Spanglish Fly is the premiere band dedicated to reviving and renewing the music known as Latin bugalú, or boogaloo, the sound that sprang from the street corners, the transistor radios, the pool halls, and the clubs of 1960s Spanish Harlem.
“The genre featured a loose, eclectic blend of funky polyrhythms, Latin percussion, jazzy horns, bluesy piano lines, soulful vocals, English lyrics and hand clapping, which gave recordings an exciting, club feel,” Marc Myers wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “The music fed off the freestyle moves of African-American and Latin dancers as they personalized the twist in the early ’60s.”
NBC New York additionally credited Spanglish Fly with “single-handedly reviving sixties bugalú in NYC” and El Diario raved “todos bailan y cantan, el ambiente es pura fiesta” (all dancing and singing, the atmosphere is pure party).
Fans, whether they’ve been listening to boogaloo since back in the day or just since yesterday, can shake their thing to the band’s stirring melodies and danceable grooves- doing salsa steps or simply freestyling it – at a dance workshop and concert on Friday, September 23 at Flushing Town Hall by Spanglish Fly, New York City’s only band dedicated to reviving and renewing boogaloo. The band’s live shows are explosive Latin Soul parties with packed dance floor.
Renowned for bringing performance, art and cultural events from around the globe to Queens, Flushing Town Hall will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with music, dance, and family-friendly fun in September. The other events are Colombian drumming (Sept. 16) under the moon and a performance by the Last Mambo King, Orlando Marin (Sept. 30).
Flushing Town Hall will provide discounts to anyone buying tickets to more than one event: Buy tickets to two events and get 20% off or buy tickets to all events and get 25% off. Audiences should call (718) 463-7700 x222 for discount tickets. Individual tickets are available at www.flushingtownhall.org.
Spanglish Fly’s multicultural cast has origins in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Japan, and Upper Manhattan. They come together in New York City to create quintessential music of the urban United States. Appearing at Flushing Town Hall will be: Jonathan Goldman (trumpet); Mariella Gonzalez (vox); Rafael Gomez (bass); Arei Sekiguchi (timbales); Ronnie Roc, Dylan Blanchard, and Edwin Estremera (all percussion); Matt Thomas (tenor saxophone); Jonathan Flothow (baritone saxophone); John Speck (trombone); and Victor Rendon (piano).
Spanglish Fly originated when DJ Jonny Semi-Colón (Jonathan Goldman) started noticing that amid his vinyl sets of old-school funk and soul, what really shook the dance floor was Latin boogaloo, the late-60s records of Joe Cuba, Joe Bataan, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Joey Pastrana, Johnny Colón, and the Lebron Brothers. He subsequently made it his mission to bring live music to audiences in New York City, and recruited a bacteria of percussionists steeped in traditional Latin rhythms, a horn section of young veterans from the New York City soul, jazz, and brass scene, and accomplished bass and piano players whose resumes are full of names of Latin giants.
Spanglish Fly began playing shows in Spanish Harlem and North Brooklyn in 2009, and soon dazzled audiences at SOB’s, Le Poisson Rouge, Drom, Sullivan Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, and Fonda Boricua Lounge, leading the Village Voice to say Spanglish Fly “roars through covers, originals, and transformations of previously untouched soul hits”. They have since amazed audiences from Boston to Charlotte, North Carolina, with many points in between. Their debut CD, Latin Soul y Bugalú, was released in 2010.