asia - and the country’s radio music reflected this diversity. Blades describes how, with few commercial constraints, radio deejays played pretty much anything they felt like: “Cuban music was really popular, I remember listening to Beny Moré, Orchestra Aragón and La Sonora Macanzera. Colombia had its output of Vallenatos and Cumbias which were really influential too.” Because of the big American presence, people also had quick access to the latest US music. “We were very connected to what was going on. I remember hearing Bill Haley and the Comets, Frankie Lymon, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, The Platters and Frank Sinatra.”
“My first album came at a time when there were fourteen military dictatorships in Latin America. Juan Gonzalez (about a guerrilla fighter) was an anathema for radio stations.”
However, with the US influence in Panama came the second big influence on Blades: political awareness. “A big moment in my political awakening was the riots of January 9, (1964, when the US Army was involved in killing 22 Panamanians during protests). I was 16 and the incident was instrumental in spurring Panama to defend its sovereignty and the US’ eventual transfer of power over the Canal Zone to Panama.” Says Blades. “But my first inspirations in terms of political music were the Brazilians: Theo de Barros’ Terra de Ningem, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.” The latter were all imprisoned by the dictatorship in Brazil because of their lyrics. The other defining factor was the Blades family’s great emphasis on education: “I was always taught that I could do anything I wanted to.” Allegedly, Blades’ mother was so intent on him finishing Law School, at one point she
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Latin America. His lyrics tapped into deeper truths and emotions than Salsa ever had, but Masucci was sceptical.
“Willie Colón presented me with the opportunity to record my material. He showed an intelligence and an understanding of Pan-Americanism which was mostly absent from the commercial notion of how to create a successful Salsa album.”
virtually banned him from playing during Carnival, and Blades had to take down the banners advertising his performances on her driving route, and put them up again every day. Nevertheless, the gifted Panamanian was already composing and making a name for himself beyond the country’s borders. It was Salsa’s golden era and during Carnival season the big Fania stars would come down from New York to perform in Panama. Blades claims it was Richie Ray, Bobby Cruz and Roberto Roena who first spotted him and went back to New York singing his praises. In 1973, just as Rubén was graduating from Law School, the Blades family was exiled to Miami because of his father’s problems with the military regime. Figuring that he wasn’t going to be a lawyer in a country whose government had no respect for the law, Blades joined them. A Latin American rebel in New York Fania boss Jerry Masucci’s offer of a menial job in his mail room was enough to persuade Rubén to leave his parents’ home in Miami for New York. While the largely Puerto Rican artists at Fania’s epicentre, such as Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe, were singing about girls, heartbreaks, and having fun, Blades sung about a different Latin American experience of people living under the dictatorships sweeping
“At the time, my songs were considered too political, too literate, too long and too ‘antiSalsa’. They confronted and documented the reality in our cities instead of merely promoting escapism, frivolity and clichéd imagery,” remembers Blades, who says, “it was Willie Colón who presented me with the opportunity to record the material I had written. He showed an intelligence and an understanding of Pan-Americanism which was absent from (Masucci’s) commercial notion of how to create a successful Salsa album.”
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13 Even though Colón and Blades went on to have some very public differences later on, Blades says he will always be grateful to Colón for that. “My first album came at a time when there were fourteen military dictatorships in Latin America. Juan Gonzalez (about a guerrilla fighter) was an anathema for radio stations.” However, Blades-Colón, the Lennon-McCartney of Salsa, proved the sceptics wrong, when Blades’ six-minute musical narrative of a low-life crook Pedro Navaja became an instant hit all over Latin America. “When we arrived in places like Venezuela it was just...it was something else,” remembered Blades in a 1998 interview. “In New York, I don’t think people understood what we were doing. But outside of New York City, we were kings. We had something to say. Whenever we played, people didn’t just dance, they listened.”
An Inspiration for a Generation There’s a saying in Latin America: life and death dance together with a beer in hand. And people’s hips would sway even while listening to Pablo Pueblo, about the down trodden common man, betrayed by
politicians who buy votes with promises they never keep, or Plastico, about the shallow Miami-loving Latin American elites (‘you see their faces but never their hearts’) or Padre Antonio, the real life story of a Central American priest who was brutally assassinated by El Salvador’s CIA-backed military government whilst he was performing mass. Everyone has their favourite Rubén Blades. Tego Calderón, Puerto Rico’s godfather of Reggaetón told LatinoLife: ‘When Tiburón (Shark) came out, it was like a calling, it changed my life. There were other Salseros, but they never talked about the things Rubén Blades talked about. My father paid a lot of attention to his lyrics and that album was very important here, especially to the people of the Puerto Rican independence movement. …The moon lies cushioned in the silence Of the great resting Caribbean Only the shark stays awake Only the shark keeps searching Only the shark remains restless Only the shark watches your every move ‘Hmmmm, what a nice little flag Shark, if yours is another sea What are you doing here?
“It still upsets me that we were exploited by labels who did not pay us what was ours and did not respect our work” For London’s leading Latin DJ, Venezuelan born Jose Luis, it is Adán Garcia “…a family guy, struggling to make ends meet, and when his wife says she wants to borrow money from her parents, it’s like the last straw and he cracks up. He tries to rob a bank, is killed by police who then find he was carrying one of his kids’ plastic guns. Who couldn’t empathise with that? It’s a working man’s tragedy that could happen in Caracas or in Sheffield.” Into the nineties and the 21st century, albums such as Tiempos broke ground again, this time musically, by transcending the Salsa genre even further with more experimental compositions and showing off the ingenuity of his melodies and arrangements. Most importantly, Blades has had a major influence on the next generation, cited by some of the biggest names in Latin Music today, from Residente, who recorded a big hit with him, to Tego Calderón.
Continues on p48...
