Santa Monica Pier Sizzled with Latin Music

The 27th Annual Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier got under way with some hot Latin music

By Ricky Ricardo
Published on LatinoLA: July 10, 2011

Santa Monica Pier Sizzled with Latin Music

The most highly anticipated summer concert series is finally amongst us. The 27th Annual Twilight Dance Series, a production of the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation, will again present ten free concerts on the deck of the Santa Monica Pier.

The concerts presented by OneWest Bank, FSB, the largest Southern California headquartered bank, will feature high- profile artist from all over the world, every Thursday night, from 7PM-10PM. The series features a big screen, so that people lounging on the Pier, can see all of the actions taken place on the stage. The series is co-produced by Los Angeles based Rum & Humble.

The series kicked off on July 7, with SaMO Mambo. The show consisted of two Grammy Award winning bands playing hot Latin music on a cool Thursday evening. Concert goers arriving early were able to participate in the free salsa lessons led by Cristian Oviedo. Mr. Oviedo teaches salsa dance classes every Monday evening at Zanzibar 1301 5th Street in Santa Monica, California.

Two-time Grammy Award Winner Oscar Hernandez' L.A. Salsa All-Stars got the evening under way with some salsa dura. The producers of the event installed a dance floor for the evening. Every inch of the dance floor were utilized throughout their set. Oscar Hernandez-keyboards (pictured) was aided and abetted on this gig with Eddie Resto- bass, Joey DeLeon- timbales, Angel Rodriguez- congas, Ramon Flores- trumpet, Serafin Alquilar- trumpet, James Zaveleta and Adonis Puentes on vocals. Their spicy set list consisted of Tirame la Pelota," "La Madre Rumba," "Como Mongo," "Muneca" from the Eddie Palmieri's songbook featuring salsa dancer Nadeen Gautier, "Tumbakatun," and closed with a song Arinanara, which is the closing song for his band Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

Grupo Fantasma is a 10-piece, Austin based Latin Funk orchestra. The group received their first Grammy Award in the "Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album Category for their album El Existential. This tight band from the bustling music scene of Austin, Texas opened their set with "Oye Como Va," and continued the evening with original material from their Grammy Award winning album.

If you live in Los Angeles, or perhaps you will be visiting for business or pleasure, I urge you to make it a point to check out the eclectic music line-up for the Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier. This is the 2011 TDS line-up, you will be thoroughly entertained:

July 14, 80's Pop: The Bangles and Caracol

July 21, Australia Rocks the Pier: Missy Higgins, Kim Churchill, and Andy Clockwise (presented by Australian Consulate and Cotton On)

July 28, Reggae/Ska: Slackers and Star Pool (plus the finalist of Rusty's Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

Aug. 4, Rock of the Bay: In support of a Cleaner Ocean (The Twilight Dance Series partners with Heal the Bay)

Aug.11- La Monica Ballroom Then & Now: Royal Crown Revue, Orgone, plus Ameera featuring Big Daddy' Fargas (dance floor for the swing dancers)

Aug.18- Making Waves: A Night of Surf Guitar- The Duotones, Slacktone and the Eliminators

Aug.25- Tango on the Timbers: Milongatron (Tango lesson start at 6PM)

Sept. 1- New Americana: Dawes and Sonny & The Sunsets (plus the winner of Rusty's Surf Ranch emerging artist competition)

Sept. 8- A Night In Treme: Jon Cleary's Philthy Phew, Donald Harrison Electric Band and Wanda Rouzan (presented by Bloomingdales)

For more information about this sensational summer music series, please visit www.twilightdance.org or www.santamonicapier.org

The Twilight Dance Series is the perfect venue to enjoy live music, warm beaches in a relaxing atmosphere.

About Ricky Ricardo:
Ricky Ricardo is a free-lance photojournalist with an emphasis on entertainment.
Author's website

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