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salsera's blog

MONDO MUNDO This Saturday, 2-4 PM: African Music Special

Santa Salsera hosts Mondo Mundo this week with an African music special, featuring in-studio guest Will Ridenour. Will is a local musician and African music aficianado, just back from touring in Senegal and Mali with his bandmates in the Carrboro-based, West African dance band, Diali Cissokho and Kairaba. We'll hear a sneak preview from the band's upcoming debut album, as well as tales from their trip, and lots of great African music from Will's personal collection!

MONDO MUNDO:  Saturday, January 7, 2-4 PM with host SANTA SALSERA


AZUCAR y CANDELA featured review: Alex Cuba

Alex Cuba, "Alex Cuba" (Caracol, 2010)

Catchy, earthy Afro-Cuban pop from Smithers, British Columbia

Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisia, Cuba, this singer/songwriter, guitarist is forging a new, more authentic path for a Latin pop artist. Merging Cuban folk ("trova") with pop and funk, Alex Cuba's soulful, silkysmooth vocal and hooky songwriting have already earned him a Grammy nod and several Latin Grammy wins. READ MORE>>>>

With this self-titled, second solo album in English and Spanish, Alex edges closer to the commercial mainstream without caving to the conventional formulas of Miami Latin pop. The long-time Canadian resident first recorded traditional Cuban music with his fraternal twin brother, salsa singer Adonis Puentes. Their father was a guitar teacher in Cuba, so music runs deep in the Puentes household.


Haitian Music Special on Mondo Mundo This Saturday (10/2)

This week on Mondo Mundo (Sat 2-4p), guest host Santa Salsera features Music of Haiti:

From the saxophones of 60s konpa to the drums of modern rara, groove to the beats of Super Ensemble Webert Sicot, Les Chleu-Chleu, Les Princes du Port-au-Prince, Nemours Jean-Baptiste, Le Diables Bleus, Tabou Combo, Scorpio, System Band, Racine Mapou de Azor, Haitiando and more. >>>READ MORE

In the mix, you might also discover a Dominican merengue, Caribbean zouk or Congolese rumba.

Saturday, October 2, from 2-4 pm on 88.7 FM, www.wxdu.org




Azucar y Candela featured review: CURTIS BROTHERS QUARTET

The Curtis Brothers--bassist Luques and pianist Zaccai--might have featured their mentor, Eddie Palmieri, on their debut quartet album Blood Spirit Land Water Freedom. Instead, they asserted their artistic independence by joining forces with other young lions. The results are fresh and revelatory, like spring growth in the garden of Latin jazz.  READ MORE>>>>

Born of African-American and Puerto Rican heritage and raised in Hartford, Conn., the Curtis Brothers filled out their quartet edition with conguero Reinaldo DeJesus and drummer Richie Barshay. A deeply felt sense of Puerto Rican identity pulses through the album, with the strong emergence of Afro-Puertorican rhythms alongside traditional Afro-Cuban elements.


Azucar y Candela featured review: RICARDO LEMVO y MAKINA LOCA

Angolan singer Ricardo Lemvo, born in The Congo and based in L.A., celebrates his 20-year recording career, NOT with a "best of" compilation, but with ALL NEW recordings of favorite tunes spanning five albums. Confidently expanding on hits like "Mambo Yo Yo" and "Yiri Yiri Bon," and including two never-heard bonus tracks, Retrospectiva was well worth the effort. READ MORE>>>>

Lemvo's trademark pastiche, a deeply multi-cultural mix of African and Latin American grooves, has never felt, or sounded, better. The remakes are built out and rearranged in ways that enhance all of Lemvo's rootsy appeal, without sounding like cookie cutter studio productions. Cuban pianist, flutist and arranger "El Niño" Jesus Alejandro Perez is heavy and smokin' like an old lady's puro, and both of Lemvo's fabulous soukous guitarists, "Huit Kilos" Nseka and Bopol Mansiamina, are in force throughout. Admittedly, I'm a salsa fan, but the sexy, slow-creeping African dance grooves are some of my favorite tracks here. Retrospectiva will make you fall in love with Ricardo Lemvo all over again.




