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ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 1998 | ERNESTO LECHNER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A momentous event for Los Angeles salsa fans will take place Friday at Studio City's Sportsmen's Lodge. Johnny Almendra and his group Los Jovenes del Barrio are finally flying from New York for a much overdue West Coast debut. The band, which plays a sophisticated, one-of-a-kind brand of salsa known as charanga, is arguably the most creative group working in Afro-Caribbean music in the United States.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Salsa dancers know that it's crucial to have a partner with good rhythmic chemistry. The same could be said of salsa music, a flamboyant genre that can be picky about sharing the floor with others. So it's noteworthy that at the 15th annual L.A. Salsa Congress in downtown Los Angeles, which begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Westin Bonaventure hotel, salsa will yield the spotlight at times to its more rustic Caribbean musical cousin, bachata. A guitar-driven dance music derived from Cuban bolero that first blossomed in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s after the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship, bachata lately has soared in popularity across many parts of Latin America and the United States.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1998 | Ernesto Lechner, Ernesto Lechner writes about pop music for Calendar
For a man who has just been involved in one of the most high-profile Broadway failures in years, singer-actor Marc Anthony seems to be in a pretty good mood. "It was never bad news, you know," he says of the shuttering in March of "The Capeman," the critically panned Paul Simon musical that closed only two months after its opening. "Bad news is something relative. I went into 'The Capeman' project to learn. Paul took me under his wing as a songwriter, as an artist. What more do you want?
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2008 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
In a world where nothing ever stays the same I am left with only things I cannot change -- Alonso Brito, Co-writer, "Things I Cannot Change" -- The PUBLICITY photos for the new album by Alonso Brito have that air of Havana hipness that has cloaked many contemporary artists coming from the island. It's a chic mystique derived from that incongruous juxtaposition of stylish fashion against drab communist gray.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 1990 | BETH KLEID
He's known as the Prince of Salsa, and Luis Enrique, with his dark eyes, carved features, Melrose-hip clothes and sensual salsa tunes could very well be a modern-day Prince Charming. But despite the rewards of reigning in the world of Latin music, despite fans' swooning and throwing lingerie at him on stage, Enrique is uncomfortable with the throne. The 27-year-old does not want to be known as a phenomenon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 1998 | JOHN L. MITCHELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Albert Torres' journey into what would become the salsa dance craze began three decades ago inside his cramped bedroom in a brownstone apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. There, to the pulsating rhythms of Latin music, the 7-year-old boy would practice his steps for hours on end, using the cord from the Venetian blinds as a partner. "My parents could be arguing outside, but it wouldn't bother me," recalled Torres, now 42.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 1997 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rigoberto Lopez Pego's "Yo Soy del Son a la Salsa" ("I Am, From Son to Salsa") documents the evolution of salsa music from its roots in Cuba to its development there and later on in Puerto Rico and New York. The music, of course, is well-nigh irresistible, and its makers form an uncommonly ingratiating group of individuals, each quick to give credit to mentors and influences.
NEWS
August 29, 1987 | Paul Dean
Ray Marshall has a doctorate in the culinary arts, experience in the classical preparations of European food and all skills for preparing the haughtiest of cuisines. Yet he sees himself more cook than chef. A domestic, he says. Someone who builds meals like mother, a man who prefers eating to dining because viande et pommes de terre remain meat and potatoes in any language. "Look at Mexican food," he suggests. "Nothing glamorous, but what a heritage. It began as food for survival.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2006 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
When Cuban singer Celia Cruz died three years ago, it seemed salsa music died along with her. Not that her death caused the demise. But in retrospect, it's almost poetic how her life paralleled the ebb and flow of the music itself: Cruz's career saw its own ups and downs over half a century. Yet she always found herself at the epicenter of salsa's most exciting moments. Those moments and more are the focus of a new exhibit titled "¬°Azucar!
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 1995 | ENRIQUE LOPETEGUI, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Los Angeles is the capital of the popular music world, and its Latino population is greater than that of any other U.S. city. Despite these ingredients, the Southland has yet to become a bona fide center for salsa, the made-in-New York blend of Afro Cuban rhythms that's considered the ultimate Latin dance music. It is getting better, though.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2006 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
When Cuban singer Celia Cruz died three years ago, it seemed salsa music died along with her. Not that her death caused the demise. But in retrospect, it's almost poetic how her life paralleled the ebb and flow of the music itself: Cruz's career saw its own ups and downs over half a century. Yet she always found herself at the epicenter of salsa's most exciting moments. Those moments and more are the focus of a new exhibit titled "¬°Azucar!