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‘Twas the summer of 2018’, they will be saying in the future, when Latin football legends made history and the new Latin stars were made. Every World Cup discovers a new generation of Latin talent, who go on to sprinkle their magic on the premier leagues of Europe. Here are the players that we think will shine this summer. By Lewis Blakeman
Edinson Cavani Having played in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimović for much of his time at Paris Saint-Germain, Cavani is undoubtedly one of football’s most underrated strikers. When finally given the chance to spearhead the PSG attack for the 2016/17 season, Cavani scored an incredible 49 goals in 50 games, and already has 33 goals to his name for the current season. His strength, speed, heading ability, and lethal two-footed finishing make him the ultimate forward, with the ability to single-handedly win a game for his side – something Uruguay will certainly look to exploit in tight game situations.
After joining Liverpool from Internazionale in January 2013, Philippe Coutinho gradually developed into one of the world’s best midfield players - prompting FC Barcelona to spend upwards of £105 million to bring him to the La Liga club five years later. He has the skill and awareness to find space on the pitch, and the vision and control to pick out the perfect pass for his attacking teammates. In addition, his long-range shooting makes him a danger for opposition defences even when 30 yards from goal.
Ángel Di Maríá With an abundance of attacking talent in his Argentina squad, manager Jorge Sampaoli faces the tough task of picking who best to pair alongside Lionel Messi in the Argentina frontline. Di Mariá’s versality may well be the deciding factor, with the skilful left-footer able to operate on the left wing, in behind the central striker, or cutting in from the right side. He offers width to an Argentina team who too often in the past have tried to play through the middle, and may be able to stretch tired defences in the latter stages of the tournament. He is quick, skilful, creative and has an eye for goal. If played in the right formation he could well be a stand-out performer in Russia.
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Radamel Falcao ‘El Tigre’ was arguably once the greatest striker in the world, scoring an incredible 70 goals in just 91 games for Atlético Madrid between 2011-2013. Despite being just 1.77 m tall, Falcao has the ability score great goals with his head, as well as being a deadly finisher with both his left and right foot. Following a tough two injury-plagued years playing in England, ‘El Tigre’ has rediscovered his club form with AS Monaco, averaging better than a goal every other game. His 29 goals for Colombia also make him the nation’s leading goal-scorer– a tally he will hope to add to this summer in a World Cup group alongside Poland, Japan and Senegal.
Just last year, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández surpassed Jared Borgetti’s record of 46 international goals for Mexico; but after a difficult season in his return to English football, some fans are now concerned about Hernández’ effectiveness to lead the line for ‘El Tri’ at this summer’s World Cup. The hope is that ‘Chicharito’ will be more suited to Mexico’s style of play than that of struggling West Ham, with Juan Carlos Osorio’s side looking to exploit Hernández’ offthe-ball movement and goal-poaching ability. Hernández’ leadership from the front will be instrumental in any success Mexico are to have as they seek out that bit of magic to unlock opposition defences.
Lionel Messi In what may well be his last World Cup finals appearance, Lionel Messi will be more motivated than ever to get his hands on the one trophy that has eluded him the most - and by virtue, to cement his place as the undisputed greatest of all time. Despite a phenomenal club career in which he has broken almost every record imaginable, Messi’s record at international level remains the one thing that separates him from the likes of Maradona and Pelé. That being said, his 61 goals make him Argentina’s leading goalscorer, and the days of one player leading their team to World Cup success are long gone. If Argentina are to win their first major title since 1993, manager Jorge Sampaoli will need to find a way to spread the workload among his highly talented squad, and grant Messi the freedom to play without pressure for ‘La Albiceleste.’
After qualifying for their first World Cup finals since 1982, Peru were hit with the devastating news that star-striker Paolo Guerrero would be ineligible for the summer showcase after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Fortunately this ban was reduced upon appeal to just six months, making Guerrero eligible for the 2018 World Cup. The highlight of Guerrero’s club career was undoubtedly his winning goal in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup Final for Corinthians against Chelsea; while at international level he has finished as top scorer in the 2011 and 2015 Copa América tournaments, leading Peru to third in both. His strength and finishing ability will make him a threat against any team who face Peru at this summer’s World Cup.
James Rodríguez Despite Colombia’s elimination at the quarterfinals stage, James Rodríguez was the star of the 2014 World Cup. His six goals won him the ‘Golden Boot’ award; while his wondergoal against Uruguay was chosen as the ‘Goal of the Tournament.’ His ability to control the midfield and play key passes into the strikers will be fundamental to any success Colombia are to have during this summer’s tournament. With an eye for goal, and precision from set-pieces, Rodríguez is the ultimate ‘danger man’ to trouble opposition defences.
Neymar After injury ruled him out of the latter stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Neymar will go into this summer’s tournament with a point to prove. His shootout-winning penalty in the 2016 Olympic Games final has shown that Neymar has the strength to carry his nation, while his 53 goals in just 83 games for Brazil mark him as one of the deadliest forwards in world football. Neymar possesses technical ability matched by few other players on the planet, with the skills to beat any defender. It’s no wonder that Paris Saint-Germain were willing to splash out ¤222 for the young Brazilian during last summer’s transfer window!
Luis Suárez 2014 LUKAS award winner Luis Suárez has gone from strength to strength since his time playing in England with Liverpool. Now at FC Barcelona, Suárez has continued the goal-scoring form that enticed the La Liga side to pay upwards of £64 million for the Uruguayan – scoring 106 goals in just 122 games. His 50 international goals make him Uruguay’s leading scorer of all time; though with just eight more goals to his name than strikepartner Edinson Cavani, it will be interesting to see who ends their career on top! Strong with both his left foot, right foot and head, Suárez is a natural finisher, while his assist numbers are also hugely impressive.
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London’s favourite FREE festival celebrating the best Latin music and dance is back, bigger and better than ever, on Saturday 9th June. This year we take over the stunning venue that is The Scoop on the South Bank, between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, next to City Hall. From 12pm till 10pm, international bands from Mexico and Colombia join the plethora of UKLatin talent, to take you on a journey through Latin Jazz, Fusion, Folk, Boleros, Samba and Latin Hip-Hop, culminating in a full-on Salsa band and the latest Reggaetón hits via the UK’s best Latin DJs. And, with our Salsa Choke line dance leaders at hand, there’ll be no two feet standing still when the music ends.
