What is happening now?
Tito Garcia-The Doctor of Salsa, the renowned colorful bandleader and timbalero of Tito Garcia y Orquesta Internacional passed away on Saturday, April 23rd after a long battle with cancer. Tito has performed Salsa and Charanga in the 1970’s with the seminal SF based bands Ritmo 74 and later Charanga Rene Del Mar. He later spearheaded the band “Orquesta Salsa Dulce” in the late 1980’s which morphed into the first edition of his band La International featuring a young Julio Bravo on coro in the early 1990’s. La Internacional were remembered for their explosive performances by dancers and aficionados.
Tito was a staple at the late, famed salsa palace Cafe Cocomo with his monthly “Mambo Saturdays” during the early 2000’s. I often was the DJ during those hot nights. His band featured fine musicians and vocalists such as former Batachanga vocalist Ricky Rangel, congueros Eddie Borrero and Sandy Perez of Los Muñequitos De Matanzas and keyboardist Coto Pincheira who relocated to New York.
Tito García had been fitghing against, cancer, which took his life at the end
Tito resurfaced after his bout with Cancer in 2020 to relaunch La Internacional but the comeback was short lived due to his health issues. He later hosted some outdoor rumba sessions near his new home of Vallejo but those dates were limited due to COVID restrictions. He relapsed during his recent trip to Costa Rica and died due to complications with his recovery. He will be sorely missed.
Don’t forget coming up on Friday, May 6th at 8 pm with be the tremendous Cuban music double bill of “El Tren De Cuba”…Los Van Van and Alexander Abreu y Havana d’Primera at the UC Theatre, 2036 University Avenue in Berkeley. Two of the powerhouses of Cuban Popular music are appearing together for the first time in the US and on only certain dates of the tour…SF Bay Area residents are blessed to have this double bill play here! DJ Antonio will spin in-between sets. I will be your MC for the evening. Run to get your tickets because they’re going fast! For more information, go to jaffeevents.com
Salsa superstar Oscar D’Leon and his orchestra will visit the SF Bay on Saturday, May 21 at Roccapulco, 3140 Mission St. in San Francisco. Oscar is still one of the dynamos to watch perform live…a tremendous show! Guayacan Orquesta from Colombia will also play on Friday, May 13 at the Mission Street hot spot. Also coming to Roccapulco Sat. June 11th…the Homenaje A La Musica Cubana featuring Mayito Rivera, Alain Perez, Yeny Valdes, Lily Hernandez “La Amaona” and Julio Cesar “JC Five” plus DJ Walt Digz (SF) and DJ Jimmy Rumba (LA) and on Thursday, July 7th…the explosive sounds of Pupy Y Los Que Son Son direct from Cuba.
Oscar D’ León will be in the San Frrancisco Bay Area on 21 May
SF JAZZ and the San Francisco Jazz Festival are featuring an impressive array of Salsa, Cuban and Latin Jazz starting Wednesday June 8 with Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Followed by Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Grammy nominee Aymee Nuviola 6/9; Chucho Valdes with Dianne Reeves and Joe Lovano 6/12; Changui Majadero 6/13, Danilo Perez Global Messengers 6/14; Issac Delgado’s Con Tumbao Project w/Miguel Zenon, Oscar Hernandez, Pedrito Martinez, Alain Perez, Tony Succar and more 6/18. SF JAZZ and Stanford University co-presents Eddie Palmieri and Arturo Sandoval at Stanford’s Frost Amphiteater on July 23. Info: www.sfjazz.org.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival will begin Saturday, May 7th from 1 to 2:30 pm with a free concert featuring local treasure Jesus Diaz y Su Habana Afro-Cuban Ensemble featuring a lineup of heavyweights from Cuba and the SF Bay including Ariacne Trujillo Duran, Leider Chappotin, Raul Pineda, Roberto Junior Vizcaino, Karl Perazzo, Jeff Cressman, Melecio Magdaluyo and Julio De La Cruz. The Yerba Buena Gardens is located on Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Streets in San Francisco. Visit ybgfestival.org for more information. There will also be an after party featuring Jesus Diaz and the Habana Afro-Cuban Ensemble and DJ Carlitos Way at the Elbo Room, 311 Broadway in Oakland.
