If there’s one thing I can confidently talk about is Salsa dancing. It may sound like a weird expertise to you, but to me, it’s “as easy as Sunday morning.” So hear me when I tell you: Pasadena, it’s time for you to Salsa! And the City is in total agreement, since it has scheduled four Friday evenings in August to be filled with this music and its dance at Paseo Colorado.
On August 3, from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, (all concerts will happen at this time) the Louie Cruz Beltran Latin Jazz Band will be on the stage. What can you expect from Louie? Well, first of all, he’s a charmer. He’s good looking and funny and will tell you a joke or two between songs. His music normally leans towards Latin Jazz (well, look at the name of his band), but for events like this one he’ll pull out all the danceables. He’ll tell you that he is a Chicano that was born in Bakersfield, and… (the following has nothing to do with his music, but it’ll give you one more thing to do as you watch him perform) see if you can find a resemblance to his brother, Robert Beltran, whom you may have seen as Commander Chakotay on Star Trek. Cool huh?
On August 10, the Yari More Latin Band will take the stage. Yari is originally from Colombia and has lived in the U.S. for many years. Years ago he met a pretty and talented girl, with hair the color of sunrays, from Switzerland, who eventually became Christina More. You will see her singing right next to him on stage. This band usually plays a variety of music genres, so you can expect a bit of Salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, and maybe even a bolero.
On August 17, it will be Orquesta Charangoa’s turn. This group is led by a lady (yeah!). Her name is Fay Roberts and she is, between many other things, a superb flutist. Years ago she traveled to Cuba, learned from some of the best, and then came back to form Charangoa, which as the name hints plays mainly Charanga, a traditional music genre from Cuba. Fay deserves tons of respect also for the work she does at the Braille Institute of Los Angeles, where she manages an intensive jazz program.
Last but not least, August 24 will welcome the Susie Hansen Latin Band. Yes, here we have another female band leader. (Good job Pasadena organizers!) What can I tell you about Susie? The woman is simply a powerhouse. She is a master of the violin and with her band performs Charanga, Latin Jazz, Salsa, merengue, cumbia, boleros, you name it. Aside from being a talented musician and a proper business woman, Susie is what we usually call… super smart. Suffice it to say that she earned two (TWO!) Masters degrees from MIT. Yeap… go ahead. Be impressed.
Hopefully by now you realize that you are in for a treat. Make it to Paseo Colorado every Friday during August from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm and wear comfortable shoes… you’re gonna be moving!
Photo: Louie Cruz Beltran / Yari More / Fay Roberts / Susie Hansen / courtesy of Dena Burroughs
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Thanks for reading our post about Pasadena, are you ready to Salsa?
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