Pablo Mayor, whose powerhouse orchestra has redefined modern Colombian music in the last decade, crosses cultural boundaries with his latest “El Barrio Project,” which takes his renowned Colombian band into the heart of Spanish Harlem and the birthplace of salsa—historically known as “El Barrio.”
This weekend, you can experience Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano Orchestra and Pajarillo Pinta’o dance company team up for a theatrical concert, with a dance lesson at 7:00 pm and a concert at 8:30 PM. Tickets anymore details can be accessed here.
Weaving a theatrical narrative, “El Barrio Project” is a musical story about artists played by artists—NYC musicians, dancers, and actors of diverse backgrounds. The work presents a musical ensemble (Folklore Urbano Orchestra) and a dance company (Pajarillo Pinta’o dance company) as a metaphor for a NYC community with its diverse mash-up of peoples, and the real-life relationships that develop, exploring themes of culture, immigration, tradition, and love.
Pablo Mayor collaborates with choreographer Daniel Fetecua (formerly of the Limon company, director of Pajarillo Pinta’o), and other composers in this project, with theatrical direction by German Jaramillo of ID Studio Theater. This first production of the new ArtsLatinoNY arts alliance based in the south Bronx, is high-energy salsa dancing and modern choreographies, frenetic “mapale” (and other Colombian rhythms), theatrical drama, and a cooking repertoire of Pablo Mayor’s newest arrangements and collaborative compositions.
The group features artists trained by theater director German Jaramillo of ID Studio Theater, Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano Orchestra with its latest vocalist, Colombian ALEA (Maria Alejandra Jiménez), and invited guests of NYC’s Latin elite: Danny Gonzalez on congas (a long-standing member of the Cuban establishment Orquesta Broadway), David Frankel (Ave. B Salsa Band), multi-instrumentalist Eddie Venegas (Marc Anthony side-man, Orquesta Broadway) on vocals and violin, and vocalist and songwriter “Chino” Melao (an icon in the historic era of NYC salsa), and dancers from Daniel Fetecua’s Pajarillo Pinta’o Dance Company. The orchestra features Folklore Urbano’s core rhythm section with Franco Pinna on drums, and Dave Hertzberg, bass, Nestor Gómez and Jonathan Gómez on percussion and the usual all-star line-up of jazz horn players.