News about the live music scene in San Francisco
The Ruben Blades concert at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre on Saturday, November 20th was sensational! The anticipation of the packed intergenerational crowd to his first visit In 18 years was at a high peak. Blades wowed the audience with a stunning performance backed by bassist Roberto Delgado’s dynamic Big Band. Ruben’s powerful voice was as crystal clear as when he started his career with Ray Barretto back in 1974. His set list was a retrospective into his vast and deep repertoire that included his big hits, crowd favorites, esoteric song choices and selections from his Latin Grammy award winning album Salswing! The musicianship that accompanied Blades was top notch as Roberto Delgado’s crack band were tight, explosive and swinging! The visuals projected on the huge screen above Ruben were imaginative displaying photo tributes to Hector Lavoe as well as to recently deceased Latin music giants and clever animation that was the backdrop for songs. This was a triumphant return to the SF Bay Area for Blades who last played a concert here in 2003 at Roccapulco. He performed for 2 hours and 40 minutes to the delight of the massive crowd. What a show!!
Speaking of big shows….Three time Grammy Award Winner Spanish Harlem Orchestra will play a special holiday dance/concert “Salsa Para El Bailador” on Saturday, December 11th, 8 pm at the Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza in Monterey. Yours truly, Luis Medina will be your Master Of Ceremonies and DJ for the evening playing 100% Bailable in between the sets. There are VIP seats and packages still available. There is also an auto caravan coming from San Francisco directly to the concert. For more information on the concert, caravan and tickets, please visit www.montunoproductions.com or call 510-586-3215.
I dropped by La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley to catch the livestream of their couch concert starring Santana percussionist Karl Perazo live from their stage on Friday, Nov. 19th. The web streamed concert was hosted by renowned Bay Area based flautist Miguelito Martinez (Candela) with an intro from La Peña’s Executive Director Natalia Neira Retamal. Perazo was in excellent form on congas, bongos and percussion leading a hot Latin Jazz descarga accompanied by Martinez, bassist Saul Sierra and pianist Julio De La Cruz. This session was part of an on-going series that is coordinated by La Peña new creative staff Corey Raynor. For more information, visit www.lapena.org.
The Cigar Bar, 850 Montgomery in SF’s North Beach will be open to Salseros in December for part of December. Their lineup includes Orquesta Timbalero Dec 4, Alberto Y La Differencia Dec. 5, Edgardo Cambon y Candela, Dec 10, Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble Dec 11, Latin Rhythm Boys Dec 17 and the last night for Salsa this year will be featuring PMO all star vocalist/percussionist Braulio Barrera’s Somos El Son on Dec. 18. Cigar Bar will reopen the Latin music nights in early January 2022.
The Seahorse is Sausalito will feature in their Sunday Salsa lineup the following acts: Julio Bravo & Salsabor Dec 5, Edgardo Cambon & Candela Dec. 12, Louie Romero & Mazacote Dec 19 and the Salsa Caliente All Stars with Karl Perazo (of Santana), Gary Flores and Carlitos Franco on Dec. 26. The Seahorse will also be starting off their Salsa Saturdays with Rene Escovedo on Dec. 4th. For the rest of the Sat schedule, visit sausalitoseahorse.com.
The Ramp, 855 Terry Francois in SF will continue Salsa under their weatherproof tent on Saturday afternoons beginning at 5 PM featuring Pepe Y Su Orquesta Dec. 4, trumpeter Julius Melendez All Stars Dec. 11, Eric Rangel and Orquesta America, Dec 18 and a special Thursday with Julio Bravo and Salsabor on Dec. 23rd
Space 550 at 550 Barneveld, SF has opened its doors again to Friday Salsa dancing featuring Somos El Son Dec 3, Orquesta Borinquen Dec. 10 and their last event for 2021 featuring N’Rumba on Dec. 17th. The Friday Night happenings will resume on Friday, January 14, 2022 with Borinquen. The Saturday nights have resumed with Bachata Takeover Saturdays featuring Bachata in the main room and the other rooms featuring Salsa and Bachata.
Kimbara 3380 19th Street at the site of the old big room of the former SF Bissap Baobab location is now featuring Suzy Q Wednesdays every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. This night brought you by the Producers of I Heart Mambo and the SBK Congress feature Salsa Congress style DJ’s and live bands such as VibraSON on December 15th.
Peninsula/South Bay’s long-running established Salsa Club Alberto’s, 736 West Dana St in Mountain View offers Salsa on Tuesday and Friday nights featuring dance lessons by Pantea with DJ and live entertainment. Their weekly calendar includes Tango on Sunday, Bachata on Wednesdays and Rock En Español on Saturday nights….Cascal Restaurant located nearby at 400 Castro Street, Mountain View offers live entertainment on Fridays through Sundays with great ambiance, tasty Spanish cuisine and the sounds of Edgardo Cambon and LaTiDo on December 3, 4 and 17th.
Producer Adrian Goddard’s Jaffe Events continues to keep busy into the holidays. They will celebrate with a Fiesta Navideña on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 3 to 7 pm. Featuring an afternoon of Salsa, Timba, Bachata, Reggaeton and more by DJ’s including Walt Digz, Tony O and Pablo at the Mars Bar, 798 Brannan SF. Jaffe Events is also presenting Feliz Año Nuevo 2022 on New Years Eve with DJ’s spinning Reggaeton, Salsa, Latin Hits, Cumbia and more at the BEI Hotel, 50 Eighth Street in San Francisco.
On New Year’s Eve, the renowned Salsa orchestra Grupo Gale from Colombia will headline at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame. The event will also feature DJ Tony O, DJ Bosco and DJ Franklin. The event will also feature International music in their second room. For more information, go to eventbrite.com, ticketsparaticom or call 415-424-8809.
The Marriott in San Mateo will feature 6 rooms featuring live music by Julio Bravo and Salsabor, Amor Do Samba with Brazilian Drummers, Orquesta N’Rumba, Orq Revelation and 10 DJ’s playing hits, Reggaeton, Bachata and Salsa. Free beer offered from 8 to 11 pm. For ticket info, visit www.marriottliveparty.com.
There will be a New Years Eve Descarga 2021 featuring Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba music at 1824 Hillsdale Avenue in San Jose. This bash will feature a tribute to the legendary all-star timbalero Louie Romero who will be performing with Orquesta Salson, Dance performance by John and Liz of Salsamania Dance Company,, DJ music will feature WorldSalsaRadio DJ’s El De La Clave SF and DJ Boricua, dancer Kathy Reyes will be hosting the bachata room and more! For tickets, go to eventbrite.com
Be sure to check out my radio programs “Con Sabor” every Saturday evening 9 to 11 pm on KPFA 94.1 FM/kpfa.org and “Sabiduria Con Tumbao” every Wednesday evening 5 to 7 PM PST on WorldSalsaRadio.com.
Until next time, Ciao 4 now!!!
This is the report last month: NOTICIAS CON SABOR- SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA/NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
BY LUIS MEDINA, PRODUCER AND HOST OF CON SABOR ON KPFA 94.1 FM AND SABIDURIA CON TUMBAO ON WORLD SALSA RADIO.COM