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Salsa Celtica

When a band is said to be fusing Afro-Cuban salsa and Celtic music, someone who hasn't heard their work might expect either (1) something that is extremely unconventional, or (2) a total train wreck. But the music of Salsa Celtica is neither of those things; truth be told, Salsa Celtica is a solid, hard-swinging salsa band that just happens to be from Scotland. Their recordings have incorporated elements of Celtic music (both Scottish and Irish), and they have employed some instruments that are typically heard on traditional Celtic recordings (including bagpipes, Uillean pipes, banjos, fiddles and whistles). But the instruments that really do the most to define their sound--Latin percussion, piano, horns--are standard salsa/Afro-Cuban instruments. Their primary influences aren't the Chieftains, Clannad or Tommy Makem, but rather, salsa stars like Tito Puente, Willie Colón, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto and los Van Van. And most of the band's lyrics aren't in English or Gaelic--they're in Spanish, the dominant language of salsa and Afro-Cuban music. So when all is said and done, Salsa Celtica's sound is really about 90% Afro-Cuban and 10% Celtic; they're a salsa band with Celtic overtones.

Salsa Celtica was formed in Scotland in 1995, and in 1997, the salseros visited Cuba for the first time (which was very easy to do because Scotland, unlike the United States, doesn't have an embargo of Cuba). After that, they recorded their debut album, Demonios, Angels and Lovers. Subsequently, the Scots provided an album titled El Agua de la Vida, which means "the water of life" in Spanish and was released on the Compass label in 2003. The members of Salsa Celtica have included, among others, pianist Phil Alexander, percussionist/vocalist Lino Rocho, flutist/saxophonist Steve Kettley, saxman Frasier Fifield, banjo player/guitarist Coyne Eamonn, percussionist Javier Chernicoff and violinist/guitarist Kenny Fraser. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

mimcnamara
Awesome!
What was that
OUTSTANDING! ! ! :-D
olstenkenr
Introduced to me by a Chicano salsa teacher, who felt that the rhythms were dead-on, in every Latino way and SO unique, in a Celtic way.. Me, too.
mgaudreau
I was listening to LiveIreland. c o m when they played this band. I had Never heard them before.Where have I been? As a fan of Shooglenifty , Afro-Celt Sound System and the Chieftains I went online right away to find out more. Great band!
oh,the actress is Julie Walters, duh!
I discovered this group when I watched the movie Driving Lesson, staring one of my favorite British actresses--s h e ' s the funny friend of Meryl streeps in Mama Mia, singing, Take a Chance on me." she also plays Harry poters friend's mom and the friend is the young star in this one. anyway, they are Latino Scotts wearing kilts, dancing a blue streak with some celtic instruments as well as the basic afro cuban mix. get your dancing shoes on and shake that thing!!!!
I'm lovin' it. First heard them in a movie "Driving Lessons" never got them out of my mind. What a kick, now I have to learn salsa and I'll be all set.
dfoconnor
Salsa Celtica is amazing. You have got to hear this.
marieske3
Love it! This is my very first day on Pandora and I was hesitating on which genre to enter as the usual ones don't work much for me. I clicked Tex-Mex for the heck of it and voila, here was your review.
Thanks so much. I "GOT" it right away too...... love celtic, love sum salsa but the combo was a bullseye descrip to me.
Gracias from Watsonville, Calif

talk_2_ee
Awesome dance music! I use this as part of my play list when I teach several styles of dance, that way students can learn to fuse a variety of dance styles. EE

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