HEALTH
June 27, 2005 | Jeannine Stein, Times Staff Writer
L.A. is a tough crowd when it comes to gyms, led by music-savvy fitness buffs who have a glut of classes from which to choose. When it comes to the tune selection, "If you're not willing to be up to date with what's coming out, you're dead in the water," says Amy Dixon, group exercise director for Bodies in Motion gyms. A good instructor who foists bad music on his students can end up with empty classrooms, and a so-so teacher with an outstanding playlist can enjoy a packed house. True L.A.
NEWS
April 8, 2004 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
MORE than three decades ago, Latino entertainment in Los Angeles started a steady march out of its cultural ghetto. Mariachi stars moved from the Million Dollar Theater on scruffy downtown Broadway to the Universal Amphitheatre. Top salsa bands graduated from dances in hotel ballrooms to showcases at the Hollywood Bowl.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2004 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
Veteran radio deejay Alan Geik still remembers one promotional CD among the hundreds he's received over the years at "Alma del Barrio," the long-running salsa radio show on college station KXLU-FM (88.9). It arrived in the mid-'90s with a modest note signed by guitarist and producer Ry Cooder, who was soon to become the American Midas of Afro-Cuban music. "Alan: Just got back from recording in Cuba and I hope you like the CD. I think we'll call it Buena Vista Social Club."
NEWS
January 15, 2004 | Reed Johnson, Times Staff Writer
Steady and irresistible, the music reaches through the double glass doors and brushes passersby outside the Alhambra dance studio. Those who pause to look inside see a semicircle of men and women trying to keep pace with their two buffed instructors, who wear headsets and issue brisk commands. Keep your partner closer on those cumbias! Stay on the balls of your feet when you pivot! Guys, if you don't know where you're going, how's your partner going to follow?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2003 | Agustin Gurza, Times Staff Writer
To get a glimpse of how far and fast tropical music has fallen, consider the careening career of onetime merengue sensation Elvis Crespo. Four years ago, the shaggy-haired singer was the unlikely headliner of the annual salsa festival at the Hollywood Bowl. His debut platinum album with the monotonic novelty hit "Suavemente" had catapulted his billing above icons such as Celia Cruz and Oscar D'Leon. He made the 1999 event the biggest in the history of the festival, L.A'.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2000 | Judy Silber, (714) 966-5988
Pearson Park will open its summer season with the "Just for Kids" program every Friday night at 7 from June 9 through Aug. 25 beginning with a musical version of "Cinderella." Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for seniors and children 12 and younger. A Starlight series will run on Saturdays at 8 p.m. and feature salsa music, Shakespeare and ballet. That series begins in July and will cost $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children. Information: (714) 765-4422.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 1997 | ERNESTO LECHNER
****, Various artists, "Yo Soy Del Son a La Salsa," soundtrack, RMM. The task of putting together a historical compilation of salsa music that doesn't sacrifice the spice for accuracy seems impossible. But somehow this two-CD soundtrack accomplishes what the movie of the same title can't. The first disc concentrates on the origins of salsa, from Cuba's folklore traditions to the huge influence that big-band jazz had on such people as Machito and Tito Puente.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2001 | AGUSTIN GURZA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In popular music, we often treasure artists by eras. We collect early Bob Dylan. Study the Beatles before and after "Sgt. Pepper's." Buy boxed sets of the Nat King Cole trio on Capitol. In salsa, connoisseurs will always rave about the early years of Eddie Palmieri with his band La Perfecta. For its live-wire excitement and lasting influence, few eras in Afro-Cuban music can match it.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2001 | AGUSTIN GURZA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nobody can really say who created Afro-Cuban music as we know it, that blend of African and Spanish elements that evolved in the Caribbean about a century ago. But it's easy to pinpoint where and when salsa started: in a New York nightclub called the Cheetah on Aug. 26, 1971. On that night, the now legendary Fania All Stars played a concert that would be a musical shot heard around the world. It marked the moment a musical movement--and a marketing strategy--was born.
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