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Los Jovenes Del Barrio
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Johnny Almendra y
Los Jóvenes del Barrio

Charanga Lives!

D


About the Band

If he were to win the Lotto, he'd hire all the musicians of Los Jóvenes Del Barrio full time and rehearse them four or five hours each day, says Johnny Almendra. This would be the only way to rival the legendary Cuban Charanga groups like Orquesta Aragon or Rítmo Oriental. "People don't watch TV in Cuba," he says, "they practice". But although he didn't win in lotto, Los Jóvenes Del Barrio are a pretty hot and successful band.

It all started as a workshop in the Boys Harbor School of Music in New York. Johnny managed to draw the interest of bassist Victor Venegas and flautist Karen Joseph, whom he had played with in Charanga '76. The project was successful enough to get more and more gigs and the band grew together. Soon the first album, "Evolucionando" was recorded and became a big success. The main idea was to apply Charanga-like violins and flute to other styles of music. So they present a fresh mix of Charanga, Son, Songo, Rumba, Salsa, R&B, Danzón, Merengue, Cumbia, Guaracha and other styles, but it still has Charanga's rootsy feeling.

And Johnny Almendra plans to take it even further: He's also working on Cajun, Israeli and Mexican tunes. Their recordings present a combination of their very own inventions, side by side with typical Latin arrangements.

As different as the styles and songs of Los Jóvenes Del Barrio are, they have one thing in common: They never sound old-fashioned, but fresh and lively. Everyone new to Los Jóvenes Del Barrio will be surprised how hot Latin music with violins and flute can be!


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Copyright Klaus Reiter (klaus@salsaholic.de). Last updated: 12.6.98. WEBCounter by GOWEB