So, this past Tuesday, the 10th, I dj’d in an official capacity at the Oasis dance club. It was a lot of fun playing more of the music that I liked, and also adjusting what I played according to the crowd. I’m now busy selecting songs for my next gig – again at the Oasis – on the 23rd. It’s easy to play songs that one knows people will like, but not as easy to choose music that one likes – is new to the crowd – and blend it in with a few not-played-as-often favorites. But, I refuse to cop out and the take the easy option. I want people to be exposed to the Latin music universe, and not the typical small corner that they do with what others play.

La Rumba No by Los Van Van – dj vs live band – and other ramblings

It has been way too long and I’ve missed so many oppportunities to share. It is a matter of getting into a new rhythmn, adding this blog to my daily pattern…

I discovered a great song at the Oasis last night – La Rumba No. This song is from a 2009 CD called arrasando by the group Los Van Van and can be heard on youtube at . So what makes it a great song? La Rumba No has a great clear beat, danceable by almost anyone. Secondly it has an additional piquancy, with the arrangement mixed a little. There are some songs where the band will be creative and change things up so often that only the most advanced/creative of dancers can be with/in the music. There are others where the arrangement is like deeply worn ruts on a dirt track. This song finds just the right balance in my opinion and will be enjoyed by both the advanced dancer who likes cuban salsa as well as those just starting their dance journeys. This brings to mind the difference between dj’d and live music.

When I go to a dance there are many times I feel that a good dj is a 1000 times better than a live band. Last Saturday I was entertained by the band “Grupo Calle Uno” based out of Rochester. A band that played covers of the most popular latin songs heard in the clubs, with few original numbers and not enough playing time. This band took three long breaks, plus seemed to need a long discussion each time before playing the next song. Come on! Is this band practice or a gig? On the other hand I went to Taughannock Falls State Park yesterday evening and heard the “Caribe Jazz All Stars”. Great danceable music, with many originals. In fact I like their latest CD – not their older ones so be careful – called “Jorge T Cuevas and the Caribe Jazz All Stars” which can be bought at