The latest of salsa in the Bay Area of San Francisco
Someone to look out for is percussionist/bandleader/catalyst Javier Navarette who has been creating a serious buzz with his new group Javier Navarette and His Socially Distant Friends which features a “who’s who” of stellar Bay Area talent including esteemed violinist Anthony Blea, vocalist/percussionist Hector Lugo, rising star on the guitar, Kai Lyons, bassist Ayla Davila, percussionist Jesse Weber and charter members such as tresero/guitarist Camilo Landau, NY based trombonist and Javier’s brother Raul Navarette and PMO vocalist Chriselle Durandy. Navarette and friends play an intoxicating brew of danceable Salsa, Cuban descarga, Rumba, Afro-Cuban folklore, Bomba, Timba and Latin Jazz played superbly by this all-star ensemble that have impressed large audiences at Carnaval San Francisco, the UC Theatre, Rocky’s Market and other festivals and hot spots.
Navarette is also currently a member of the hot Bobi Cespedes Band and was formerly a member of renowned bands such as Charanson, La Mixta Criolla, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir among others. He has established himself as one of the SF Bay’s rising stars….a rumbero with excellent chops, taste and well versed both in the Cuban and Puerto Rican culture and heritage. Navarette also has taught in the classroom spreading the knowledge to younger grade school children in the Bay Area. Navarette is also booking the popular Modupue Sundays series at Rocky’s Market in Oakland. Go Javier!!
Javier Navarrette from Javier Navarrette and His Socially Distant Friends
The Western Region Puerto Rican Council will once again present their “El Dia De San Juan” Salsa Festival on Saturday, June 18, 11 am to 7 pm at Swiss Park, 5811 Mowry Avenue in Newark. Headlining the show will be Frankie Vasquez “El Sonero Del Barrio”. Vasquez is considered one of the finest soneros in the business today. With a star studded career that includes working with Manny Oquendo and Libre, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Los Soneros Del Barrio, Pedro Bermudez, Doug Beavers and many others, Vasquez displays his art of the soneo, his distinctive vocal tone always backed up by a swinging band on record and live. Also appearing for the first time will be Izis La Enfermera De La Salsa from Puerto Rico, Gambizi & Dos Four hot from Carnaval SF, Hip Hop Jibarito, Orquesta Saboricua and Rinkinkaya playing Bomba, Plena and Jibaro music and DJ Santos Lopez. For more information, go to wrprc.org!
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 also co-presents two legends: Piano master Eddie Palmieri and trumpet phenom Arturo Sandoval at Stanford’s Frost Amphiteater on July 23. Info: www.sfjazz.org.
The new hot spot for live music on Thursday’s is Charley’s LG, 15 N Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos featuring the following for June: Orquesta La Moderna Tradición on 6/2; Carlos Xavier and his band 6/9; Edgardo Cambon and Candela 6/16; Son Y Clave from Los Angeles on 6/23 and Julio Bravo and Salsabor on 6/30. Presented by your friends at International Salsa Magazine and World Salsa Radio. Yours truly, Luis Medina from KPFA/WorldSalsaRadio.com will be your MC and DJ for the evening. WSR’s El De La Clave SF-Felipe Martinez will give dance lessons starting at 8 PM. Get a discount on your advance tickets by visiting charleyslosgatos.com.
Tregar Otton from Orquesta La Moderna Tradición
More clubs and events
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley has been gaining a lot of notoriety with their monthly Baila events. The June edition will also celebrate the cultural center’s 47th Anniversary on Friday, June 17th starting at 7 pm. Corey Raynor, the venue’s production manager who organizes the event will also be celebrating his birthday. The show will feature the explosive sounds of veteran timbalero Eric Rangel and his Orquesta America as well as KPOO/KPFA DJ Jose Ruiz in the main theater and DJ Ron Palma in the Bachata lounge. Salsa and Bachata dance lessons start at 7:30 pm. For tickets and information, please visit lapena.org.
It’s Summertime and outdoor venues have opened back up for Salsa, Timba and Latin Jazz! Modupue Sundays at Rocky’s Market at Oakland’s Brooklyn Basin is featuring the exciting band La Mixta Criolla on Sunday, June 5 under the direction of percussionist/vocalist Hector Lugo and a special Bomba dance performance by Shefali Shah. The festivities start at 5:30 pm. Another great band Orquesta La Moderna Tradición will be at Rocky’s on Friday night, June 10th from 6 to 9 pm. Rocky’s Market events are all outdoors and located at 288 Ninth Avenue in Oakland. For more information, visit rockysmarket.com.
The Office on 1796 Willow Pass Road in downtown Concord is now offering Rumba Sundays every Sunday from 5 to 10 pm in a large, covered outdoor patio with a huge dance floor featuring Salsa bands such as Orquesta Taino on Sunday, June 5th. The Office features live salsa monthly with SF Salsa Congress staple DJ Super Chino spinning Salsa, Bachata and more in-between the breaks! Check out their Facebook page for more info!
Orquesta Taino posing for the camera
The Cigar Bar continues with their mission to bring you exciting danceable bands in their unique venue that combines great food, fine drinks, a parlor for cigar enthusiasts and a hot dance spot for weekend patrons. The June Latin music offerings are the following: Pacho y Orchesta Evolution 6/3; Orquesta La Original w/Alexis 6/4; Orquesta Borinquen 6/10; Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble 6/11; N’Rumba 6/17 ; Manteca 6/18; Orquesta Taino 6/24 and La Clave Del Blanco on 6/25.
The Ramp is heating things up for the Summer at their fine outdoor venue with their huge dance floor at 855 Terry Francois Blvd in San Francisco. Their calendar includes great acts on Saturday afternoons starting at 4 pm with DJ Mendy with live music starting at 5 pm featuring N’Rumba on 6/4; Julio Bravo y Salsabor on 6/11; Somos El Son with Braulio Barrera 6/18 and Orquesta Borinquen on 6/25.
The Seahorse in Sausalito features fine Italian cuisine, beer and wine and a fine space for dancing on Saturday and Sundays starting at 6 pm with KPOO/KPFA DJ Jose Ruiz. Featured acts for the month of June include La Clave Del Blanco on 6/4; Julio Bravo y Salsabor 6/5; Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca from Los Angeles on 6/11 and 6/12; Edgardo Cambon y Candela 6/18; Louie Romero and Mazacote 6/19; The Latin Rhythm Boys 6/20 and Eric Rangel and Orquesta America on 6/26.
Be sure to check out my radio programs Con Sabor on Saturday evenings from 9 to 11 PM PST on KPFA 94.1 FM and www.kpfa.org and Sabiduria Con Tumbao every Wednesday evening from 5 to 7 PM PST on worldsalsaradio.com. Enjoy your Summer! Ciao 4 now!!
Louie Romero from Louie Romero Y Su Orquesta Mazacote
By Luis Medina, ISM Correspondents, San Francisco, California