A very British Latin thing

Roberto Pla

Percussionist Roberto Pla is to lead a 20-piece salsa orchestra performing the music of the legendary Fania All-Stars on 16th July 2016 at London’s Barbican.

Colombian percussionist Roberto Pla, a long time UK resident, is to lead a 20-piece salsa orchestra performing the music of the legendary New York Latin jazz and salsa collective the Fania All-Stars on 16th July 2016 at London’s Barbican. Inspired by the film ‘Our Latin Thing’ the orchestra will be celebrating the Fania All-Stars’ influence on Latin music in the UK.

Synonymous with the biggest names in Salsa, the Fania All-Stars comprised a revolving cast of musicians from the New York-based Fania Records, the label responsible for turning the world’s eyes and ears onto the infectious rhythms of Latin America in the 60s. Mirroring that with a line-up of the artists pushing Latin music forward today, the bold brass, passionate vocals and driving percussion of Roberto Plá’s orchestra take you through the Fania All-Stars hits – music by Cheo Feliciano, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe and more.

Confirmed for the show are percussionist Robin Jones, who’s British Latin jazz legacy extends back to the early 1970s, Snowboy, The London Lucumi Choir, Dorance Lorza and violinist Omar Puente, as well as international salsa star Orlando ‘Watussi’ Castillo.

Over the last four decades many Latin artists have come to the UK, making it their home, as well as many British people embracing Latin music especially the force that was Fania All-Stars. London in particular has enjoyed the influx of people from Latin America, especially Colombia, and the music that follows. Born from it is an array of fine London-based Latin bands including Robin Jones’s King Salsa, Essex conguero Snowboy’s Latin Section, La Clave and Dorance Lorza’s Sexteto Café, all of whom will be represented at this event alongside pianist/bandleader Alex Wilson.

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