The San Francisco Carnaval and much more
The annual Carnaval San Francisco is back on the streets of San Francisco on Sat, May 28 and Sun. May 29th with the theme Colores De Amor. The two day festival will take place on Harrison between 17th and 22nd Streets from 11 am to 6 pm. The grand parade will take place on Sunday, May 29th starting at 9:30 am on 24th and Byrant Streets. Scheduled to perform will be Jesus Diaz y Su QBA, Momotombo, Sambada, Javier Navarette & His Socially Distant Friends, Dos Four, Puro Bandido, Namorados da Lua, Annette Aguilar & West Coast Stringbeans, Susanna y Orquesta Adelante, Magna Fresq, Los Allegres Callejeros, Aqua Pura, Mariachi Juvenil, Azul Latino and more. Headliners TBA. Food, Beer, Crafts, DJ areas and Cannabis gardens on the grounds. Free! For more information: carnavalsanfrancisco.org.
There is a new Salsa scene happening on Thursdays starting May 12th at Charley’s LG, 15 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos presented by your friends at International Salsa Magazine. Opening night at this state of the art club will feature the swinging sounds of the multi-talented vocalist/conguero Edgardo Cambon and Candela. I, Luis Medina from KPFA/WSR and International Salsa Magazine will be your DJ. World Salsa Radio DJ El De La Clave will also be in the house. Dance lessons by Migi & Angel starts at 8:00 pm. Music starts at 9 pm. The upcoming schedule is the following: Julio Bravo and Salsabor 5/19, Manny Martinez and La Rebeldia 5/26 and the Charanga sounds of Orquesta La Moderna Tradición 6/2. Thursday nights just got hotter in the South Bay…be there!!
Edgardo Cambón at The Seahorse Restaurant, Sausalito
The Ramp at 855 Terry Francois Blvd in San Francisco continues to present Salsa orchestras on Saturday afternoons starting at 5 pm. The night is closed on June 7th for a private event, The Ramp’s first Salsa festival featuring 2 bands: Gary Flores y su orquesta Salsa Caliente and Eric Rangel and Orquesta America 5/14, The Latin Rhythm Boys 5/21 and Louie Romero and Mazacote on May 28th. DJ Mendy spins in-between sets and after the live music from 9 to 11 pm. The Ramp has a great patio overlooking the SF Bay and serves food and drinks.
The Seahorse located at 305 Harbor Drive in Sausalito features live music plus KPOO-KPFA DJ Jose Ruiz on Saturday and Sundays. Sat, April 30th features La Clave Del Blanco, Rene Escovedo Salsa Band with Ric Feliciano Sun 5/1; Edgardo Cambon & Candela Sun, 5/8; Orquesta Timbalero Sat, 5/14; Louie Romero & Mazacote Sun, 5/15; Susanna y Adelante Sat, 5/21; Orquesta La Original w/Alexis Guillen 5/22; Pepe Y Su Orquesta Sat. 5/28; and Orquesta Taino Sun. 5/29. Enjoy the fine Italian cuisine, beer, wine and ambiance both indoors and the outdoor patio at this scenic spot just crossing the bridge to Marin County.
The Cigar Bar, 850 Montgomery St. in San Francisco is a favorite spot to dine, have drinks, enjoy a cigar in the courtyard and dance to hot Salsa music. The calendar for May includes Manteca 5/6, Orquesta Timbalero 5/7, Somos El Son 5/13, Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble 5/14, N’Rumba 5/20, Edgardo y Candela 5/21, Orquesta Taino 5/27 and La Clave Del Blanco 5/28.
René Escovedo will perform at the Seahorse Restaurant, Sausalito, on May 1
DJ Walt Digz has a hot Wednesday night Cuban scene “El Timbon” happening at the Slate Bar, 2925-16th Street in San Francisco. Digz also hosts his own livestream called “El Timbon” featuring the latest Timba, Cuban Salsa and Cubaton videos every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 pm on Twitch. He also keeps busy by hosting the monthly Fresquecito Saturday nights at La Furia Chalaca in Oakland and the outdoor El Timbon En El Callejon Sundays from 3 to 8 pm at Vida Cantina, 56 Belden Place in San Francisco. Digz also continues his original Friday La Tropi-Cal monthly at Il’ Pirata in SF with Añejo Productions now going on their 21st year!
Berkeley’s Ecology Center will present the Berkeley Farmer’s Market Salsa Festival on Saturday, May 21 from 10 am-5 pm. This free event will feature Christian Pepin and Orquesta Bembe, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Peruvian keyboardist Erick Peralta and Band, Berkeley High School Youth Ensemble and the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble. Dance performance and Dance lessons by Rebecca Galindo. Food, crafts and more. For more information, visit www.ecologycenter.org.
Don’t forget to check out my radio programs: Con Sabor now in it’s 25th Anniversary Year on KPFA 94.1 FM every Saturday night from 9 to 11 PM PST and Sabiduria Con Tumbao every Wednesday night 5 to 7 pm PST on WorldSalsaRadio.com.
That’s it for this month! Ciao 4 now!