Grupo Son Boricua and Salsa Son Timba – Checking out regional Latin bands

So August 18th I headed down to Syracuse with a friend to check out a couple bands. I want to add to the Latin band rotation for the Oasis dance club of Ithaca NY. Currently, Oasis only has El Rumbon of Ithaca and Grupo Calle Uno of Rochester. The latter don’t play well when they drink, which they typically do. So, I was lucky this time to have along for company, Eva Luna. With her to entertain time flew by and we reached Skiddy Park, Syracuse where the band had already started playing. There wasn’t anyone dancing but I had Eva and so we started. After a while we got a few other people going and it was fun.

I found Grupo Son Boricua, really good. They know what they are good at and played it. You could also see the various band members really grooving and part of the music. Unfortunately, a little too laid back for a Latin Night, but I definitely would get them for a barbecue, or festival like they were playing at that day. The icing on the cake? I was videotaped and photographed for the Syracuse Post Standard, and if you want to see me I am there starting at about 44 seconds into the short video. Not really dancing as such in the video, but I think you can see Eva and I were enjoying ourselves.

After Grupo Son Borica, the band Salsa Son Timba came on as part of the 2011 Syracuse Jazz in the City celebration. A totally different experience. The girl singers were not good. The male singer’s voice was ok, but his strutting and swaying looked artificial and contrived. Then the playing! It sounded like a bunch of individual musicians playing, not like a band. However, Eva and I decided that sometimes a band can need a little time to warm up, or perhaps have an off song. So we stuck it out through the first. Then the second song began and after 20 seconds we ran away. I was sorely disappointed with them and expected a lot more. I hope that they can improve with time as currently I feel they are giving local live Latin Music a bad name. I love Latin music and dance, and think that good live music is a great way to get more people to be seduced into joining the Latin music/dance community.

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