Main Stage – The Scoop Elpidio & Su Alegria Latina Salsa – UK/Colombia This is big sound Salsa - a 10 piece orchestra bringing together London’s finest musicians from Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador – to end La Clave on its customary joyous climax. Hailing from Cali ‘the world capital of Salsa,’ Elpidio is a renowned performer and musician in his own right (LUKAS runner up 2017) and the Latin bass player of choice for many of the UK’s top Latin bands. Now proving to be a charismatic bandleader, Elpidio blends the swing from his native city Cali - ‘the capital of Salsa’ - with the rythmns of Cuba and the style of New York to deliver pure, infectious happiness.
Las Hermanas Garcia Folk - Mexico All the way from Mexico, and representing the new generation from the vibrant Bolero scene of Guerrero, these two teenage girls are an inspiration to young Mexicans. Currently #1 in Spotify’s Bolero Pop Playlist and with 1.3 million strikes on the title track of their first CD, Las Hermanas embody the Bolero revival led by Grammy-winning artists such as Natalia Lafourcade (beneath them on Spotify). The difference is that Las Hermanas García were born into this music, carrying a long family tradition, and are an authentic expression of it.
Nazari Sound Latin Hip Hop/Jazz/ Salsa - Colombia Direct from Colombia, this Rap Band from Bogotá of three brothers - Ces, Juán & Nené - fuses Jazz, Blues, Funk, Colombian Folklore, Salsa & R&B. A real up and coming force in Latin Hip Hop, Nazari are prolific performers, having headlined the biggest Hip Hop festival of South America ‘Hip Hop Al Parque’. The group launches its debut album titled ‘Nazari Zum Zumm’ at La Clave 2018.
For times and more details please visit www.laclavefest.co.uk
Location: The Scoop and Hays Galleria, Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2DB
Omar Puente Quintent Latin Funk - Cuba
Composer, arranger, violinist and 2017 LUKAS winner for Jazz Act of the Year, Omar Puente is one of the most respected violinists on the global Jazz scene and has performed to audiences worldwide. First violinist at the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, he toured with Buena Vista Social Club before leaving Cuba in 1997. Since then Omar has played with the likes of John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland, Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Gonzales, Winston Marsalisâ€™ and Nigel Kennedy. More recently Omar has made a name for himself as an outstanding bandleader with his high-energy and unique Latin Jazz-Funk sound. Accompanied by Londonâ€™s leading Cuban Jazz musicians he brings us his funkiest repetoire yet, reminiscent of the groundbreaking Cuban Funk group Irakere. One not to be missed!
Haze Samba Samba - Brazil We bring back the thirty-five member children’s Samba drumming Bloco that caused a storm last year. With drummers aged 8-14, the group perform traditional Samba Reggae, as well as Samba Funk, Samba drum and bass, Samba Bhangra, and a few other musical surprises!.
Camilo Menjura and the LOL Choir Folk/Sing-a-long - Colombia
La Raza Latin Hip Hop - UK Latin London’s finest Latin Hip Hop outfits join forces in a joint PA performance to show the city the sound of a new bi-cultural generation of London born-Latinos. Led by LUKAS winning Urban act and community leader Mike Kalle, the leading light of the young creative Latino community. Mike is not only the UK’s best rapper, but personifies the positive the Pa’delante (onwards and upwards) attitude, making him a great example for Latino youth in the UK.
Led by twice LUKAS winning vocalist, musician and choir master Camilo Menjura, The LOL [Landscapes Of Latin-America] Choir -a London community group have been exploring, singing and sharing Latin American and Spanish folk music for over 4 years in their weekly gatherings in King’s Cross. They will be performing some of their tunes on our stage, adding both community and group singing flavours to our celebration of Latin culture in the heart of London.
DJ Jose Luis and friends Latin Hip Hop – UK/Latin
Telajeta Jazz/Fusion/ Electronica - Venezuela This LUKAS winning Alternative Act of the Year brings a fresh approach to the rich tapestry of Venezuelan music. Band leader and percussion Maestro Ernesto Marichales (also Musician of the Year 2017) rearranges and reshapes the traditional folk compositions of his native land with London electronica, to produce mesmerising results.
For times and more details please visit www.laclavefest.co.uk
Joining the dots throughout the day, this Collective of the UK’s best- loved Latin DJs, will be turning up the temperature in their final set as the sun goes down. You’ll be guaranteed the best Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Reggaetón, including, of course, the huge Latin hits that have been dominating the global charts throughout the last year. DJ Jose Luis and friends will be accompanied by Mike Kalle, and Latin Fit’s infectious dance animators on stage, together setting the party on fire in a feverish finale.
Location: The Scoop and Hays Galleria, Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2DB
DANCE Richard Marcel’s Latin Dance X-Perience
Richard Marcel is the choreographer of choice and Latin dance specialist for UK television and artists alike, having worked with the likes of Madonna, George Michael, Take That, Diana Ross, Kylie. He has worked extensively on shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance. Richard also runs the famous Sunday X-Perience at London’s top Latin venue Bar Salsa in Soho where he gets to share his passion for Latin dance every week. He brings this X-Perience to La Clave, choreographing his best dancers to wow the crowd with the hottest Latin dance crazes.
Latin Fit Machine (various times during the day and closing finale) This dynamic duo from Venezuela and Colombia has earned a reputation across London for being a ‘must-have’ for Latin parties, with their infectious high energy fun. Jose and Diego combine fitness, dancing and community spirit centred around ‘Salsa Choke’ - a popular call-based Salsa dance created in the streets of Colombia. These animators supreme are guaranteed to make even the stiffest bones and immobile bodies want to join the fun. They will perform at various times during the day, culminating in a mass dance frenzy with DJs and live percussionists to bring the party to a finale. As is customary at La Clave, you can be sure that 10pm will be met with a groan, when the music has to stop. But that’s when the Claves and cowbells come out… making sure the party continues.
