Sorry for keeping you in the dark the last two weeks. It's almost June, and faithful readers probably know things always slow down a bit in this dreaded exam period :) But here's a little teaser to what's coming up this summer!
First of all, next month La Onda celebrates its third anniversary already. So look out for a special contest soon! We're also thinking about a remix-themed post again like we did last year, but we'll need your help this time. If you find noteworthy remixes of your favorite latino artists, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org - you decide what appears on the site!
We will continue to provide you with latino concert reviews during the summer festival season - traditionally a great time for European latin music lovers. After the very successful tours of Mayra Andrade and Spanish Harlem Orchestra (and the sadly canceled Eddie Palmieri show), here's our selection of the best latin music festivals this summer. If you're in Western Europe, each of these is definitely worth the trip!
Couleur Café (June 27th - June 29th, Brussels, Belgium)
Colorful vibes from all over Africa and Latin America on the inner-city Thurn & Taxis festival grounds. We'll probably be checking out the 'Rolling Stones of salsa' Los Van Van, who are apparently a once-in-a-lifetime live experience. French-Cuban singer-songwriter Raul Paz is the next big thing in the mestizo movement, mixing hiphop, dub and ska with Cuban traditionals. And Kassav' will get the party started with crazy zouk from the Antilles.
Antilliaanse Feesten (August 8th & 9th, Hoogstraten, Belgium)
The festival that always brings the biggest names and the best Caribbean atmosphere to the lowlands. We'll be staying on the multiculturally flavored campgrounds for extensive coverage of this world music walhalla. In the weeks prior to the festival, we'll shine a light on some of the performing artists. During the event we hope to set up some sort of live blogging for the less fortunate who can't be there. And afterwards you'll read all the concert reviews, interviews and backstage gossip first here at La Onda!
Here are some of the names already announced: on the salsa front there's Grupo Galé from Colombia, Magia Caribeña representing Venezuela, Maravilla de Florida from Cuba, and round the clock salsa dancing in the mirrored Palacio de la Salsa. Especially Magia Caribeña have an excellent live reuptation, you'll be hearing more from them soon! Gente D'Zona were already featured here with their exotic cubatón, you all know Monchy y Alexandra from their bachata pop hits, and Chichi Peralta brings infectious merenge from the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean islands are also heavily represented (and, I must admit, underrepresented on this blog). Small Axe from St. Kitts & Nevis, the excellent Carimi from Haïti and 3 Canal from Trinidad are three bands to watch. Their music (respectively soca, compas and rapso) brings the carnival atmosphere right down to Belgium! Last but not least, reggaeton superstars Wisin y Yandel will perform for the first time in Belgium - I can already imagine the exhilirating crowd and the explosive show.
Afro-Caribbean Festival (August 16th, Bredene, Belgium)
A small but promising festival on the coast, with an eclectic selection of international acts from Congolese soukous to Brazilian samba. We're hopeful for the La Kinky Beat show, mestizo from Barcelona, and for the creators of the timba sound NG La Banda.
Check out the websites for ticketing information and full programmes. Also, we wouldn't be doing concert reviews if it wasn't for the promotors (applause!) and the help from our amigos of Tropicalidad (more applause!).
Of course we'll keep you informed about the best latin releases out there in the meantime. Some of the artists coming up soon: Sergio Mendes, Los Piojos, Arcangel and Willie Chirino. If that won't keep you sweet until the next post... ;)