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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series
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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA

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Monday, 13 October 2014, 12:27 AM

Piloto Drum Clinic in San Francisco - Oct. 20

If you're in Northern California, this one is absolutely not to be missed. On Klímax's one off-day, Monday, October 20th, Giraldo Piloto will do a clinic-demo session at the Community Music Center in San Francisco's Mission District (home page here). It's only $15 at the door (sliding scale), 6:30 to 8:00. No need to be a drummer or musician - this is a demo rather than a play-along master class - and an incredible opportunity to meet the greatest living Cuban musician never to have come to the United States (til now!) - and to hear him play, talk and answer your questions for 1.5 hours in a small and intimate setting. For more info, call  415-647-6015. Here are the latest concert dates.

There are drummers who compose and composers who drum, but Piloto is on the shortest of short lists in both categories, having won the timba.com award for Best Timba Drummer of All-Time and having written pivotal breakthrough hits for Issac Delgado (No me mires, Por qué paró, etc.), Charanga Habanera (Me sube la fiebre, Mi estrella, Pelirroja), NG La Banda (Te confunde ser esa mujer), Bamboleo (Yo tengo Bamboleo), and of course, Klímax.

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Friday, 10 October 2014, 08:30 AM

Maykel Blanco & Su Salsa Mayor to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Gala Concert October 11 @ Teatro Lázaro Peña

Maykel Blanco & Su Salsa Mayor 10th Anniversary

The place to be in Havana this weekend is Teatro Lázaro Peña for the 10th anniversary celebration of Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor. Maykel has been keeping most of the plans to himself to maintain the air of mystery, but he has stated that in addition to the guest musicians, a number of plastic artists are invited.  Fans from around the world have been sending the band video greetings that Maykel will be incorporating into the anniversary AV show.

The popularity of Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor, both in Cuba and abroad, is indisputable. Maykel's hard work with both the music and the audiovisual aspects of the show has made their matinee one of the must-see concerts for timberos visiting Havana. If you're in Havana, don't miss it!

During a recent appearance on Donde si no, the band performed three new songs that they will be doing at the anniversary gala, and each bears the unmistakable Salsa Mayor sello. Maykel himself classifies his music as son with songo. Over the past decade he has faced criticism for similarities to Van Van and Pupy, but there is no longer any question that Salsa Mayor has its own sound that is as recognizable as the great bands of the classic timba era. Click here to watch the video interview (in Spanish) and see all three of the new songs.

Te Escapaste - Yordys Larrazábal

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Friday, 10 October 2014, 05:21 AM

KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX!

KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX!

KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX! KLÍMAX!

Visas Approved!

After waiting for this for over 15 years, I didn't want to jinx it by getting excited before the visas came through, but they did and it's all systems go for the US DEBUT, believe it or not, of Giraldo Piloto y Klímax, the last of the great Cuban bands never to have come to the US.

There are 7 dates so far: Los Angeles on the 17th (333 Live), Santa Cruz on the 18th, Yoshi's SF on the 21st and 22nd, Seattle on the 23rd and Portland on the 24th.

The Santa Cruz (Felton) show at Don Quixote's is only $20/advance for the whole night. This is a very nice, low key, spacious club with a large dance floor - Havana d'Primera played there on their first US tour. On the afternoon of the show, Ryan and Sidney of Rueda con Ritmo will be giving classes from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Santa Cruz Tannery (corner of Hwy 1 and Hwy 9), including a special class that deals specifically with the style of Klímax and special dance steps that can used with it.

Klímax has three new singles out on amazon - featuring Piloto's new pianist and collaborator, Javier Moreno Piloto, the latest musical member of the legendary Piloto Barreto clan to join the timba scene. [Kevin Moore]

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Monday, 06 October 2014, 01:53 AM

Tom Ehrlich's Photos from the Monterey Jazz Festival

Day 1: Friday

The Monterey Jazz is the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, having presented everyone from Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane to Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Issac Delgado and the Pedrito Martínez Group. Although this year's event was a bit light on Afro-Caribbean music, it featured many outstanding bands, including living legends Herbie Hancock and Charles Lloyd, young phenoms like Cécile McLoren Salvant and Melissa Aldana, master bassist Christian McBride, and dozens of other great musicians.

This is the first of at least three reports on this year's festival. [Tom Ehrlich]

 
Charles Lloyd with Zakir Hussain (above) - Melissa Aldana with Francisco Mela (below)

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