For times and more details please visit www.laclavefest.co.uk
Dance Flash Mob At a designated time during the day there will be a dance flash mob, organized by the team at Latin Fit Machine. Exact venue tbc: either in the space above the Scoop, Hays Galleria or The Pier.
The Latin Jam @ HAYS GALLERIA Salsa and Bachata Dance Classes all day
Joe Davids’ Latin Jam In parallel to the entertainment on stage at the Scoop, Joe Davids of The Latin Collective brings the UK’s best Latin dance teachers, performers and DJs to give dance classes, demonstrations and music all day in the usually quiet Hays Galleria. There’ll be a choice of 14 classes in Salsa, Bachata, Salsa Cubana, Reggaeton & Rueda, featuring the UKs Top Team of teachers: Olga Ribaka, Sam Hounsell, Raluca Lehadus, Pal Chohan and Joe “The Boss” Davids and DJs John “Dj Ooo.” Dani K and DJD. Plus demonstrations and performances from special guestssuch as James & Evelyn (2017 UK Bachata Stars Champs), Alex & Ashwini, Pebbles & Amie, Andrea Stewart, Magda Sobolewska and Andreas Demetriou.
Location: The Scoop and Hays Galleria, Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2DB
SPRING GUIDE 2014
Europe Chooses its favourite ___latin Entertainers___
It’s that time of year when voting gets underway for The LUKAS 2018, Europe’s Latin entertainment award ceremony. Between May and July, the public votes for nominees in Music, Dance, Sports and Arts, culminating in a fabulous gala awards ceremony in August. Awards this year include:
Awards for Contribution to Music Alternative Act of the Year Brazilian Act of the Year Classical/Jazz/Folk Act of the Year Club DJ of the Year Tropical Act of the Year Tropical DJ of the Year Musician of the Year Vocalist of the Year Urban Act of the Year European Tropical Act of the Year
International Song of the Year International Artist of the Year International Break through Artist of the Year
Awards for Contribution to Dance Brazilian Dance Performers of the Year • Tropical Dance Performers of the Year European Tropical Dance Performers of the Year
European Classical/Jazz/ Folk Act of the Year
International Dance Performers of the Year (all Latin genres)
Album of the year (Europe and UK)
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 Film of the Year Performing Artist of the Year Theatre Production of the Year
You can vote at www.thelukas.co.uk. Voting ends on 15th July 2018. The Gala ceremony takes place on 9th August, featuring a full show by Grupo Niche Colombia’s biggest Salsa band.
SPRING GUIDE 2014
All Hail the Vinyl
Collectors The phenomenon of the ‘Salsotecas ’the legendary Salsa mass vinyl-sharing encounters where music intellects ‘discuss’ rather than ‘dance’ - helped give the city of Cali in Colombia its reputation as home to the world’s most passionate music lovers. As the Tate Modern pays tribute to a popular culture of music academia, one that some say is the foundation of Colombia’s incredible output of top-charting music today, Natalia Londoño illuminates on its history. The swinging sound of trumpets welcome the hundreds of Salsa fans into the huge open space. And yet, not a hip sways, nor a twirl or step is taken. This is a Salsa congress unlike any other; no bare-chested machos or glittering dresses springing uncontrollably into action at the call of that unmistakable beat. This meeting draws music intellectuals together, to dissect, analyse and savour every chord, every beat, every phrase and arrangement of the most ingenious Afro-Latin tracks ever recorded. Some await their favourite tunes to be played to bring out their bongos, congas or maracas and play along. Salsa music without dancing? These are the Salsotecas, a 50-year- old phenomenon of ‘discos for music intellectuals,’ born in the Colombian city of Cali, famed to being the most Salsa-loving city in the world. The swinging sound of trumpets welcome the hundreds of Salsa fans into the huge open space. And yet, not a hip sways, nor a twirl or step is taken.
This is a Salsa congress unlike any other; no bare-chested machos or glittering dresses springing uncontrollably into action at the call of that unmistakable beat. This meeting draws music intellectuals together, to dissect, analyse and savour every chord, every beat, every phrase and arrangement of the most ingenious Afro-Latin tracks ever recorded. Some await their favourite tunes to be played to bring out their bongos, congas or maracas and play along. Salsa music without dancing? These are the Salsotecas, a 50-year- old phenomenon of ‘discos for music intellectuals,’ born in the Colombian city of Cali, famed to being the most Salsa-loving city in the world. There are many stories. One tells of how, on the day after Christmas in 1991, legendary Fania pianist Larry Harlow, who had flown down from New York to play at the Feria de Cali, Cali’s famous annual music festival, saw a news programme in his hotel room about a meeting of Salsoteca owners, gathering to listen to, share and admire their vinyl recordings of Arsenio Rodríguez, considered by many to be the founding father of what is today known as Salsa. As a self-proclaimed disciple of the blind Cuban maestro, Harlow immediately asked to be taken to the event. He was astonished to find hundreds of Salsa fans, sharing their passion, in a manner more familiar to Jazz fans. The event had been organized Gary Domínguez, a bearded gnome-like visionary, and turned out to be the most well-attended of the festival.
There, Harlow discovered that Cali was home to some of biggest collections of Salsa music he’d ever seen. He took the news back to New York.
The Resistance of the Old School At the root of this phenomenon was Cali’s long-standing embrace of Afro-Latin music from the Caribbean since the 1950s, when the first Cuban Son arrived Colombia - a music not of its making, but which resonated with Cali’s large population of African descent. Whether taking place in someone’s garage or a public basketball court, in the last 20 years there have been more than 100 Salsotecas spontaneously springing up in Cali’s working class neighbourhoods. They come and go, some re-inventing themselves, with computer and hard drives instead of vinyls, others written off as ‘fake’ – excuses for party places. Legendary venues, such as La Barola, Chaney and La Ponceña, have become the embodiment of Cali’s passion for this imported music from Puerto Rico, Cuba and its New York migrant variation. La Ponceña, located in the 44th street in the Chapinero area, is almost as old as the Puerto Rican band it’s named after, furnished with tables and chairs, for his Salsa-loving guests, providing drinks and creating the perfect vibe to listen to vigils from the past.
