First of all, I would like to take a moment to mourn the eternity of William Sotelo on June 3rd. Condolences to family, friends, group members and fans.
William Sotelo, pianist and musical director of the iconic Puerto Rican salsa group El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, died on Puerto Rico on Friday, June 3rd. The musician, who was 61 years old, died of “health problems”.
News of Sotelo’s departure was announced in a press release sent to the media and posted to the Instagram account of El Gran Combo.
“Maestro Villius Sotelo, the musical director of El Gran Combo, has died of health problems at the age of 61. His wife, Jennett Navarro, his daughter Villlia Sotelo, his other relatives and maestro Rafael Itieri and his orchestra are asking for a place to deal with this difficult situation. process and thank you for all your support and prayers, ”the statement said.
Puerto Rican newspaper A new day (translated):
Sotelo joined [El Gran Combo] In 2006, when director and founder Rafael Ithiers decided it was time to reduce his workload.
[I]the musician originally took on the role of group pianist, and was eventually entrusted with the role of music director. Among its functions, Sotelo coordinated the recruitment of the orchestra, contracts and presentations.
[After graduating] from the Inter-American University of San Francisco, [majoring] in music education, focusing on the piano, he founded his first band at the age of 19 at Willie Sotelo’s Music Center.
The Mayagüez musician and arranger has played with orchestras such as La Soluciones, Ismael Miranda, Elías Lopés, Willie Rosario and Lalo Rodríguez. He was Frankie Ruiz, Luisa Enrike, Amílcar Boscan, David Pabon and … Roberto Roena and his Apollo Sound musical director.
In 2011, the members of the group El Gran Combo were named “Parade Kings”.
Later in the day, the band takes the stage to sing “There is no paradise without salsa,Which means “there is no paradise without salsa”.
We’ve already attended salsa and also Latin jazz – if you’ve missed them, see “Jazz Recognition Month: Celebrating the Birth of Latin Jazz,” “Put on These Dance Shoes and Celebrate the Soul of Afro-Boricua,” and “Greetings to Salsa, Soul, and dead Johnny Paceco in the month of black history. “
New York had many venues dedicated to Latin dance and music – from The Palladium, The Corso, The Hunts Point Palace, The Tropicoro, Chez Jose and St. The origins of the George Hotel to name a few. . What attracted me to The Village Gate was that there I was able to satisfy my love of jazz and also my love of salsa dancing, depending on which evening I went. I must also admit that I also knew one of the jumpers and could often enter for free.
The club was described in the 2009 obituary of owner Art D’Lugoff Lee Mergers inside Jazz times:
After performing in New York for several years, D’Lugof and his brother Bert opened the gate in 1958, as it was unofficially called. He attracted many of the best jazz names, such as Mailz Davis, Dizzy Gilespy, Telonia. Monk, Billy Holide and Duke Ellington. The club is located in the heart of the village, just around the corner from Blucker and Thomson Street, and featured comedies, including Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Mart Salt. Among the almost apocryphal stories about D’Lugof was that he rejected Bob Dylan and fired Dastin Hoffman (as a waitress). Of course, many clubs and promoters rejected Dylan in his first years in New York, but the story is just as much about D’Lugof’s unique combination of self-confidence and humility.
All his life, D’Lugof has been fascinated by the Latin music he booked and promoted at the club, most notably in the weekly series he called Salsa Meets Jazz. The series helped to promote Latin music in the city center and strengthen the links between the jazz and Latin music communities. D’Lugof was also proud that the series brought together different audiences united by a common love for music and dance.
Professor of Political Science and admirer of Latin music Jose E. Cruz has written extensively about the events at the Salsa Meets Jazz Village Gate for the Jazz Latino.
No “Salsa Meets Jazz, Part I ”:
In 2004, I spent nearly seven hours gluing to a microfilm reader at a public library in New York watching copies of an old film. The voice of the village published from 7 January to 30 December 1980. I’m looking for an answer to a very simple question: when did Salsa Meets Jazz start at Village Gate? Salsa Meets Jazz was the name of a series created and organized by the late Jack Hook and Village Gate owner Arts D’Lugoff. It took place on Monday evenings to showcase Latin orchestras and jazz soloists. D’Lugof organized a series for a love of dance. Mondays were chosen because they were “slow nights”.
Salsa Meets Jazz didn’t bring huge amounts of money to D’Lugof, but it certainly made Mondays more lively at the gate. For the seven years I lived in New York, Village Gate was my church on Monday nights and Salsa Meets Jazz was my religion. Nowhere else in the city was it possible to dance (or listen) to Tito Puente and Eddie Palmyeri’s music for only $ 10. Every Monday you could see Dizzy Gillespie or McCoy Tyner playing with Louis “Perico” Ortiz and Charlie Palmieri, while Ray Barreto or Johnny Pacheko spent time at the bar.
Let’s stop for a moment to define discharge.
Descarga (literally discharge in Spanish) is an improvised jam session consisting of variations on Cuban music themes, mainly son montuno, but also guajira, bolero, guaracha and rumba. The genre is heavily influenced by jazz and was developed in Havana in the 1950s.