Azucar y Candela featured review: TITO RODRIGUEZ

FANIA is back! After the transfer of the classic salsa catalog to Código Music* in 2009, the future of the remastering begun by Emusica in 2006 was in limbo. Never fear: Código, in conjunction with Wax Poetics, picks up where Emusic left off with Tito Rodríguez: "El Inolvidable," their first addition to the "A Man and His Music" 2-CD compilation series. READ MORE>>>


Azucar y Candela goes LIVE! Thursday

WXDU's DJ Santa Salsera will do a special Azucar y Candela LIVE set this Thursday (1/21) at Mosaic Wine Lounge in Raleigh. No-Cover event features FREE, LIVE LATIN MUSIC by Guillo Carias Trio from 9 pm. Salsera spins classic Nuyorica plus Afro-Cuban grooves, old and new.

Don't forget to tune in here for the regular radio edition Wednesdays 6-8 pm!

More info on Facebook:  "Santa Salsera"


Something Latin This Way Comes...MYSTERY SHOW SUNDAY 10 PM

Join DJ Santa SALSERA for the Mystery Show, our open specialty slot, THIS SUNDAY (Jan. 10) from 10-11 pm.

My past mystery show themes have included "Do The Latin Hustle," and "Salsa Electric Guitar Solos," so expect Latin with a twist!


Azucar y Candela featured review: MIGUEL ZENON


Listen: AZUCAR y CANDELA Wed 6-8 pm. On Facebook:  "Santa Salsera"

Featured review:  MIGUEL ZENON, "Esta Plena"

Electrifying, reverential and profound, "Esta Plena" is a never-before-seen melding of plena and Latin jazz, as coequal partners. Though Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenon had experimented with his native island's folk rhythms on the earlier Jíbaro, this is a much deeper foray into ancestral territory.  <<READ MORE>>

Briefly, plena is a portable, improvised, drum and vocal ensemble known as "the newspaper of the streets," built around three panderos (frame drums similar to tambourines without the chimes). Five of the tunes on "Esta Plena" are named for neighborhoods in Santurce--a working class suburb outside San Juan that has been a hotbed of plena--where Zenon spent time growing up. Zenon is joined on the rest by some of Puerto Rico's top plena musicians, led by Hector "Tito" Matos. Plena has largely been neglected up until now as fertile ground for jazz (vs. the oft-adapted Afro-Cuban rhythms); Zenon opens that long-awaited conversation with this boldly conceptualized, yet personal homage.


Surinamese Saturday on MONDO MUNDO! 2-4 pm

My guest on Mondo Mundo this week:  Raleigh musician Frake Hunsel who will share his collection of classic Surinamese vinyl and CDs in the musical styles of Kaseko, Kawina, Aleke, Motjo poku, KasKawi, Groot Bazuin and more!

Special:  Music of Suriname
MONDO MUNDO Dec. 19, Saturday, 2-4 pm
WXDU 88.7 FM www.wxdu.org
Host:  Santa Salsera with guest Frake Hunsel  

This is a rare opportunity to hear and learn more about Surinamese artists such as: <<<READ MORE>>>

Lieve Hugo, NAKS Kaseko Loco, Kamalamas, Kara Dara, Conjunto Latinos, Ai Sa Si, Ghabiang, Twinkle Stars, Snijders, Santo Boys, Carlo Jones and the Surinam Troubadours, and the Fra Fra Sound. 

Suriname, a former Dutch colony and the smallest country in South America, is nestled on the Caribbean rim, shares a border with Brazil, and is home to huge ethnic and linguistic diversity. Musical influences include calypso and Cuban son. Frake Hunsel is a world percussionist who performs with ELM Collective and has his own kaseko music ensemble. 

Check it out!
-Santa Salsera