La Raza Latina: A Salsa Suite
Larry Harlow & his orchestra
Rubén Blades
Adonis Puentes
Bobby Sanabria
and his Big Band
Emo Luciano
Luisito Rosario
Pete Nater
Lewis Kahn
Gabriel Fonseca
Alfredo de la Fe
Lincoln Center NYC
14 August 2010
The biggest happening in the City for Salsa music was Sat.'s Lincoln Center out of doors Raza Latina Concert w/ Larry Harlow. It was just spectacular. The evening was PERFECTO, a warm summer night w/ no humidity & according to Lincoln Ctr. they had a record breaking crowd of more than 17,000 people, never before in their history!

Damrosh Park was brimming w/ salsa music fans from all walks of life: young, mature, white, black & all colors of Latinos were on hand to see the Latin music opus that Larry Harlow wrote in 1977 but was never done live until Sat. Aug. 14, 2010.

A young Ruben Blades sang in the original recording & was again united w/ El Judio Maravilloso alongside Adonis Puentes on vocals & Larry Harlow's vocal crew on the last tune, La Cartera. Overall, it was a great & successful evening of music that put a spotlight on salsa once more in NYC.

The moment Larry took the stage, he greeted 'la gente" and did not divide or put borders around the music dividing it into various countries but said a simple word: "UNIDOS."

The moment the band hit, the crowd roared, jumped to their feet, sang, screamed & most of all DANCED in the aisles.

No one needed to tell the people what to do, the 50 piece orchestra started & the 17,000+ strong crowd responded. There was an electrical current that bonded public to artist in an immediate connection of joy & exhilaration!

Adonis Puentes was impressive on vocals joined by Harlow directing the orchestra composed of Bobby Sanabria's big band that opened the show. And once the dancers came out & the swing was mounting, everyone in the band got into the groove... at one point, the string section aimed their bows in counterpoint to the dancers on stage....fabuloso!

But the folks went wild when Ruben Blades took the stage. Although you couldn't hear the vocals when he first took the mike, they then raised the sound so you could hear him clearly....

Ruben sang in English & Spanish proving that this music that traveled from Africa can be interpreted in any language & still connect w/ its crowd.

There were so many dynamic solos as well as a four part harmonized coro that absolutely elevated the power of the sound. However, you couldn't hear the violin solos in the first movement of the Salsa Suite....

For me, the highlight of the show was the trio of violin solos. Ahh, Lewis Kahn's use of minor notes touched the emotions while Alfredo did his dance while playing major chords & arpeggios.

The Trio of Soneros traded barbs during the last number when Larry Harlow sat down to play the piano on one of his HIT tunes: La Cartera ending the concert w/ thunderous applause & machine gun shouts of "OTRA, OTRA, OTRA...."

And after it was all over, the crowd of many Puerto Ricans who loved hearing the Afro-Caribbean sounds of Harlow tried to continue the party w/ panderos, maracas, güiros & song. About 5 musicians stood on top of those flat pillars lining the entrance of Lincoln Center & the crowd followed them.

It was the perfect gathering of tribal exhilaration that swept everyone, no matter where they were from, away!

Y no podia faltar....mi bandera Borinqueña.... that the impromptu "bembe" wiped out & waved as the crowd gathered around the fringes of 62nd & Amsterdam. ¡WEPA!

Until the police arrived to break up the party.

Ahhh, it was just like 1977 all over again.
La Raza Latina Concert - Aurora Flores
Joe Conzo
Joe Conzo
Joe Conzo
Larry Harlow "deserves all the accolades and recognition possible, for being there from the start, loving and caring for the music." ~ Rubén Blades
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