“In the old days, by law you were not allowed to dance; the music would stop immediately, so people finally understood the essence of these places: to listen.” “This place belonged to my brother-in-law who died,” says Jorge. ”Our friend Miguel Ángel Altaiza, who worked at Radio Sol in those times, told him to name it La Ponceña. It has lasted all this time despite the wave of venues calling themselves Salsotecas but that have nothing to do with this format.” Purists know a Salsoteca when they see one, says Wilmar Pasos, who coordinates the famous Encuentros de Melómanos de Salsotecas de Cali (Salsotecas’ music lovers meetings). “It must comply with certain characteristics; they are small and cosy, often unused garages be longing to people who wanted just to share good music, a few beers and talk to their mates. People bring their music, chat and exchange ideas.”
The New Wave Like La Ponceña, two other venues that refuse to die are Olafo and El Bembén. After 20 years they are still relevant in the popular neighbourhoods. La Diferente is new venue that seems to be doing well. Also Mundo Latino is part of the new Salsotecas movement. And if you feel like dancing? “In the old days, by law you were not allowed to do it. It sometimes happened that some client couldn’t contain himself or herself but the music would stop immediately, so people finally understood the essence of these places: to listen.” explains Wilmar. “But since the 80s dancing has become more frequent and the clientele has changed; before the male presence was overlwelming, but since dancing was allowed guys started to turn up with their wives, girlfriends or just friends. And since no
And if you feel like dancing? “In the old days, by law you were not allowed to do it.
It sometimes happened that some client couldn’t It sometimes happened that some client couldn’t contain himself or herself but the music would stop immediately, so people finally understood the essence of these places: to listen.” explains Wilmar. “But since the 80s dancing has become more frequent and the clientele has changed; before the male presence was overlwelming, but since dancing was allowed guys started to turn up with their wives, girlfriends
or just friends. And since now a lot more women come
Gary is now recognised by the city of Cali as a protector of the city’s heritage for the work he has been doing with the Melómanos meetings since 1991.
The Endurance of Authenticity
Now, with a budget of 200 million pesos from the city’s mayor, more than 1000 participants and international projection, the local authorities understand that the city’s passion for Salsa is a unique phenomena, being celebrated as far afield as London’s Tate Modern.
and enjoy the concept, it has become more open. We even take requests, which normally come from the female crowd, no problem”
Dancing or no dancing, what makes a salsoteca unique is its music collection, the huge amount of Vinyl put in a precise order on a shelve located behind the programmer (rather than a DJ). This is what attracts a crowd. Gary Dominguez, pioneer of the movement tells us that “Cali has a deep salsa culture, it is so big that people can sit down and listen to 4-6 hours of the same artist”. Gary’s Taberna Latina, which he began in 1982, is probably the most iconic Salsoteca ever. After many years he went to live in New York and Puerto Rico in his perennial search for Salsa knowledge, then he returned to Cali a few years ago. He transformed his family house into a new reincarnation of La Taberna Latina: the living room and the garage got changed in a new way and he used some of his vinys to cover the walls and brought out his already legendary music collection out alongside his photos, los cameras and his beloved turntable.
DJ Jose Luis’ Digital Salsoteca: a journey through Latin music, from classic Salsa to the sounds of modern day Latin London, will take place on June 29 from 6pm to 11pm @ the Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1. FREE. Includes film, live music, DJs, vinyl art and a sample based performance.
Pisqu, Fitzrovia Gaucho, Smithfield
When it rains it pours, and now Fitzrovia boasts three Peruvian restaurants within a hundred metres. But with the variety of dishes and flavours that this fantastic multi-faceted cuisine offers, there can never be too many. Perching on a lovely wide-windowed corner, Pisqu is firmly rooted in classic Peruvian fine-dining rather than in the fusion of its opposite number (literally), Lima. The owners’ passion is evident; Yuka, the boss, a Japanese foodie (and apparently fantastic cook herself) fell in love with Peruvian cuisine no doubt thanks to her Peruvian husband, Coco. The couple cleverly solicited the skills of William Ortiz, one of London’s most sought-after Peruvian chefs.
