This Saturday a trip to Cuba is as close as the Errington War Memorial Hall, where the eight-piece Afro-Latin dance band TANGA will be performing.
Val Dare, who is the driving force behind the scenes bringing world class talent to the mid-Island’s liveliest music venue, said if you enjoy sizzling Latin beats then you shouldn’t miss this event.
“I am excited,” she said. “It is going to be a lot of fun and a great way to kick off the season.”
The BC Arts Council recently awarded The Errington War Memorial Hall Association a Community Presenters Assistance Grant of $4,500 toward artists’ fees for the 2011-2012 performance season and Dare said it has enabled them to book some amazing acts, starting with TANGA.
She said since 2005, the high-energy and charismatic collective has been packing dance floors with a sound that is equal parts Cuban dance hall, Afro-Latin folklórica and old-school New Yoriquen funk.
“TANGA represents the new voice of a generation raised on the Afro-Latin rhythms of Salsa dance bands and the new urban sounds of Latin pop, house and hip hop,” she said.
Inspired by groups such as Yerba Buena, Ozomatli and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, TANGA crafts a sonic blend of Latin percussion, sizzling brass, and fiery vocals, seasoned with elements of funk, hip hop and jazz.
“They call it nueva salsa: a new salsa sound that reflects their diverse array of musical and cultural backgrounds,” she said. “Their sound is inspired by bold musical innovation and creativity while staying rooted in the Afro-Latin groove.”
This show isn’t just for passive listeners however.
The gig is also an opportunity to brush up on your Latin dance moves.
Errington’s own Jamie Black will be teaching partner dancing to the Latin grooves during intermission.
Black has been teaching Latin dance for 12 years and she said she is looking forward to the mini lesson and by the second act the dance floor should be hot.
“They will learn a bit of sensua. That means sexy in Spanish.”
She said her way of teaching Latin partner dancing is more about feeling it and loving it not about structure and the steps.
“The way I teach is the way I learned from a Latino. If there is too much structure it isn’t fun. I use a style that everyone knows,” she said.
Those who attend the dance will see a familiar face on stage. Chris Couto, (AKA Lola Sachez, Ms. Errington 2010) the youngest member of the group became part of TANGA about a year ago.
Next month TANGA will be in Havana, Cuba recording a new album.
Their single, Carlito Ceballos has received national airplay and has been picked up by club DJs in Germany, Mexico and the UK.
TANGA will be releasing their second studio album, Mazacote following their upcoming recording session in Havana.
The infectious Afro-Latin dance rhythms of TANGA begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday September 24 at the Errington Hall.
Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at Cranky Dog in Parksville, Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach or at the Errington Store.