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Salsa powerhouse hits Liverpool

New York salsa band plays The Picket

Published on June 30th 2009.

Salsa powerhouse hits Liverpool

This Thursday there’s a rare opportunity to experience a genuine NYC salsa band live.

Latin Beat magazine described them as, 'Young, raw, raging musical weapons of mass destruction.'

La Excelencia is a feted, salsa powerhouse band complete with two vocalists: Edwin Pérez and Gilberto Velázquez. The 11-piece band is led by percussionists Julian Silva on timbal and José Vásquez-Cofresi on congas and also features the ‘metales del sabor’ brass section.

Although they draw on decades of musical heritage, this is a young band whose writing explores social and political issues from infidelity to immigration.

The band was formed in New York City in 2005 and plays 'salsa dura': hardcore salsa reflecting the hard life of the barrio. Latin Beat magazine describes them as, 'Young, raw, raging musical weapons of mass destruction.'

Their latest album is called Mi Tumbao Social. Josė Vásquez-Cofresi explains how the title came about: “'Tumbao' is the beat we have within us every day when we are living amongst each other,” he says. “It is the natural rhythm of our beats.

“'Social' is that personal beat of yours mixed in with everyone else's and making it a community. And all our beats as one helping one another achieve greatness. Each one of us is different, and that's why we chose to put 'Mi' (My) in front of 'Tumbao Social'.”

La Excelencia describe themselves as 'salsa with a conscience'. They say that they're 'a band that will make the barren, cracked, desert landscape of US-made Latin music turn as lush and green as El Yunque, take you to el monte (the tropical wilderness) and show you the Latino side of the American dream.'

La Excelencia, The Picket, 61 Jordan Street (off Jamaica street), Liverpool, 8pm, Thursday 2 July. Tickets are £10 advance at www.ticketweb.co.uk or £15 on the door. www.laexcelencia.net

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