There’s no better location for a meat restaurant than one overlooking Smithfield Market, trading in livestock since the 10th century, and reminiscent of Buenos Aires’ own Abasto market. Inside, the chandeliers give the cowskin-lined seats and walls more a style of city opulence than gaucho’s den. But a glance at the menu is enough to bring you back to the Argentina you know; classic starters from the parilla such as the provoleta – a delicious grilled cheese sprinkled with herbs - and empanadas filled with humita (sweetcorn purée). A beef empanada is, of course, a must have, especially as they are oven-baked rather than deep fried as in most London Argentine restaurants. Argentine purists might scorn at the inclusion of other Latin American dishes, but as a lover of Causa – a Peruvian savoury trifle of potato and seafood in mayonnaise – I couldn’t resist the Soft Shell Crab Causita with smoked paprika mayonnaise. For the record, this is the best Causa I’ve had in London, and that’s including the city’s plethora of Peruvian restaurants. And now down to business; la carne. I usually go for the bife de chorizo, but was taken aback by the vast selection of cuts on offer. No wonder the waiters are so well versed in their meat knowledge, for it’s much needed. Our final choice were the cuts unique to Gaucho; media luna de vacío (tender flank) and tira de ancho (Spiral cut, slow grilled). Both were absolutely delicious; no need for any sides apart form a green salad and a large dollop of the indispensble chimichurri (a gaucho dressing of chillis, herbs and oil) Surely no room for desert, you are thinking. Well it’s surprising what room you can find when confronted by Argentina’s most famous ice cream brand, Freddo. Their Dulce de Leche beats Haagen Dazs’s imitation any day. I loved the fact they have Don Pedro, probably Argentina’s most classic desert; whipped ice cream, walnuts and whisky. It’s delicious and encapsulates the brilliance of Argentine cuisine; simple yet fantastic raw materi93A Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HL
You can almost taste Ortiz’s experience in what is probably the best octopus starter I’ve had: Pulpo grilled with dried chilli, sitting on a bed of corn. My ten year-old son loved the Andean Heritage Salad of quinoa, sweet potato, Inca corn, avocado, cheese; “the flavours came together beautifully” (I think he got that phrase from Masterchef) The test of any Peruvian restaurant should be the ceviche; increasingly popular on London menus but rarely inspiring. The key is in the ‘tiger’s milk’ juice, and here is where Ortiz’ knowledge provides the edge, delivering a soft and almost creamy texture, when others can be harsh and over-limey. The Cassava Croquetas with black and white quinoa, cheese, achiote oil, were also delicious. For mains, my son chose classic lomo saltado beef strips, flame sautéed, red onions, rice and chunky chips – which he described as steak and chips, but much, much better. We also had a delicious Pato al Aji, grilled duck breast, aji mirasol, purple corn rice and an outstandingly crispy and succulent Chicharrón (pork belly), with sweet potato and rocoto pepper sauce. To finish; a chocolate mousse that burst open with a passion fruit sauce - the sweet and sour contrasting perfectly – and an array of wonderful ice creams made of purple corn, maca, and lúcuma. Despite being fairly up-market, Pisqu was refreshingly child friendly; chef Ortiz invited the kids into the kitchen, where they watched him prepare sublime morsels (with lightening speed, by all accounts) - a unique experience for them. You can’t get much better than this for authentic Peruvian; now you have London’s two best Peruvian restaurants, distinct in their approach, side by side.
23 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HZ
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
WHERE TO EAT
2 Colham House, Bakers Rd, Uxbridge UB8 1RG
De La Panza
105-107 Southgate Rd, N1 3JS 50 Broadway Market, Hackney
23 Connaught St, W2 2AY
52 Tanner St, SE1 3PH
176 Upper Street, N1
Various locations www.gauchorestaurants.com
31 Camden High St, NW1 7JE
BRAZILIAN RESTAURANTS Cabana
Various locations including Covent Garden, Brixton and Stratford www.cabana-brasil.co.uk
Various locations, check www.wahaca.co.uk
152 Tooley St, SE1 2TU
159 High St, NW10 4TR
Made in Brasil
12 Inverness St, NW1 7HJ
73 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, W1D 6LN 0LL
Sabor Brasileiro Patagonia
639 Harrow Rd, NW10 5NU
Santa Maria del Sur
4 Northcote Rd, SW11 1NT
259 Muswell Hill Broadway, N10 1DE
La Bodega Negra
38 Lexington St, Soho, W1F 0LL
129 Queenstown Rd, SW8 3RH
5 Langley Street, WC2H 9JA
Priory House, 10 Kingsgate Pl, NW6 4TA
60-62 Brick Ln, E1 6RF
126 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1KB 1024 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, NW10 5NN
3 Bell Lane, E1 7LA
10 Old Compton Street, W1D 4 141-145 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS
16 Stoke Newington, Church Street, Hackney, N16 0LU
103 Hampstead Road, London NW1 3EL
151-153 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
2 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XN
9 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB
Various locations, check www.lupita.co.uk
www.cabana-brasil.com @CabanaBrasil CabanaBrasil CabanaTV CabanaBrasil
WHERE TO EAT
PERUVIAN RESTAURANTS Andina
1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ
31 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LP
17 Frith Street, London W1D 4RG
COLOMBIAN AND ECUADORIAN RESTAURANTS
Angels and Gypsies
102A Rockingham St, SE1 6PG
Ceviche Old St
2 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU
Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Walworth Rd, SE1 6TE
La Fonda de Maria
118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NW
23 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1HZ
18 Charlotte Street, London, Covent Garden, W1T 2LZ
164 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LY
31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1JH
14 Garrick Street (Entrance On Floral Street), WC2E 9BJ
4-6 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
El Rancho De Lalo
Village Market, 94-95 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PS
273A Clapham Rd, London SW9 9BQ
Leños y Carbon
113 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB
Supper Club, www.marlonskitchen.com for next event
LATIN CARIBBEAN RESTAURANTS Cubana (Cuban)
4 Panton Street, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4DL 29-33 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR
110 Whitfield Street, W1t 5ED
29 Park Road, Crouch End, N8 8TE
43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AJ
62 Goodge Street, W1T 4NE
2 Lower Regent Street, Mayfair, London SW1Y 4LR
Various locations, check www.brindisakitchens.com
Various locations, check www.ibericarestaurants.com
59-61 Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HA
Guanabana (Latin Caribbean)
Little Havana (Cuban)
85 Kentish Town Rd, NW1 8NY
20 Inverness Street, NW1 7HJ
Unit 23 The Stables Market, NW1 8AH
Arepa & Co. (Venezuelan)
254 Paradise Row London E2 9LE
25 Ganton Street, W1F 9BP 67 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington N16 0AR 379 Holloway Road, N7 0RN
45 Eversholt Street, Camden Town, NW1 1BA
5-6 Down Street, Mayfair, W1J 7AQ
Mar I Tierra
14 Gambia Street, Waterloo, SE1 0XH
The O2 London
may-june 7th June
Javiera Mena Music The revolutionary cult electropop artist celebrates the release of her new album. Bursting onto the scene in 2006 with ‘Esquemas Juveniles’, Javiera Mena got the attention of listeners by breaking boundaries with both her sound and aesthetic, and a Latin Grammy nomination in 2015. 24th May
Gente de Zona
Location: Rich Mix. 35-47 Bethnal Gren Rd, London E1 6LA.
