UK salsa/Cuban/Latin music legendary DJ/promoter Lubi Jovanovic aka DJ Lubi, has teamed up with top Latin jazz musician Jonny Enright (trombonist/bandleader of London band Grupo X), to host a night of live salsa/mambo/latin jazz dedicated to the man they called “The Mambo King” and “El Rey De La Salsa” (“The King Of Salsa”)….the one and only TITO PUENTE!
A New York born Puerto Rican, Tito was one of the greatest and best known musicians in Latin music with a career that spanned over 50 years from the 1940s to 2000. A pioneer of mambo and cha cha cha in the 1950s, the king of salsa in the 1970s and a godfather of Latin jazz in the 1980s, Tito released over 100 albums under his name and appeared on many more as a guest. A master of the timbales and the vibes, he was also a prolific composer who wrote many Latin music anthems including his greatest hit ever “Oye Como Va”. Already a Latin music standard by 1970, it became a worldwide pop hit when rock guitarist Carlos Santana covered it that year bringing a whole new generation of fans to Tito Puente’s music. He became a worldwide icon who was known outside of Latin American culture, even appearing as himself in a classic episode of The Simpsons. In 2023, it’s the centenary of Tito’s birth (20th April) and his music is still giving joy to millions of people worldwide as new fans keep discovering the Mambo King’s huge musical legacy.
Tonight, DJ Lubi curates an evening of Tito Puente’s music played live by an 11 piece all-star salsa/mambo orchestra featuring musicians from the UK, Spain, Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela – the DJ Lubi Salsa Allstars. They’ll be performing classic Tito compositions such as “Mambo Gozon”, “Ran Kan Kan”, Para Los Rumberos”, “Guaguanco Margarito”, “Nina y Señora”, “Picadillo”, “Hong Kong Mambo” and of course, “Oye Como Va”. The orchestra features musicians from Grupo X, The Gondwana Orchestra, Siete Rayos, Mojito Band, Vibeology and Os Caras and others who have played with Salsa Celtica, Oscar D’Leon, Larry Harlow, Tumbaito, La Clave, Joe Bataan, Dave Valentin and Jimmy Bosch – 4 brass, 3 percussion, piano, bass, vibes and lead vocals. The perfect combination to celebrate the music of “The King”.
Here’s an introduction to the personnel:
Carlos “Pachanga” Peña (Venezuela) – lead singer – gigged/recorded with Oscar D’Leon, Larry Harlow, Grupo X, Salsa Celtica, Tumbaito and led his own band Salsa Swing in the UK
Jonny Enright (UK) – trombone/musical director/coro – top UK salsa trombonist, band leader of UK Latin jazz band Grupo X and has gigged with legends Tito Allen, Dave Valentin, Joe Bataan, Bobby Matos, Jimmy Bosch
Ivan Pavon (Cuba) – bass/coro – back in Cuba, played with Angel Bonne, Osdalgia, Danny Lozado, Sur Caribe, came to the UK in a Buena Vista orchestra line-up 15 years ago – based in Manchester now
Victor Estevez (Spain) – trumpet/coro – played Cuban music/salsa in Spain then Edinburgh and moved to Leeds in 2020 to study at the conservatoire – leader of Rumberos de Palo Leeds Latin jazz group
Jack McCarthy (UK) – timbales/coro – top Manchester/UK drummer & percussionist- worked with many Manchester salsa/Cuban bands, studied percussion in Cuba, plays jazz with Gondwana Allstars
Sam Bell (UK) – congas/coro – played in Leeds salsa bands Pa’lante and Casa Latina Allstars, led Latin soul band Bugalu Foundation, also plays funk/jazz with The Haggis Horns, The New Mastersounds and Malcolm Strachan
Andrzej Baranek (UK) – pianist – played in many top Manchester salsa and Latin jazz groups like Mojito and Siete Rayos plus one of the busiest jazz pianists in the north of England
Camilo Ochoa (Colombia) – bongos/campana/coro – Manchester based master trumpeter and percussionist who is a regular face on both the local jazz and salsa/Cuban/Latin music scene
John Settle (UK) – vibes/percussion – Yorkshire based drummer and vibes player who leads his own bands Os Caras (samba jazz) and Vibeology (jazz/Latin jazz) as well as playing drums with Brazilian jazz band Tempo Feliz
Lubi Jovanovic (UK) – assistant musical director/band manager – UK salsa pioneer DJ/promoter – helped put the band together with Jonny Enright – hosts the nights and DJs between live sets
The orchestra will be playing two sets of Tito’s greatest hits with DJ Lubi spinning classic salsa, mambo, son Cubano, guaguanco and cha cha cha before and between sets. Definitely the big Latin music event of July in Manchester.
A standing show.