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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Latin Live

There are at least four good Salsa dance bands in Hawaii. All of them billed as Salsa, on their Web sites, newspaper ads, radio and TV advertising. At any rate, they are playing Latin music - Live. We have all heard it, somewhere. "I'll take great music, performed in a great venue every time. Not only is the music more involving, but the energy of musicians playing with and off of each other adds another dimension to the story-telling." So be it.

“For social dancers, it may be far better to grasp our Oahu Dance World as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone, here as well as anywhere else. The core of the problem is how we want to define “Latin Music.” That music is either delivered - they connect with an audience - or they don’t, and on Oahu they do very well. For some, that audience is a few thousand wanna be Latin dancers and some critics and of course there are always a few outstanding dancers that could very easily become pros.

"Cien Ańos" por Pedro Infante

Those connections happen because the music successfully communicates something real about the human experience. Sure, there is trashy music that does really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity, such as increasing the number of steps or patterns you can dance to the music, Auwe. What people value in their music - and Latin may be what they count as music - really tells you more about them than it does about the music.


A colorful parade in Latin America, with live music and dancing.

Then there is distance. Many years ago they had many concerts at the coliseum in Los Angeles. The seats in the upper rows were always the last to go. But the sound of the live music wasn't very good and from the distance you could not see much. Concerts are all much closer nowadays, Blaisdell is fine, Aloha Stadium, no good. If we can go to Night Club on Oahu, where we are sitting in the same room as the band, we are very lucky indeed. Not only that but for many of the regulars, they can say "hello Mary, hello John" which certain makes for the start of a beautiful social evening.

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Fine food served by waitresses in appetizing forms.