Circus Circolombia returns to the UK after taking Edinburgh by storm with their critically acclaimed show. Witness the explosive power of thirteen performers, showcasing mind-boggling circus skills whilst taking terrifying risks live on stage. Coupled with live music and singers, Circolombia delivers world-class, gravity defying performances that you’ll never forget. Circolombia is no ordinary circus; celebrating diversity, voices, dance and spectacular circus LIVE. Location: Underbelly Festival. Southbank, SE1
Music The Twelve-time GRAMMY Award-winner and Colombia’s international superstar brings her EL DORADO WORLD TOUR to the UK, her first show since 2010 - when she sold out The O2 and wowed Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage.
Location: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Shepherd’s Bush Green, White City, London W12 8TT.
Location: The Scoop and Hays Galleria, Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2DB (on the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and next to Ciity Hall)
Combining reggaetón with Cuban son, Gente de Zona’ floor-filling rhythm Cubatón has got the world’s biggest pop stars lining up to do collaborations. Catch them live following their recent hit single with Kylie ‘Keep me from Falling’.
24th May – 14th July
Location: 02 Arena. Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX. 9th June
La Clave Fest Festival London’s now famous free Latin festival celebrating the best Latin music and dance is back, bigger and better than ever, taking over The Scoop, a stunning venue on the river (South Side) next to City Hall and overlooking Tower Bridge. Latin music in all its diversity including Venezuelan Jazz/Fusion in Telajeta, Latin hip hop, ending with Elpidio’s big band Salsa extravaganza plus top Latin Djs. International artists from Mexico and Colombia, dance shows choreograohed by Richard Marcel and Salsa Choke by Latin Fit Machine. Plus Salsa/ Bachata classes all day in the adjacent Hays Galleria. One not to miss. And it’s FREE!
El mató a un policía motorizado Music The Argentine band bring the best new alternative music to London. One of the most important alternative bands to come out of Latin America, they combine punk rock and noise pop with an incredible mix of instrumentation to create their unique sound. Location: Rich Mix. 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA.
june-JULY Opening 16th June
Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up
The Sunday Experience Clubbing
Art In 1954, following her death, Frida Kahlo’s possessions were locked away in the Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico City, her lifelong home. Half a century later, her collection of clothing, jewellery, cosmetics and other personal items was rediscovered. Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up offers a fresh perspective on the life story of this extraordinary artist. Location: Victoria and Albert Museum. Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL.
Jose Luis’ Digital Salsoteca Music/art Following its successful debut at the Tate Modern two years ago, London’s most famous art museum brings back DJ Jose Luis, this time to create a ‘Digital Salsoteca’: an installation creating a journey through Latin music from classic Salsa to the sounds of modern day Latin London. Includes film, live music, DJs, vinyl art and a sample based performance. From 6pm to 11pm. Location: Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1.
Residente Music The Puerto Rican rapper, writer, filmmaker, producer and founder of Calle 13. He has won 4 Grammy Awards has won more Latin Grammys than any other Latin artist. His lyrics have been lauded by critics and studied by academics at universities. Dubbed the Puerto Rican Public Enemy, Residente received the Nobel Peace Summit Award for his commitment to social awareness and promoting peace. He has also served as the spokesperson for several UNICEF and Amnesty International campaigns. Location: KOKO. 1A Camden High St, London NW1 7JE.
The night for true dance lovers with the best Latin dancers and teachers brought to you by UK’s leading choreographer Richard Marcel (Strictly, Xfactor) and the hottest reggaetón and urban beats with DJ extraordinaire Jose Luis. Featuring the UK’s leading Cuban dancer Yanet Fuentes (Shakira) and London’s only ‘Salsa Choke’ animation and classes by the Latin Fun Machine. Location: Bar Salsa 96 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG. 19th July
Café Tacvba Music Mexico’s leading alt-rock band, will be taking stage this summer for their first time in London for nine years! Blending elements such as rock, indigenous folk, electronic and punk, this band’s innovative sound pushes the classic “rock en español” to create a unique, hip-swaying concert experience. Location: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Shepherd’s Bush Green, White City, London W12 8TT. 21st July
30th June – 1st July
Comida Fest Food
Comida Fest is a Latin American street food market providing entertainment for kids and adults. It is a fun day out for the entire family with music, dance performances, storytelling and much more. Come and see it for yourself! Location: Cutty Sark Gardens, London SE10 9HT and Potters Field Park, London SE1 2AA.
Hola! London Music After the debut Latin festival last year, Carlos Vives and Ruben Blades will headline the second Hola! plus more artists to be announced. Outside the arena, Latin American Street Food will take up residence with traditional food and drinks from midday and fans will have the opportunity to enjoy free music and activities. Location: 02 Arena. Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX.
JULY-august 1-18th August
Saturdays from 21:00
Carmen La Cubana
Saturday Nights at Bar Salsa
Dance A sizzling new musical featuring Bizet’s classic score flavoured with authentic Cuban styles. Inspired by Oscar Hammerstein II’s Broadway hit Carmen Jones, Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) directs this UK premiere, with new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton), mixing opera with salsa, mambo, rumba and cha-chacha and including musical favourites such as Habanera. Featuring a large company of singers, dancers and musicians, Carmen La Cubana is a sultry take on one of the most famous operas ever created, set against the simmering turmoil of Revolution in Cuba,1958. Location: Sadler’s Wells Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R. 9th August
LUKAS Awards (Featuring Grupo Niche) Awards Ceremony/Concert Europe’s only Latin entertainment awards ceremony, now in its 6th year, celebrates the growing global impact of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese music, dance, arts and sport. The public is invited to vote for its favourite Latin artists during May and June (at www.thelukas. co.uk) which culminates in a fabulous Gala Ceremony with a full live concert.This year’s special guests are Grupo Niche - Colombia’s most emblematic salsa orchestra who have conquered the world for more than thirty-five years with their Cali-style salsa. Formed in 1980, hits such as ‘Cali Pachanguero’, would make Niche international stars. The full Grupo Niche live show follows The LUKAS 2018 Awards ceremony. Location: Troxy. 490 Commercial Rd, London E1 0HX.
