Hello dancers! April left us with some great music, and we have picked the best of the crop to share with you. Below you’ll find some really good Salsa, perhaps even the best we’ve heard this year, so far. You’ll also want to listen to the fusions, as they are the way of the future, we think, and they should be great of the dance floor. Additionally, you’ll find a modern bachata and some catchy urban tunes. Enjoy listening and dancing to our April picks and remember to support our wonderful artists by buying a song (or 20!) for your collection.
Manolo Mairena – DE TODO UN POCO
Originally from Costa Rica, now living in the east coast, Manolo Mairena presents DE TODO UN POCO [A Bit of Everything]. This album, true to its title, offers excellent Salsa (like “Descarga a lo Cachao”) plus a couple of merengues, changuis, plenas, a bomba, and a bolero. This is good music that makes your body move. Every track in the album was composed and arranged by Mairena, who is also an excellent vocalist. The album gathers a group of musicians from every corner of Latin America, and in this album they have a chance to step into the spotlight. You can listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
El Chino y la Diferencia – MAMBOLAND
This album is pure joy for us dancers. It contains three different versions of Tito Puente’s “Ran Kan Kan,” one arranged especially for Frankie Figueroa’s voice, an instrumental version specifically meant for dance shows, and a “palladium” one featuring Tito Puente Jr. A cover of Puente’s “El Rey del Timbal” is also part of this work, as are 10 original songs written by bass player and composer Rodolfo Guerra. This is outstanding music led by Cuban percussionist and singer Gabriel “Chino” Delgado, who put together an intense group of musicians to deliver mambo, son montuno, bolero, and Latin Jazz. The album was recorded (mostly) in Italy, with a bit of work done also in Miami and New York. It was mastered in Switzerland and mixed in Spain. Lots of very talented people were involved in the process and the result shows it. Listen and purchase MAMBOLAND on iTunes.
Grupo Descarrilao – DESCARRILAO
This album is remarkable. Here, the classic “I Shot the Sheriff” is turned into a Salsa, “Fall Back” is a merengue that the Dominican Republic can be proud of, and our favorite, “Inocente,” is an original cha-cha by Dominican singer Jose Candelaria that includes an electric guitar, ala Santana, that is impossible to ignore. This is really great music that presents us with the rhythms we love sprinkled with touches of rock and pop. You can listen and purchase on iTunes.
David Freyre – CALLE Y CORAZON
This album has only five tracks, but they’re good ones. They’re all of the inspiration of Puerto Rican percussionist, singer, and composer David Freyre. With his band, Conjunto de la Esquina, formed in New York, Freyre gifts us with songs that are great for listening, and others that will do great on the dance floor. You can listen and purchase CALLE Y CORAZON [Street and Heart] on Amazon.com. We have a hunch that you will love the track that gives the album its title, as well as track 5 – “La Fiesta.”
Manny Soundz – “Adivino”
This is a promotional song by Manny Soundz, a singer born in Queens, NY, of Dominican ancestry. It’s a Salsa with influences from Reggaeton and Pop. Manny Soundz has a voice that was classically trained and that has allowed him to experiment with various musical genres, even opera! You can listen and purchase on iTunes.
Chiko Swagg – “Abandonado”
At the beginning of April, Chiko Swagg released a music video for his new song “Abandonado” [Abandoned]. The song talks about the feelings one experiences when a significant other leaves. It was recorded in the Dominican Republic and directed by Dominican born Freddy Graph. It was shot to look like a movie and what you see (a money heist, guns, thieves) seems to us way harsher than what the lyrics are really about. See what you think about it here.
Raymix featuring Juanes – “Oye Mujer”
This is a new version of Raymix’s “Oye Mujer” featuring Colombian rockero Juanes, who adds to it not only his iconic voice but also the sound of his guitar. Raymix was recently categorized by Billboard as a “Latin Artist on the Rise,” particularly since this song has dominated the market in Mexico as well as the Billboard Latin Music Top 10 chart. The traditional sounds of Cumbia are here combined with electronic and rock rhythms, for a song that is catchy and fun. Listen to it here.
