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Friday, October 20, 2017

Do You Like Good Music?

by Ricky Ricardo (writer), Los Angeles, July 15, 2007

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Do You Like Good Music?
Santa Monica, CA. - “I Like Good Music; Any Kind of Music” this is the title of a song by the O’Jays. The title of this song describes my taste in music. You have probably notice that all of the articles that I have written pertains to various genres of music.
I greeted the line-up for the 23rd Annual Twilight Dance Series presented by Amoeba Music on the Santa Monica Pier with excitement. The best concerts on the bay are back, featuring an eclectic line-up of leading new artist and well loved favorites. The Santa Monica Pier marks the beginning of summer with incredible free festival-style concerts every Thursday evening that began on June 28 thru September 2. The concerts start at 7:30PM on the West Parking Deck.
I went to the concert on July 12 featuring Salsa! Salsa! And more Salsa! With DJ-Le Spam & The Spam All-Stars from Miami, Florida and Plena Libre as the headliners.
The crowd and I were in for a surprise treat before the main show got under way. The Santa Monica Pier organizers strongly recommend walking, biking and using public transit to get to the concerts as parking is limited near the pier. The newly formed group-The Blues Notes (advocates for the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus) sang several clever tunes urging people to ride the Big Blue Bus. Talk about 15 minutes of fame, this talented group kicked off each show from 7:15-7:30 with creative version of popular tunes promoting The Big Blue Bus. They performed “No Particular Place To Go”, “Blue Bus Swing” and concluded with “Route 66”. I hope that you can arrive early to the pier to get a good spot to stand or sit for the concerts, and more important to see The Blue Notes travel thru their extended songbook of ride share theme songs. www.bigbluebus.com and www.mta.net .
The Spam All-Stars an instrumental ensemble featuring turntablist/DJ-Le Spam, Mercedes Abal-flute, A.J.Hill-saxophone, Chad Bernstein-trombone and Jose Tomas Diaz-timbales and vocals. The band played a danceable set of funk (a la Fred Wesley and The JB’s) electronica and other Latin rhythms. The group stopped me in my tracks with their unique sound on “Joe Drives Through”, “Campanario 64”, “Little Miami”, and “Oracion Acere” with Jose Tomas Diaz singing in the Yoruba language. They closed out their set with a hip-hop tune. You can find their debut CD- Electrodomesticos at Amoeba Music Store.
The orchestra Plena Libre from San Juan, Puerto Rico entertained the crowd with an excellent show of high energy, contagious set of plena and salsa. The group is heating up performance venues throughout their world wide tour. They also performed at California Plaza on Saturday, July 14-part of the Grand Performances Concert Series. This three-time Grammy nominated group is a 13 member orchestra founded by Gary Nunez in 1994. They performed material from their highly rated CD’s entitled Mi Ritmo and Evolucion. Plena is a traditional Afro-Rican rhythm and musical genre, and Plena Libre means free-form, or liberated plena. Plena Libre successfully mix other Caribbean rhythms and styles like bomba and meringue and other sizzling dance-floor charts with plena that has been burning the radio charts across the Atlantic Ocean in Puerto Rica and all over the United States.
I hope that you can join me and many other music lovers at the pier on July 19, when Afro-Pop and Afro-Cuban bands Samba Mapangala, Orchestra Virunga and Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca promises to keep the crowd dancing throughout the evening.
For more information about the 23rd Annual Twilight Dance Series, visit www.santamonicapier.org or call (310) 458-8900
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About the Writer

Ricky Ricardo is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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