Salsa music is the quintessential expression of the Latin American experience.
In Los Angeles, all nationalities are getting into the music which explains why Los Angeles has a larger Salsa scene than New York City, which gave birth to the music as we know it today during the 1970's.
Salsa music today is a Worldwide phenomenom stretching to the far corners of the Earth.
One Salsa Band in Los Angeles stands head and shoulders above the rest. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Son Mayor, founded in 1988 by the Ortiz brothers and led by responsible father figure Eddie Ortiz, is the most sought after band. "LA Weekly" voted them Best Salsa Band in their annual Best of LA edition. Son Mayor has opened for such greats as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Los Van Vans and Oscar de Leon.
This writer recently had a chance to see this super salsa band live at Monsoons in Santa Monica on a Wednesday night.
The place was packed, the dance floor was as crowded as any ever seen. It became obvious that one doesn't need to be a genius to know that this band of elite musicians is great. But what stood out that night was how dancers would stop dancing when a young-looking pianist began his amazing solos.
The dancers would then loudly applaud and continue dancing, a sure sign that they had seen something very special.
This pianist turned out to be the young Zak Astor, who appears to have stepped out of Central Casting. He is a brilliant addition to an already great band, who last year added Norrell Thompson when Juliana Mu??oz decided to leave the band to pursue a new career.
Son Mayor is a band who plays salsa better than their rivals, and play it as well as it can be played.