Silvestre Martinez – VENGO DE LA COSTA
Mexican percussionist, composer, and arranger Silvestre Martinez presents VENGO DE LA COSTA [I Come from the Coast], an album in which he fuses traditional Mexican music with Afro-Cuban and Jazz sounds. There are nine tracks in this work, all of them from Martinez’ own hand, with music that is wonderful for listening, and in some instances, like in “Tu Eres La Mujer” [You are the Woman], impossible to keep one’s body from moving. You can listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Crooked Stilo – “A Tu Manera”
Deserving the “Most Improved” award, Crooked Stilo has abandoned the explicit language they used when the duo first started (1991 in Los Angeles) to now gift us with music with a positive message and clean lyrics. Under their own label, “Mi Estilo Records,” they present “A Mi Manera,” [In My Own Way], which is a fusion of Cumbia and Reggaeton that talks about being grateful and living one’s own life while letting others do the same. “Vive tu vida, y deja que los demás vivan como quieran,” [live your life, and let others live it however they want] says the song, and we really dig the message. They chose to record the video in El Salvador, their country of origin, hoping to show it in a better light than usual – rather than violence and poverty, the video features El Salvador’s beaches, sport stadiums, government buildings, and churches. “Our hope is that the song will bring happiness to those who hear it,” they say. “That it’ll infuse inspiration to be better people and to treat others with respect. We live in violent times… with little respect and love for self and others, and we think it is our duty to attempt to bring even if it is just a bit of happiness to others.” Kudos to Crooked Stilo! Watch the video of “A Tu Manera” here.
Mike Alid – “Que Llueva”
A bit Urban, a bit Latin Pop, Michael Gomez (Mike) and Alejandro de la Vega (Alid), with roots in both the Dominican Republic and Nashville, TN, present “Que Llueva” [Let it Rain], in which they ask for an outpour of blessings over their land. This is energetic music meant to uplift you. You can enjoy the video here, which was recorded in the island, mostly in Punta Cana.
Boni & Kelly – “No Me Voy Contigo”
We first told you about Boni & Kelly last February, when we introduced you to “Amigos con Derechos,” the song they released featuring Victor Manuelle. That one was a huge success, and so now they follow with “No Me Voy Contigo” [I’m Not Going With You], which is more of an Urban/Pop mix that is upbeat and catchy. The pair, which calls itself “los hermanitos internacionales” [the international brothers], released this video along with the song, in which you can learn the lyrics, as well as admire their looks, because, let’s face it, they’re both pretty nice looking.
J’Moreno and L’Angel – “Tu Juego”
Cuban performers (residing in Miami) Jose Ramon Moreno (J’ Moreno) and Jose Luis Nunez (L’Angel) present this promotional single, “Tu Juego” [Your Game], which is part of their upcoming Urban genre album OTRO SONIDO [A Different Sound]. J’Moreno became interested in music as a 7-year-old child, soon taking percussion, guitar, and drumming lessons and participating in children’s music festivals. He arrived to the U.S. at 19, dedicating himself completely to music, collaborating as singer and composer with various artists and eventually landing a contract with Spazio Music, through which he met L’Angel. In turn, L’Angel was first interested in martial arts, accomplishing national awards in Tae Kwon-do. At 19, he changed his path to music, the original desire of his heart, after which he became part of various Cuban musical groups, including the popular Angeles. Eventually, he ended up in Miami, where he met J’Moreno. The rest, they hope, will be part of history. Check out the video of the song here.
Tailo Paz – “Pegate A Mi”
Originally from Honduras, Tailo Paz is thankful to the city of Boston, MA, for the doors that it has opened for him, including this chance to promote a new single and its video. He has Mario Martinellis as musical career advisor, which he once did successfully for Enrique Iglesias. This video of “Pegate A Mi” [Stick to me] was recorded in Miami.
How amazing was this music!? We hope that it will keep you moving until we see you again with more new releases at the end of May. Enjoy this spring on the dance floor!