Los Hacheros mix old school charanga with big horn salsa

Los Hacheros play 1970s New York salsa for Carnegie Hall Citywide at the Brooklyn Museum First Saturdays on December 7, 2019 at 5pm. FREE

More information at carnegiehall.org

Los Hacheros

This is a really fun band. Los Hacheros (the axemen) channel Santa Barbara/Changó, the saint of thunder and lighting, but also drumming and dancing.

They play old school charanga, the sweet violin and flute salsa of way back, before salsa actually. This is Caribbean Creole music.

Then they whip out a trombone and jump into the big-bottomed classic salsa sound of Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colón and FANIA of 1970s New York City.

Papote Jimenez is a wild man of a singer, filled with thunder and lightning. You’re going to love him.

It’s a Brooklyn Museum First Saturdays party with a little Carnegie Hall Citywide. Take your dance shoes because Los Hacheros won’t let you sit still.

The Power of Salsa

In its broadest sense, many people think all Latin music is salsa. Actually salsa is a blend of Caribbean traditions that climaxed in New York City in the 1970s and spread worldwide.

It was Cuban dance music, played mostly by Puerto Ricans in East Harlem and The Bronx.

FANIA music director Johnny Pacheco (who is Dominican) is generally credited with coming up with the name “Salsa” to describe the melange of musics. FANIA was the Latin Motown. Tito Puente (Puerto Rican) was recording for his Tico Records. Celia Cruz (Cuban) was a force all her own.

In the 1970s, salsa went global out of New York City and gave birth to regional variations. Cali, Colombia is the “capital of the salsa, but it is Colombian salsa which has less clave and a related tradition of stage salsa dancing.

Salsa absorbs regional traditions. Compare early Celia Cruz with La Sonora Matancera in Cuba to late Celia Cruz with Fania in New York. In New York her sound has swing and Broadway in it.

Old Cuban salsa has rumba and son in it. Puerto Rican salsa has bomba and plena in it. Colombian salsa has cumbia in it. New York salsa has swing in it.

Cuban music continued evolving into Timba. The Cuban reaction to salsa is that it is old-fashioned music from the 1950s. It is exactly that. Puerto Ricans brought it to New York City with The Great Migration of the 1950s.

The “hard” salsa of the 1970s led to the romantic salsa of the 1980s. It was a wild time in New York City. The bottom was 1977. It was hard times but it was a great time too. Salsa, disco, hip-hop and punk all came up out of New York City then.

So this is the energy of Los Hacheros, “the axemen.”

Los Hacheros

Los Hacheros (courtesy the artists)

Los Hacheros (courtesy the artists)

  • Eddie Venegas, violin
  • Edmar Castaneda, flute, campana and guiro
  • Papote Jimenez, lead vocals and congas
  • William Ash. tumbaos and bass
  • Jacob Plasse, tres


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