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Photos from Peter Maiden!
In the three years Iíve been involved in the salsa-craze this
concert sounded the most promising. Never before have I heard of so many great Latin
music stars in one show. It was not your regular dance event. This was a
showcase of music talent first and foremost. Yes, there were a lot of dancers
on stage too, but it seemed their roles were to entertain the eyes while your
ears were full of great music. How many of us really stop and listen to the band
while dancing? Not many. In this show dancers had to adapt to the bandsí music
without a chance of choreographing their routines.
After all, it was a tribute to one of the Latin musicís
legends, a musician who inspired his fellow musicians and dancers alike. Yes,
there was a lot of grumbling about the organization of the show, but letís not
forget, the promoter Roberto Hernandez has assembled am impressive list of
performers and published a glossy program presenting in detail each and every
one of them not to mention an in-depth biography of Tito Puente. Yes, some
musicians did not show up and some dancers were ready to go, but never made it
on stage even after extensive rehearsals.
Nevertheless, we heard great music from visiting and local
salsa stars including Tito Puente Jr., Jimmy Bosch. Dave Valentin, Cachao,
Chocolate, Francisco Aguabella and many many others. Our favorites Charanson
leader Anthony Blea and versatile flutist and keyboardist John Calloway took
center stage for a change jamming with Tito Puente Jrís orquestra. Contra Costa
Salsa Big Band was quite impressive too.
The audienceís mood was mixed. Most crowded the stage and
cheered. Some were listening quietly in their seats. Some were dancing. There
was this pervasive aura of confusion on stage and beyond. We didnít even know
when the show ended. No one presented the usual closing remarks. Was it worth
$45? If you were there, you be the judge. If not, I guess next time youíve got
to go to see for yourself.
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