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Contra Costa Salsa Big Band is one of the Bay Area’s finest jazz orchestras, presenting classic mambo and cha cha cha sounds with a distinctly modern flair

Contra Costa Salsa Big Band’s wailing horns and driving percussion section evoke the classic sounds of the Palladium of 1950’s as they play hits from beloved Latin-Jazz composers. Contra Costa Salsa Big Band has developed loyal and growing following of Salsa dancers and listeners.

Contra Costa Salsa Big Band, founded and directed by Dan Beugeleisen, has played to enthusiastic audiences at Yoshi’s Nitespot and the original Mr. E’s in Berkeley. The Band is modeled after the original Salsa Band of Tito Puente. The Band features a full horn section of 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, and 5 saxophones; piano, bass, guitar; and a percussion section anchored by master percussionist John Santos. The largest part of the Band’s repertoire comes from the entire collection of Tito Puente’s published works for Big Bands, and feature such favorites as Mambo Diablo, Oye Como Va, and Ran Kan Kan. Many of these pieces have become Salsa classics, and have been arranged for various ensembles, but the Contra Costa Salsa Big Band presents these compositions in their original formant, just as you would have heard them if you had the chance to hear Tito Puente’s Band (minus Tito Puente of course). The band also plays compositions and arrangements of Latin Masters such as Mario Bauza, Chico O’Farrill and Paquito D’Rivera, features compositions by newer composers and arrangers out of New York such as Philip Michael Mossman and Jeff Fuller, and presents original Latin compositions by Bay Area composers Mark Levine and Jon Polacios.

Contra Costa Salsa Big Band is actually an extension of the Contra Costa Big Band, which has been playing contemporary Big Band Jazz for many years at venues such as Yoshi’s and Mr. E’s in Berkeley, performing with singers Clairdee and Barbara Morrisson. After the Band’s last sellout performance at Yoshi’s in May of 2000, the band decided to branch out into the world of Salsa, and purchased over 30 of the finest Salsa charts available. The Band rehearsed and continues to rehearse every Tues. nite at Contra Costa College.

Contra Costa Salsa Big Band is proud to announce the return of renowned percussionist John Santos to the fold. John Santos is one of the Bay Area’s leading educators and performers of Afro-Latin music. John, a 20 year veteran of the Bay Area music scene, has lead groups such as Tipica Cinefuegos, Batachanga and The Machete Ensemble. John has inspired countless musicians as a highly valued and sought after educator at music camps and workshops around the country. John is internationally know for his unique blend of traditional and modern Afro-Latin music stylings.

On March 4th, the band goes into the studio to begin work on a CD. The CD will feature the band playing both Salsa and contemporary Jazz. The Salsa portion of the project features John Santos, and will include one or two classic Tito Puente compositions and a cha cha entitled "Linda Chicana", which was written by Bay Area native Mark Levine and arranged by the band's lead tenor saxophone player Stephen Herrick. The band will also present a smoking new salsa composition by New Yorker Stephan Fuller, and last but not least, a hot new composition written especially for the band by local composer Jon Polacios. The Contemporary Jazz portion of the CD will feature pieces by Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer, and a special collaboration with the Black Poetry class at Contra Costa College.  Most of all, the members of the Contra Costa Salsa Big Band enjoy playing music for dancers.

You can also hear samples from Dan Buegeleisen's CD "West Coast Alternative" at http:www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005AU5K/qid%3D987184023/103-2085979-7861430

 Spotlight on the Square is located  at 2203 Mariner Square, Alameda  510-523-8368.

For more about the Contra Costa Salsa Big Band, call Dan Buegeleisen at (415)456-3543

For more information on John Santos, go to www.johnsantos.com

For more information on Rumba Rumberos Dance Company, call Chantal at (415) 606-7909.

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