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Roberto Roena is a salsa music percussionist, orchestra leader, and dancer. Roena was one of the original members of El Gran Combo, and he later became the leader of his own band, “Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound,” arguably one of the best Latin salsa bands in Puerto Rico. Roena has also been a long-time member of the Fania All Stars, the showcase group for the Fania Records label, which has enjoyed worldwide success since the 1970s. Complementing the musicality of his salsa group was always the showmanship inherent in Roberto Roena. Dying his hair in new colors, playing percussion in his underwear “flying” around the stage of New York City’s Madison Square Garden were some of the tricks that he used to stand out among the other groups in vogue. Roberto always considered variety as the key to success, leading him to include in his musical repertoire everything from go-go to the romantic, the same in English as in Spanish. Given Roena has been performing for nearly 55 years with his orchestra, he’s obviously doing something very right. Website: http://lamecanicapopular.com/
A meeting of musicians from Perú, the United States and Colombia – only possible in New York – gave birth to La Mecánica Popular in 2011. Led by native Peruvian Efraín Rozas, the band has a unique sound, steeped in the salsa dura of the 1970′s, but moves along in a trippy way with experimental synths and Peruvian chicha style guitars, without ever loosing clave. Their self-titled debut was produced by Xuxi Lazzaro (producer of Rita Indiana, and Grammy winner Juan Luis Guerra), and has been praised by critics around the world. They have been called “one of the top 3 live Latin acts in the U.S.,” by Latin-Pop star Juanes. La Mecánica Popular is one of the most exciting bands in the new wave of future-rooted Latin American music, combining effortlessly avant-garde and psychedelic sounds with a tight and syncopated Salsa flavor. Website: http://www.vegarecords.net/
A godfather of global dance music, “Little” Louie Vega has painted an award-winning career from a palette mixed with everything from salsa and afro-beat, to jazz, hip-hop and soul. What distinguishes the Grammy winner and 4-time nominee as one of the best living house music deejays is his ability to evolve alongside the times, distill the current musical landscape through his unique taste and put his own timeless spin on it. Breaking down musical barriers and bringing people together through a love of music has always been Vega’s aim; after more than 20 years in the game his contributions continue to positively influence the global house and world music. Listen closely as the best has yet to come from Louie Vega!