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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series

La Última

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Friday, 26 May 2017, 04:28 PM

Rivera y Primera at Roccapulco

Tour Continues Tonight in SF

Las Vegas-Saturday - LA- Sunday

Rivera y Primera really did turn out to be la combinación perfecta. Transcending the usual Van Van tribute approach, Mayito and Alexander sang together with obvious preparation on an HdP song, El palo más duro, and Mayito's first  big hit, La sorpresa (Voy a publicar tu foto). Mayito sang Soy todo alone but the band, with Guillermo del Toro switching to drumset, made some very cool changes to the arrangement. The show went two hours and included several new HdP songs as well as a couple of their trademark hits. If you're in SF, LV, LA or Miami, this historic pairing is not to be missed.

Roccapulco's slick new digital backdrop was a big improvement

Avis Tobías was playing with a new ferocity

DJ Walt Digz with DJ Leydis

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017, 04:30 PM

Mayito & Havana d'Primera

La combinación perfecta

San Francisco - Los Angeles - Las Vegas - Miami

HAVANA D' PRIMERA   YOSHI'S SAN FRANCISCO --  NOVEMBER 24, 2012  PHOTOS BY TOM EHRLICH © 2012

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TOUR

Havana d'Primera will be back on the West Coast starting Thursday & Friday, May 25 & 26 at Roccapulco in San Francisco , and this time they have a special guest - ex-Van Van legend, Mayito Rivera.

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017, 03:36 AM

Afro-Cuban All Stars on Fire

Four Nights in LA Beginning Tonight - Phoenix on Sunday

           ACAS at Kuumbwa Jazz Center - all photos by Tom Ehrlich - full gallery coming soon

The current incarnation of Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars may be the best in its legendary, star-studded 20-year history. They'll be in LA at the Catalina Bar & Grill tonight through Saturday and in Phoenix on Sunday.

De Marcos quipped that when he started the band he was the youngest member, surrounded by octogenarian legends. Now he's the oldest and he's assembled a blazing hot young band that's as much about innovation as celebrating the past.

Tany Allende, Caleb Michel, Asley Rosell, Marcos Crego, Jiovanni Cofiño

The rhythm section is tight, intense and never too loud - with de Marcos' daughter Gliceria on vibes and synth, ex-Klímax pianist Marcos Crego, ex-Revé musical director Jiovanni Cofiño on bass and a stunning young rhythm section with Arizona-born Caleb Michel on timbales, Tany Allende on congas and newcomer Asley Rosell on bongó.

Juan de Marcos

De Marcos has become an excellent singer and now uses only one additional lead vocalist, Emilio Suárez, who's also started contributing original compositions. 

Juan de Marcos, Laura Lydia González

But what continually blows me away about this band is the horn section. While finding a spot in the band for his younger daughter Laura, de Marcos hit on an idea that works so brilliantly it's a wonder that no other bands have adopted it. Placing a bass clarinet below three trumpets creates a completely unique sound and an ensemble capable of sounding as in tune as three trombones, and as ferocious as the agile, but often unruly combination of trumpets and saxes.

Laura Lydia González

Laura Lydia González combines the accuracy and perfect intonation of a classical player with the bite and rhythmicattack of a percussionist. She also solos on the standard Bb clarinet as I've never heard it played - almost reinventing the instrument. The traditionally straight-laced clarinet tends to be more accurate but less expressive than the sax, but Laura plays with a wailing, soaring tone that sounds more like a soulful trumpet. If you're anywhere near LA or Phoenix don't miss this one.

                   Juan de Marcos, Emilio Suárez, Laura González, Gliceria González

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 02:20 AM

Tom's Photos of the SF SalsarReda Festival

Timbalive and the Juan Formell Tribute Concert

Samuel, Yeni, Robertón & Pedrito Calvo

The 9th Annual SalsaRueda Fest featured Timbalive with two current and two ex-VanVaneros, including new Bay Area resident Yenisel Valdés, who also made her Santa Cruz debut at the Center Street Food Lounge. Here are links to Tom Ehrlich's galleries from the Festival: concert - soundcheck.

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