Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: Los Amigos Bring the Sexy to Carrboro (2/25)

Although the Cradle wasn't completely sold out, the front of the house was jammed tight with pogo-ing, flagwaving fans by the time I got to Los Amigos Invisibles, about half an hour in to their show. Caught the tail end of this salsa tune on my way in:

A local Venezuelan delegation had brought them a cake that afternoon in honor of the band's twentieth anniversary. All the Amigos were there, except Jose Torres (whom I interviewed for their 2004 Zinga Son record); he had to go home to Spain unexpectedly, so a good pal of DJ Afro's was filling in on bass. Like Los Lobos, another idiosyncratic Latin fusion band, Los Amigos have kept the same close-knit core all these years.

Los Amigos Invisibles 2.25.11

los amigos invisibles

LAI live is like a blender mixing música popular, from the hip to the corny, into a psychedelic milkshake. Before you've fully processed that snippet of an old bolero, they're off to quoting familiar funk hooks, bouncey Europop choruses and organ riffs from sporting events, all swirling in and around their own songs in a non-stop flow.

los amigos invisibles

I got some facetime with DJ Afro after the show, and we talked about vinyl collecting and Venezuelan salsa rarities. He still does a podcast, DJ Afro y su rumba barata, which is broadcast in Caracas, Panama and Mexico City. We agreed that there should be a wiki database for music, similar to the IMDb for movies. Fellow music nerds, any ideas on how to make that happen?

Los Amigos Invisibles 2.25.11

This is my longest clip, a merengue marathon including the song "El Baile del Sobón" from Arepa 3000:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Charanga & Jazz SATURDAY (2/19) @ UNC Memorial

If you missed out on Eddie Palmieri yesterday--from his student masterclass, to the Memorial Hall concert, to a jam session on Franklin Street--you can still look forward to a great evening of Latin jazz tonight at UNC: a joint concert of Charanga Carolina and the UNC Jazz Band, with guests Joe Chambers (drums) and Conrad Herwig (trombone). Rumor has it there will be some special guests on vibes as well.

Palmieri & Charanga Carolina masterclass

Palmieri was so stoked upon hearing the Charanga Carolina yesterday, that he placed cell phone calls during the rehearsal to share the live sound with two very important people: his wife ("she's a charanguera!" says Eddie), and trumpeter/music historian Rene Lopez.

"This is a rocking band! You better give them a good write-up," Palmieri told me afterwards.

Palmieri & Charanga Carolina masterclass
He gave some playing tips to the group's pianists, current and former, who huddled around the keyboard on the Hill Hall stage, where yesterday's masterclass took place.

Palmieri's trombonist, Conrad Herwig has been in residency all week, playing lip-busting concerts with UNC faculty, the NC Jazz Rep Orchestra, as well as his boss. He told me Wednesday that he is looking forward to playing with the Charanga tonight.

Conrad Herwig @ UNC

Tonight's concert will be in UNC Memorial Hall at a cost of $15 general admission. An after hours jam session is planned at 10:30 pm at West End Wine Bar (cover: $4)

This intense burst of concerts continues next weekend, as part of UNC's 34th Carolina Jazz Festival. Trumpeter Marcus Printup of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returns to campus for a residency Thursday (2/24)-Saturday (2/26).

Charanga Talulla

I never did a full review of Charanga Carolina's show at Talulla's a few weeks ago, but it was a barnburner. Although the intimate setting puts dance space at a premium, the warm acoustics and family-run atmosphere at Talulla's are a perfect home for Charanga.

Here's a video from last time to get you in the mood for tonight:

Charanga! Talulla

Charanga Talulla

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eddie Palmieri at UNC-Memorial Friday (2/18)

Read my Indy story, P'Adelante: Eddie Palmieri Continues to Reinvent his Pioneering Latin Jazz, here. The concert is Friday at UNC-Memorial at 8 pm.

A TRANSCRIPT containing more of this interview will be available here LATER TODAY. Check back later on Thursday.

I just had a chat last night with Conrad Herwig, Eddie Palmieri's trombonist, in the green room after he played a lip-blistering concert with Jim Ketch in Hill Hall. This was a free concert, lots of other events (some paid/ticketed, some not) taking place over the next two weeks at UNC, part of the Carolina Jazz Festival. Conrad is doing a residency and will also perform in Memorial with the UNC Jazz Band and Charanga Carolina on Saturday. I will post more info later!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Faceoff in Fayetteville

UPDATE 2/4: Tickets For GARDEL AT THE SPEAKEASY are now $10 at the door. REFUNDS for the difference will be issued if you purchased an advance ticket at higher price. --Info Source: Speakeasy Management, via Andy Kleindienst

I'm not sure what star alignment is responsible for this, but two Triangle salsa bands will go head to head in Fayetteville this Friday (2/4) night:

Orquesta GarDel, entering phase 2 of its CD release party at The Speakeasy:


Tropic Orchestra, billed as Ricardo Diquez y su Orquesta Tropical, at Congo's Latin Club:

Ricardo Diquez says Tropic's lineup is largely unchanged, with Ramon "Chino" Casiano on congas/backing vocals and Jonah Vincent on second trumpet for this gig.

Congo's announces a cash-prize Salsa Contest on Facebook.

The Speakeasy is a "cigar bar," but also/and (?) a "nightclub"--no word on whether the smoker-friendly bar is physically separated from the dancefloor.

See calendar (right sidebar) for details.


Orquesta GarDel artist website
Tropic Orchestra on ReverbNation