The London Lucumi Choir has been very honoured to feature on the stage with Britain’s finest Salsa Musicians. You may be asking what does an Afro-Cuban Spiritual Choir have to do with Salsa? Well, where should I start. There has been much written about the development of Salsa Music and so I will keep it brief. Historically Salsa was a term that was used as a useful commercial tool to sell music that was growing in the Barrios of New York in the 70’s. The Roots of Salsa Structurally can be traced to Cuban genres of Music such as “Son” and ” Guaracha” although other musical elements indigenous to other Latin and Caribbean Communities in particular the The Puerto Rican Community. Afro Cuban Jazz also made it’s mark and it’s very difficult to separate the role of Afro Cuban Percussionists and the fact that most of them had ties as ceremonial drummers in one Afro Cuban religion or the other. The Film ” When Spirits Dance Mambo” Directed by Marta Moreno Vega, illustrates this perfectly. It is hard to imagine the development of Afro Cuban Jazz and music such as Salsa without percussionists such as Julito Collazo, Chano Pozo, Francisco Aguabella, Armando Peraza, Mongo Santamaria and also Milton Cardona. Many of these percussionists had a background in ceremonial drumming and so the influence of Santeria was always there. In addition, Afro Cuban Jazz, Salsa and before it, Son and Guaracha have always been a vehicle to honour the Orishas and there are countless songs and arrangements dedicated to the Orisha, in Cuba and also in the United States.
With Relation to the London Lucumi Choir and Latin Music in the UK the main protaganists of the Choir were involved in the Salsa Scene for three decades or More. Daniela R De Armas was founder of two Salsa Bands in the 1980’s and the 1990’s “Salsa Y Aché and Salsasonica . David Pattman was Bongosero of one of the earliest London Based Salsa Bands “EL Sonido De Londres” . Jim Le Messurier was founder member and Timbales Player of one of the best Salsa Outfits in the UK, La Clave and Bill Bland was involved in countless Latin bands throughout the last 30 years.
Below: A track by Salsasonica written by Alex Wilson and Daniela Rosselson ( De Armas) and some vintage photos back in the day! Salsasonica
The London Lucumi Choir will be joining Roberto Pla, his orchestra and host of other amazing musicians on the 16th July 2016: TO BOOK PRESS HERE!