For the Love of a Brother and His Music

Bruce Soto & some of L.A.'s finest music artists step up in support of drummer Danny Santillan in a blockbuster show

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: June 2, 2015

For the Love of a Brother and His Music

Once again...I stand in awe at the artistic talent and love from the artists & Gente de Aztlan in honor of a fallen Brother when the call goes out.

East L.A. drummer Danny Santillan, known for his work with such noted Chicano Music icons as SOTO, Ray Carrion's LATIN LEGENDS, and most recently TIERRA over the years, suffered 2 strokes just after Christmas this past year, leaving him unable to ply his love of music that has defined his life & love of family up till now.

That being said, renowned L.A. musician & singer Bruce Soto and his group SOTO, along with friends and family got together in support of Danny and put on a blockbuster music concert & dance this past Sunday that will be talked about & remembered for a long time as a testament to the bonding power of the brother & sisterhood of music...and love of familia it creates.

I was honored to serve as Host & DJ for the event at the El Malecon Restaurant (formerly the Lakewood Hop) where some of the best of the best came out and brought their hearts with them.

Opening the show, the REBELLIOUS BLUES DOG Band got down and pounded out some good old fashioned neighborhood Blues, and got some serious attention. These guys don't mess around!

After a great Blues music set, TRIO LOS DADOS, led by Louie Mendez, came on and performed some beautiful Spanish Boleros, reminding us all of our beautiful cultura, and love of our people reflected in our classic musica de la Raza.

After that, STEELROD, a new rock-funk-soul trio that is getting some serious attention while growing in popularity, came on and "wow'd" everybody in the growing crowd with an electrifying set of music that got the bumpin' and dancing started...we were all very impressed at the power of sound & song coming from a trio.

As the crowd began to swell and fill up, THEE MIDNITER's Jimmy Espinosa came on stage with friends Danny Diaz, Louie Mendez, Rod Pantoja, and Joey Guerra and gave up a nice set of Rock & Roll Oldies.

The incomparable SOTO band then came on stage, jamming their trade mark Rock/Funk/Soul/Latin Rock music that filled the dance floor, featuring guest artists Mike Jiminez & Dale Villavicencio...and the place rocked !

For a most impressive and memorable finale, ROCKY PADILLA & Friends, which featured an incredibly star powered line up of Rocky Padilla, Danny Padilla, Ray Carrion; TIERRA's Steve & Rudy Salas; TIERRA horn section Rudy Villa, Jeff Lewis, and Victor Cisneros along with original member Bobby Navarette; keyboardist Joey Navarro; singers Monibee Henley, Adelaide Benavides, Robert Benavides and TeCheetah Lopez; drummer Robert Zapata of CANNIBAL & The HEADHUNTERS; Jumpin' Jack Benny Cortez; guitarist Ronnie Reyes; Tex Nakamura of WAR; and percussionist Titus Smith...talk about a "wow" factor!

In between all sets, I was able to jam some smooth Oldies that kept the crowd interested, and of course, the dance floor was lit up by everybody's favorite L.A. Pachuco y Pachuca Chuy & Carmen Castillo, the San Fernando Valley's Dancing Mary, and The Fearsome Foursome to make it a party.

Professional sound engineering was provided by Angel Aguila from the Inland Empire, who didn't miss a beat!

At the end of the show, Danny Santillan's wife Irene & family members tearfully acknowledged and thanked Bruce Soto & The SOTO Band, all the artists and the full house crowd for their love & support of Danny and his family...

....and the love, prayers, and support shall continue.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be in The Land of 1000 Dances?


About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on World Wide Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com
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