Bad Bunny Music This Latin trap superstar and pioneer is set to light up London with his electric show this summer. As one of Latin America’s biggest success stories, he’s already collaborated with the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Nicky Minaj and Major Lazer as well as a recent feature on Cardi B’s new album. Location: O2 Brixton Academy. 211 Stockwell Rd, Brixton, London SW9 9SL. 10th August
Daddy Yankee Music Dubbed ‘the King of Reggaeton’, the Puerto Rican Superstar has curated some of the most celebrated and colourful catalogue of Latin anthems of our generation including 2017’s summer hit “Despacito” which this month surpassed a record 5 billion views on YouTube, party anthem “Gasolina” and remixes of “Havana” and “Gyal You A Party Animal”. His success continues to shine with hit song “Azukia” featuring Steve Aoki and “Dura” which has surpassed an incredible 683 million views to date. Location: The SSE Arena, Wembley. Arena Square, Engineers Way, London HA9 0AA.
Learn to dance and/or dance the night away at London’s most popular Latin venue on its most popular night. Salsa classes are generally £6 per class, or £8.00 for 2 classes (unless free) payable directly to the teacher on the night and do not require advance booking (prices may vary). With a great range of dance classes each night with many different levels, taught by the Uk’s top teachers - why not come and join in! Location: 96 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JG. Fridays from 21:00
I Love Latino @ Gabeto Clubbing Every Friday, experience two rooms pumping out the best Latin music in a great venue in the heart of Camden Lock. Room 1: Reggaeton Takeover with Jose Luis and guests playing the latest, the best and classic Reggaeton, R&B and Latin Beats. Room 2: Tu Sabor Ramiro Zapata and his Tropicana team take over the second room for a full night of Salsa and Bachata. Location: Camden Market, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH. Tuesdays from 21:00
Todo Latino @ Salsa Temple Clubbing London’s Biggest ever Super Latin Club presents the newest Salsa party with the UK’s best Latin DJs every Tuesday. Room 1: Salsa Dura, Brava & Clasica, Bachata & Cha Cha with resident DJ’s & guests Tuli and OS on rotation. Room 2: Reggaeton, Merengue & Latin Pop with DJ Jose Luis & Guests. (Hacienda) 7:30pm-9:30pm- 2 hours of classes in Bachata (2 levels). Location: Temple Place. London WC2R 2PH.
46 Continues from page p13... “Together with Ismael Rivera and Bob Marley, Blades is the artist that has most inspired me,” continues Tego “He made me realise: ‘this is what I want to do. I want to express myself. I want to talk about the reality I see.’” Blades seems keenly aware of his influence: “I’m not played on the radio, I haven’t had a hit for years,“ he confesses. “But my songs still inspire people and find new audiences. Why? I don’t know but I see thousands of young people at ou r shows singing songs that were written and recorded years before they were born. I guess the lyrics continue to be representative not just of Latin American barrios but of urban realities worldwide” “Can music really change things? What advice would you give to young artists who seek this?” I ask: “Sure music can create change. Mercedes Sosa, Victor Jara, Ali Primera, Caetano Veloso, Violeta Parra…all their countries ended up having Leftist governments, you don’t think they played a role? And yes there are some artists doing this now, Residente springs to mind. What advice would I give? Write the truth as you understand it to be and, more importantly, embrace the Greek principle of Parrehsia as an artistic model. That is, the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk.” From Rebel-Rousing to Politics True to Masucci’s fears, Rubén Blades began playing out his own discourse of the downtrodden man as he became more and more outspoken about the exploitation he witnessed at Fania. “There are no two ways about it,” Blades said at the time, “Jerry created opportunities for Salsa artists, but he ended up keeping their money. Every time one of them died, we had to pass the hat around to try to see how we could bury this person.”
“The failure of Leftist governments reflects the failure of the leaders, not a failure of the Left’s values.” Today Blades says it still upsets him: “we were exploited by labels who did not pay us what was ours and did not respect our work. I’m probably the only one at Fania who got something back, because I sued them, and I got my music, my publishing rights. But to this day, labels continue to own our masters, even after we’ve paid for them with our royalties.” After leaving Fania and going on to have enormous success, Blades decided to enter poli-
tics for real. He ran for president of Panama and managed to get 15% of the vote, and has dabbled in film (resulting in an astounding thirty seven movies) with rather mixed results, it has to be said. One can debate the success of Blades’ diversions. Like many of the characters in his songs, he too has his contradictions, his ego, his flaws. Finally he went from outsider to the inner sanctums of government when he became Panama’s Minister of Tourism. You can see him in interviews, rather uncomfortably talking about the security tourists will find in Panama. Have age and the experience of working in government changed your politics? “I came out of the experience a less selfish person than when I went in. I discovered that positive social change can be introduced through government action and that people respond when there is a credible voice and project. It renewed my optimism in changing the world for the better. We can do it provided we stop acting like fingers and instead become hands.” I suggest that the Left had its chance in Latin America and nothing much changed…he disagrees: “Actually it’s only the Left that has given us the minimum wage, free education, workers rights, paid vacations. These benefits have never been given by Right-wing governments. The failure of Leftist governments reflects the failure of their leaders, not the failure of the Left’s values. Corruption is not limited to the Right; it’s a human failing. Does the pederasty among priests mean that Christ was wrong?” If you were to write a sequel to Buscando America, what would the title be and what would it say? “I would repeat the title. We have not found the real America yet; the one that it can and needs to be. And I still value the ideals of the songs I wrote back then.” Older and chubbier, Blades’ rebel spirit hasn’t waned, as one recent Spanish interviewer learned when he referred to him as the Bruce Springsteen of South America. “I think what you mean…” Blades replied,”...is that Bruce Springsteen is the Rubén Blades of North America.” What other answer would you expect from The People’s Latino? Ruben Blades will be headlining the Hola London Festival at the 02 on July 21st. www.theo2.co.uk