Where’s The Music At?

September Playlist Highlights

Song (iTunes)

Artist

Category

Origin

Un Loco Con Una Moto

Ralph Irizarry & Los Viejos De La Salsa

Salsa

USA

La Clave

Ralph Irizarry & Los Viejos De La Salsa

Salsa

USA

Rumba en Mi Barrio

Grupo Arcano

Salsa

USA

Lluvia Viene

Grupo Arcano

Salsa

USA

La Ambicion

Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Salsa

USA

Latin Soul Stew

Spanglish Fly

Boogaloo

USA

Adonde Va el Amor?

Daniel Santacruz

Bachata

Dominican Rep.

Sacudete Nena (Merengue Mix)

Zacarias Ferreira

Merengue

Dominican Rep.

Angolanamente Sensual

Don Kikas

Kizomba

Angola

Ça ne te convient pas

Slaï

Zouk

France

Where did you get that song from?

A question dj’s get asked all the time is “where do you get your music?”. I too have asked other dj’s the same question and the answer I get and the answer I give is “wherever I can find it”. As much as that answer is true it’s not very useful to whoever was asking the question. The fact of the matter is that dj’s can be secretive about where they get their music because on some level the value of a dj is his or her ability to find really good music that others don’t know about. If everyone went to the same places for their music the whole ‘crate digging’ aspect of dj’ing would be lost. However, on the flip side dj’s can often be quite willing to share the source of their music with you. To them it’s important that you are familiar with the music and thus more likely to dance to it. Also, besides playing music dj’s also act as music promoters especially for lesser known artists whose great music gets little media attention. As that is one of the main purposes of this blog I am going to share with you one of my favourite sources for great music by relatively unknown artists.

Up until recently, it was really hard for small independent groups to expand their fan base by getting their music to markets outside of their hometown. However, the recent explosion of social media and crowd funding has enabled small bands to raise awareness about and money to support their music and musical projects. One of the most popular places to do this is a website called Kickstarter.com. This website and those that are similar to it are a god-send for small, independent artists who want to breakaway from being funded and controlled by record labels.

Not only do relatively unknown bands turn to crowd funding to raise money but so do well established artists.  One of the amazing projects I found on Kickstarter was called Los Viejos de la Salsa created by the timbales player from Ruben Blades’ band Seis de Solar, Ralph Irizarry.  It should come as no surprise that the music on the Viejos del La Salsa album is top notch (there are a couple of their songs in this months playlist).  Another really cool music project I found was set up by Brooklyn based George Vélez Jr.   According to the promo video associated with the project he and his father really enjoyed making salsa music for fun and decided to take that hobby and passion and turn their music into an album.  The result is a killer disk called Desde El Otro Lado Del East River.   And yet another group that caught my attention was a project by the self-proclaimed premier Latin big-band in the San Francisco Bay area called Pacific Mambo Orchestra.  This is one of those cases where an amazing band has a huge following locally but just hasn’t been able to raise the money or awareness to prompt and distribute their music outside of their hometown.  Apparently, the band is a local favourite packing dance halls with their unique blend of salsa, cha cha cha, mambo and latin jazz.  Like the other two projects we just mentioned, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra’s project managed to raise the money it needed via Kickstart to enable them to release their first album.

Those are just a small sample of the great music projects you can find on Kickstart and there are a bunch more  (like the Motown tribute to Nickleback) but I will let you discover those on your own.

That’s it for this month. Questions, comments, requests?Send me an email

Hasta la próxima

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Latin Music on Edmonton Airwaves

June Playlist Highlights

Song (iTunes)

Artist

Category

Origin

Buscandote

The Latin Brothers

Salsa

Colombia

De Canarias a La Habana

Moises González

Timba

Cuba

Donde Estan

Este Habana

Timba

Cuba

Mi Montuno

Alberto Caicedo

Salsa

Colombia

Boogaloo Con Galé

Grupo Gale

Boogaloo

Colombia

Frío, Frío (feat. Romeo Santos)

Juan Luis Guerra

Bachata

Dominican Republic

Be My Baby

Leslie Grace

Bachata

USA

Así Es Mi Vida

Gaitanes

Merengue Fusion

Panama

San Francisco Tiene Su Propio Son

Brian Andres and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel

Son

USA

Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo (feat. Michel Teló)

Carlos Vives

Vallenato

Colombia

Edmonton Independent Radio – CJSR 88.5 FM 

There are a surprising number of radio stations here in the city of Edmonton.  Yet even with all of those stations it seems that you hear a lot of the same music especially when listening to commercial FM radio.   I admit that I enjoy some of that music but what I find truly disappointing is that on these well funded, well advertised stations there is next to no programming dedicated to niche music markets.  This is despite the fact that Edmonton is a city made of up of people who love music of all types and from all places.  Personally, I have a taste for Latin music as do many other Edmontonians.  However, you will be hard-pressed to hear Latin music on any radio station in our fine city outside of mainstream cross-over artists like Shakira, Pit Bull or Jennifer Lopez.  Even commercially successful and internationally famous artists like Mark Anthony get little to no exposure on Edmonton airwaves.

It’s this lack of true variety that turns a lot of people off listening to FM stations, which is unfortunate because there is an alternative: independent, community driven, Edmonton owned and operated radio.  Case in point, CJSR 88.5 FM is Edmonton’s awesome independent campus based community radio station. It’s existence dates back to 1946 when it was known as the Alberta Student Radio Directorate and the station has continued on in various forms since that time.  This year marks CJSR’s 30 year as full broadcast FM station. Though the station has moved around a bit and changed it’s name a few times it has always been true to its cause, which is to offer community based, independent radio programming.  Looking at their schedule you will find programs dedicated to anything from soul and funk music (Rankin B’s Fortress of Soulitude) to Bhangra (5 River Beat), from programming in Polish (Polskie Radio) to programming in Persian (Ghasedak).   The shows on CJSR not only play music that you will hear nowhere else on Edmonton airwaves but also provide community, cultural and independent spoken-work programming that no other station can offer.

Now I mention all this for a couple of reasons.  First, CJSR is a small station that opperates on a very small budget, does next to no advertising and still manages to run a successful radio station 20/7, 365 days a year.  That said, the station doesn’t get a lot of exposure so you may never of heard of it before.   My second and related reason for highlighting CJSR is because this blog is dedicated to Latin music and CJSR has a program dedicated to just that.  No where else in the city will you find a radio station playing great Latin dance music from salsa to vallenato from bachata to reggaeton. The program is called Agua Latina and it airs every Sunday night from 8 to 9pm.  So if you want to take a break from commercial radio and want to listen to some great Latin music and learn a little about the artists that make then check out the show.  And while your at it have a listen to some of the other great programming that only an independent, community minded radio station can offer.

That’s it for this month. Questions, comments, requests? Send me an email.

Hasta la próxima

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