Now let’s move on to Dr. Cruz “Salsa Meets Jazz, Part II: ¡A Descargar!”:
Before Salsa Meets Jazz officially became a series, Village Gate hosted a download session that was recorded live and released in three volumes entitled Download the village gate. According to the famous disc jockey Symphony Sid (whose name was Sid Torin), the 1966 Descargas at the Village Gate project began with a phone call from Morris Levi, president of Tico Records. Tico was the company that hosted the most prominent Spanish-speaking musicians in the Caribbean in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. “Let’s set up a Latin session to end all the unloading,” Sid told Levi, and all it took for the proposal to succeed was a rough answer at the other end of the line. “Crazy!” said Levi. Levi then called the other Morris, Morris Perlman, or Pancho Crystal, “Call Tito Puente, Eddie Palmier, and Joe Cuba.” Soon after, a small army of movers and shakers went on a crazy journey to descarga. “Se Fueron a la Lucha” is what Rivera Monge, Puerto Rico’s main horse-racing narrator, would have said if he had witnessed the event.
Read more about the emergence of Tico Records here.
Here’s the first excerpt from it downloads albums:
I’m always surprised when I see the lineup. This is who is who of Latin music!
Tenor saxophone: Al Abreu, trumpet: Pedro Buluns, Conga: Joe Cuba, Conga: Candido Camero, trumpet: Vincents Frisaura, piano: Eddie Palmieri, trumpet: Viktors Pazs, saxophone: Bobby Porchelli, vibraphone, Timbals: Tito Puente, bass guitar Bobby Rodriguez, Trombone: Berry Rogers, Timbals: Jimmy Sabater, Trombone: Jose Rodriguez, Trumpet: Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Congo: Ray Barretto, Bass: Israel Lopez, Piano: Ricardo “Richie” Rayon: Flute: Flute Charlie Palmier, Bells: Chino Pozo, Bells, Bongos: John Rodrigues, Vocals: Santos Colón, Vocals: Chivirico Davila, Cheo Feliciano, Monguito “El Único” Santamaría
I highly recommend the other Dr. Cruz Series:Salsa Meets Jazz, Part III: The A Series is Born,” and “Salsa meets jazz, Part IV: 1980 and later.
The first downloads the album was followed by two more volumes.
Here is the jam from the second:
And from the third:
If you really want to get a sense of what Latin evenings were like and the amazing energy that took place on stage, here is a clip that always makes me shiver. One Monday evening in August 1986, Tito Puente invited Niki Marrero and Coco to a duel.
Puente will return to The Gate in 1992 to record his own Golden Jazz All Stars. This clip shows the dancing crowd.
The album I was wearing at the time was Mongo Santamaria Explodes at The Village Gate. The title of the album is very apt because Santamaria was an explosive Loano (Congo Drum Player). Mongo was a Cuban, not a Puerto Rican, but he was one of the main influences in the development of New York’s Latin jazz rhythms.
Ramón “Mongo” Santa Maria Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, to a family that valued music and his African heritage. As a young man, Santa Maria picked up the violin, but his popularity and kinship with rumba music led him to a musical career in the field of percussion. Santa Maria dropped out of high school and taught maracas, bongos, conga and timbales. In 1937, together with Septeto Beloña and his home group, he began performing at the famous Tropicana Club in Havana.
Santa Maria released solo albums, many of which featured Cuban percussion and singing derived from West African sounds and rhythms. His 1959 composition Afro-Blue is a jazz standard recorded by John Coltreine and Dizzy Gilespy and many others.
During his career, Santa Maria recorded countless records for various publishers and worked with the best artists, while including his Latin sounds in jazz and R&B. He has performed with the Congo and other percussion instruments at clubs and festivals around the world, including Ray Barretto as a member of the famous Fania All-Stars. Santa Maria died at the age of 85 in Miami after a stroke.
Here, Santamaria performs its “Afro-Blue”.
Memories of The Gate and its series “Salsa Meets Jazz” were awakened in 2017 when artists gathered at what used to be The Gate after Hurricane Mary to raise money for the island’s musicians.
A charity concert entitled “Le) Poison Rouge will take place on October 23rd Salsa meets jazz in Puerto Rico! The venue is located at 158 Bleecker Street, on the site of the former legendary jazz concert venue, The Village Gate.
The title of the benefit refers to The Village Gate’s series of stories on Monday night’s Salsa Meets Jazz. Band leader / percussionist Bobby Sanabria will conduct this stellar concert, which will raise funds and support musicians in Puerto Rico, thanks to the efforts of the American Jazz Foundation.
Lapoetamariposa, a member of the daily Kos community and a newcomer, was one of the performers!
As mentioned above, The Gate also created a long list of live jazz albums; it would take more than a month to play them all.
Here’s a sample photo of Twitter artists:
I hope these pictures will whet your appetite for even more tunes, which I will give in the comments. I’ll end things with a show I attended in 1970 at The Gate.
I’ve been able to see her live quite a few times, although you never know if she’ll perform or when she shows up, she’ll have a problem with one of the viewers (whom I witnessed). She was and probably is my all-time favorite female vocalist.
Late, the great Nina Simone lives at The Gate.