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November 12, 2009

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

New Swing Sextet still swings

MUSIC of the 1960s and 1970s still stirs nostalgia for days when artists and musicians of all kinds filled the world with fresh, energetic and innovative works. It was a time to be wild, mad and free.

The New Swing Sextet, a hot New York salsa band from the 1960s, reunited recently after a 30-year hiatus - and earned Grammy nominations.

The brilliantly vibe-driven band will bring the classic Latin New York sound from the '60s to Shanghai's salsa enthusiasts.

Beginning on Sunday, they will perform in a series of mambo parties and events in various venues. It's their first trip to China. The series features eight nights of Latin music parties, three live concerts, workshops and performances by international salsa stars.

Debuting at the New York World's Fair in 1965, the band delivered popular and innovative elements of Latin jazz and salsa while introducing elements of pop music. With harmonized vocals, piano, vibes, bass and Latin percussion, it joined the numerous bands of all kinds in New York to dish up classic and contemporary sounds.

They broke up in the late 1970s, but were brought together again this year by famed salsa DJ Henry Knowles with the album "Back on the Streets ? A Taste of Spanish Harlem Vol 2." Knowles will join the band in the parties in Shanghai with his beats and swing.

"I think today's Latin dancers are very creative and athletic. Dancers and audiences are also very international," says band leader George Rodriguez, on vibes and vocal. "That is to a great extent influenced by today's DJs and the Internet."

The New Swing Sextet and Knowles are coming with a wide repertoire, from classic mambo and salsa to instrumental and pop music. They will adjust arrangements according to responses from audiences in Shanghai.

The China visit came about in response to their gigs in the Singapore International Salsa Festival and they're confident that Shanghai will swing with them.

"We invite all dancers and lovers of Latin music to attend. Our dear friend, DJ Michelle, from Hong Kong, has often encouraged us to come to Asia and has told us that our music will play well in China," says Rodriguez.

"We have performed for dancers from your beautiful part of the world in other venues and think that they have enjoyed our music. One thing for sure, they are great dancers. Our expectation and hope is that we will be invited again in the near future."

Date: Sunday, 7:30pm

Venue: Brown Sugar, Xintiandi, Bldg 15, 181 Taicang Rd

Admission: 350 yuan, 500 yuan (seating)

Date: November 16, 7:30pm

Venue: Paramount Ballroom, 1728 Nanjing Rd S.

Admission: 350 yuan, 500 yuan (seating)

Date: November 17, 7:30pm

Venue: Kento's, Tongle Square, Yuyao Rd

Admission: 350 yuan, 500 yuan (seating)

Date: November 19, 8pm

Venue: M1nt, 24/F, 318 Fuzhou Rd

Admission: 150 yuan

Tel: 1582-1743-818


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