Music for the Love of a Sister.....
Vanessa Salas and a few friends get together for a memorial concert in honor of Stephanie Alvarado...the result is magic!
Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
The winds of Aztlan blow softly across the Land of 1000 Dances as we say goodbye to another member of our Chicano Music family...Ms Stephanie Alvarado, a wonderful talent and performer taken from us too soon...
Published on LatinoLA: June 20, 2017
That being said, Vanessa Salas, a talented L.A. singer & performer in her own right and currently the lead vocalist of the ever popular Latin Rock & Soul Band TEASE, reached out and organized some of L.A.'s best talent for a memorial concert that will be remembered as AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL!
Held at the famous A MI HACIENDA Restaurant & Night Club in Pico Rivera, California, known for some of the best Chicano Rock & Soul concerts and dances in the Los Angeles area, the show was put on on Father's Day...and what a Father's Day treat it was, as a virtual "Who's who?" of current Chicano music was in the house !
I was honored to have been asked to join my musical East L.A. home-boy, the elegantly attired Host & MC Thee Mr. Duran, as one of the featured guest DJ's, along with popular L.A. Nightclub DJ's DJ TONY SHOUT and DJ ASYLUM, who donated their time & talent as the palace-like ambiance of the A MI HACIENDA and the magical sound and light show wizardry of Martin Holguin made for the magical moment.
There were many musical artists in the audience showing their support, as many had offered to donate their time and join the lineup, but a hard & difficult choice had to narrow it down to 8 bands and 3 guest DJ's for the daylong event.
I ran into popular Chicana singers Lava Gonzalez, Denise (formerly known as Eileen) Benavides, and Maria Trujillo, who were all kicking up chancla and having a good time supporting the cause in support of Stephanie's family...and they all put a lump in my throat when they all told me separately that even though they were not on the program, they were ALL willing to get on stage & sing if they were needed, or if something came up short.
THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS WHAT YOU CALL TALENT WITH CLASS! Thank you, Ladies!
Opening up the show, Bertha Oropeza and CHICO lit up the stage with a repertoire of their favorite sizzling Latin Soul sounds that got the dancing started from the first song, proving why they are still one of L.A.'s most in demand veteran Chicano bands.
Next up, Rocky Padilla & Friends, featuring guest singers Bernice Nichole and Veronica Vrock Carr took it to another level with a great R & B musical set, with Bernice giving a heartfelt prayer invocation in honor of Stephanie and her family after the set, which was heartfelt and appreciated by everyone in the house.
Next up, the hard hitting Harbor Groove Band, featuring Lady Lulu Cardona, took the stage and gave the crowd a good taste of Chicano Soul, Cumbias, and Oldies, for which they are becoming well known for throughout L.A.
Our girl Lulu stayed the day afterwards, kicking up the chancla with the Gente till the end!
Next up, Vanessa Salas & her hubby Edgar took a break from their stressful promoters-hosts-organizers-stage manager duties and brought their popular group TEASE on stage to a rousing applause. Despite the numerous hours of planning and coordination required to put on a massive fundraiser show with 8 bands and 3 DJ's, Vanessa managed to keep a positive attitude, share her million dollar smile with everyone, and still put on a powerful stage performance...even joining the Gente on the dance floor to kick up a little chancla afterwards!
You GO, girl!
Next up, SATISFACTION, one of L.A.'s favorite Veterano Chicano Rock & Soul/Funk/R&B party & dance bands hit the stage running, with master guitarist Chris "LiL'Santana" Reserva, who was doing double duty as he's also a member of HARBOR GROOVE, came back on stage and "wow'd" everybody with some killer guitar leads.
Git on witcho bad self, Chris!
Next up, probably one of the most versatile & multi-genre performances of the day, STEELROD came on stage and dropped people's mouths open with a dazzling and hard hitting medley of Chicago-Tower of Power-James Brown-Journey tunes that had people looking at each other, smiling on the dance floor, and saying "damn!".
These guys were definitely "On it".
Before people could catch their breath, SANGRIA came on stage with a fire setting set of hot dance tunes, proving once again why they are followed by so many, and are in such demand in the Land of 1000 Dances. Their versatility is legendary.
Even though it was almost 8 hours of non stop music, dancing, generous raffles, food, drink, and a great party, the crowd had not thinned out when the LRS EXPOSURE band came on stage to close the show in style, after their earlier gig at the Santa Fe Springs swap meet. Lead singers Larry Salas and Phil Reyes told me "We wouldn't have missed this for anything!"
LRS EXPOSURE kept the dance floor amazingly full, as the grateful and appreciative crowd could not give enough of their appreciation & respect for Vanessa & Edgar Salas, Thee Mr. Duran and all the bands & DJ's....as well as having a good time on the dance floor in a celebration of life our people are known for.
And so...after grateful acknowledgements from Stephanie's husband & family, and a loud and well deserved ovation for Vanessa & Edgar Salas and the members of TEASE for their organizational work...the day ended with a prayer for our girl Stephanie Alvarado...
...and that's the kind love & music we have in The Land of 1000 Dances!
Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is heard daily on World wide Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com, is a regular contributor to this web magazine, and is looking forward to retirement so he can cruise thru the sunshine & rain of Aztlan everyday.
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