P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
July 3, 2000
Salsa Dance Party Features 14-piece Band Los Jovenes del Barrio
"Last year's Latin dance party was one of the hottest events we had and we're sure that this year will be even better," commented Jonathan Secor, MASS MoCA's Director of Performing Arts. "In addition to one of the best nueva salsa acts around -- 14-piece band and a great vocalist -- plus expert dance instruction, we're pulling out all the stops on production with moving lights and a specially designed set for this one night only."
Los Jovenes del Barrio incorporates jazz, R&B, rumba, and charanga, a special Cuban-influenced style of salsa which uses violins. The band has at its nucleus some of the most seasoned musicians in the business, including Victor Venegas on bass, Karen Joseph on flute, Marco Bermudez and Maggie Ramos on vocals, and Johnny Almendra on timbales.
This 14-piece band has recorded with rock and roll icon Robert Palmer, appeared on BET's Jazz Central, recorded a live concert for PBS, and played all of the major venues in the New York area. They've played music festivals worldwide including the Sydney Festival in Australia, the Detroit/Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Tri City Jazz Festival, the San Josˇ Jazz Festival, and Puerto Rico's World Music Festival.
This hard-driving stylistically adventurous charanga group initially started as a workshop band at the Boys Harbor Performing Arts Center, and was designed to educate practicing students and working musicians about charanga style and arrangement. The workshop was directed by Johnny Almendra, 18-year instructor at the Harbor and veteran musician who got his professional start more than 25 years ago and has played with artists like Milton Cardona, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Mongo, and Hector Lavoe. Almendra describes Los Jovenes del Barrio as having "Cuban roots with a New York attitude and a Puerto Rican flavor."
One of the group's most unique attractions is vocalist Jillian, a bilingual artist whose strong R&B and jazz styles and background in opera bring yet another dynamic element to this powerful ensemble. Her first single Telephone was an international hit, and continues to be an anthem for women all over the globe, including Cuba where they have affectionately nicknamed her 'la Salsarita Americana'.
Dance instructor Teresa Castano is a lifelong Latin dancer and promoter of Latin dance in western Massachusetts. Originally from Colombia, Teresa has been teaching Latin dance for the past three years and currently hosts dances at the International Dance Club in Williamsburg, Mass., where she offers weekly Latin dances.
A special Latin dinner, courtesy of Mezze Bistro and Bar in Williamstown, will be for sale before and during the dance party. Selections will include: criollo grilled chicken breast, guava marinated skirt steak, sweet potato and caramelized onion empanadas, lentil salad with cilantro vinaigrette, and chipolte rubbed corn on the cob. Doors open at 6:30.
The Salsa Dance party is sponsored by True North Financial Services, Hoosac Bank, and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan, and Collins.
Tickets to the Salsa Dance Party are $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 6 pm daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org. In case of inclement weather, MASS MoCA has plenty of space to move the Salsa Dance Party inside.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release