It all began in New York City, at a club called Havana San Juan. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, some of today’s most revered names in Latin music: Joe Cuba, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Celia Cruz, Cachao, among others, were merely gifted immigrant musicians from Cuba and Puerto Rico who sought a special venue; a place where they could come together and bring their own unique sound, their different rhythms, their collective son That special place was Havana San Juan.
Havana and San Juan. Two islands. Two cities. Two rich and often turbulent histories came together through the harsh reality of exile and became inextricably intertwined through music. This was the birth of Salsa.
And for more than a decade, the Havana San Juan nightclub, located at 138th Street and Broadway 2nd, bore witness to some of Salsa and Latin music’s most brilliant collaborations, the most mind-blowing descargas, spectacular shows, nonstop dancing and unforgettable nights in which today’s most renowned artists performed their best music for an expatriated community.
Latin music ruled the dance hall. The echoes are still deeply etched in the memory of those who were there decades ago, and it still haunts the collective consciousness of those who share a passion for its sounds.
That same spirit drives every Havana San Juan events: a series of monthly classic revivals of the Golden Era of Salsa. As some of Miami’s most coveted events, the Havana San Juan series pay homage to the legacy of so many gifted artists through music and ambiance. For many, the events are an immersive crash course in Salsa and Mambo that take place every month at Miami hotspots like Grass, in the Design District, and Plunge, the Gansevoort’s rooftop pool. For others, the Havana San Juan events bring all the authenticity of the legendary New York club and brings back its most vivid vibrant memories.
Now, the event becomes an experience, a musical journey, as the original Havana San Juan musicians come together to play on the same stage after more than 30 years.
Although they have played in different ensembles throughout the years, percussionists Johnny Almendra and Alfredo Freddy Lugo will join Louis El Maestro Bauzo for the first time in three decades at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge (formerly the Village Gate), on Thursday, April 15th, 2010.
“This is truly a historic event”, says Havana San Juan creator and producer, Geno Chaviano. “It is my honor and privilege to be able to continue with a family tradition, to be a foot soldier of this movement, and to usher it into a new era so that it takes its rightful place on the global spotlight.”
After Chaviano contacted Louis Bauzo, el maestro himself worked his magic to reach out to Freddy and Johnny and assemble this musical Dream Team. And so, the these three rhythm masters will unite on stage a Le Poisson Rouge, a state-of-the art multimedia art cabaret, to relive the old glory days of the Havana San Juan nightclub where they jammed the nights away with the music of Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Machito. This historic reunion will be an epic musical event that, officially, marks the birth of the Havana San Juan Orchestra.
This is a general admission, standing event. $25 at the door