TLa Clave Fest took place in stunning venue that is The Scoop, an open air theatre situtated between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, next to City Hall on June 9. international bands joined the plethora of UK-Latin talent, to take London on a journey through Latin Jazz, Fusion, Folk, Boleros, Samba and Latin Hip-Hop, Rock, Funk and culminating in a full-on Salsa band and the latest Reggaetón hits via the UK’s best Latin DJs. Our Salsa Choke line dance leaders were at hand, with star dancers such as Yanet Fuentes and Yonly, to keep the crowd goimg. Here's the full programme:
EL PIDIO Y SU ALEGRIA (Salsa – Colombia)
This is big sound Salsa - a 10 piece orchestra bringing together London’s finest musicians from Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador – to end La Clave on its customary joyous climax.
Hailing from Cali ‘the world capital of Salsa,’ Elpidio is a renowned performer and musician in his own right (LUKAS runner up 2017) and the Latin bass player of choice for many of the UK's top Latin bands. Now proving to be a charismatic bandleader, Elpidio blends the swing from his native city Cali - 'the capital of Salsa' - with the rythmns of Cuba and the style of New York to deliver pure, infectious happiness.
OMAR PUENTE SEXTET (JAZZ/FUNK – CUBA)
Composer, arranger, violinist and 2017 LUKAS winner for Jazz Act of the Year, Omar Puente is one of the most respected violinists on the global Jazz scene and has performed to audiences worldwide. First violinist at the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, he toured with Buena Vista Social Club before leaving Cuba in 1997. Since then Omar has played with the likes of John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland, Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Gonzales, Winston Marsalis' and Nigel Kennedy. Accompanied by London's leading Cuban Jazz musicians he brings us his funkiest repetoire yet, reminiscent of the ground-breaking Cuban Funk group Irakere. One not to be missed!
LAS HERMANAS GARCIA (BOLEROS - MEXICO)
All the way from Mexico, and representing the new generation from the vibrant Bolero scene of Guerrero, these two teenage girls are an inspiration to young Mexicans. Currently #1 in Spotify’s Bolero Pop Playlist and with 1.3 million strikes on the title track of their first CD, Las Hermanas embody the Bolero revival led by Grammy-winning artists such as Natalia Lafourcade (beneath them on Spotify). The difference is that Las Hermanas García were born into this music, carrying a long family tradition, and are an authentic expression of it.
Telajeta (jazz/fusion/electronica - venezuela)
This LUKAS winning Alternative Act of the Year brings a fresh approach to the rich tapestry of Venezuelan music. Band leader and percussion Maestro Ernesto Marichales (also Musician of the Year 2017) rearranges and reshapes the traditional folk compositions of his native land with London electronica, to produce mesmerising results.
Baldo Verdú y su Tonto Malembe (rock/funk/tropicalia - COLOMBIA)
Once described as 'a Latin-swing-coup-d’état by a guy who was clearly out of his mind', Baldo Verdú y su Tonto Malembe is a Venezuelan London-based association of musicians devoted to bring the good vibes of their homeland to this side of the world. Established in 2014, the band consists of Manfred Olbrich (guitar), Joel Rojas Arriaga (drums and percussion) and the leader Baldo Verdú (vocals, guitar and percussion), who happens to be a songwriter, guitarist and percussionist with life-long experience among Venezuelan traditional rhythms, as well as in genres as diverse as rock, funk and tropicália.
HAZE SAMBA (SAMBA - BRAZIL)
Haze Samba – Samba - Brazil
We bring back the thirty-five member children's Samba drumming Bloco that caused a storm last year. With drummers aged 8-14, the group perform traditional Samba Reggae, as well as Samba Funk, Samba drum and bass, Samba Bhangra, and a few other musical surprises!
LA RAZA (LATIN HIP HOP - UK/LATIN)
featuring Mike Kalle, Don Jaga, LAO RA & dukus
London’s finest Latin Hip Hop outfits join forces in a joint PA performance to show us the sound of a new bi-cultural generation of London born-Latinos. Joining LUKAS winning Urban act and community leader Mike Kalle, is the multi-talented Dukus and multi-lingual, Lao Ra, Don Jaga who rap sings in Portuguese, Spanish and English mixed with a UK, African and Latin twist.
Born in Portugal to Angolan Parents and raised in Britain, Don Jaga's music reflects his heritage. Drawing on his Kizomba roots, Jaga has worked with some of HipHop’s most respected artists and producers such as DJ Whookid and Skyzoo. His music exudes positivity and pride in his African and Latin cultures “com gosto e prazer.” https://www.instagram.com/donjaga737/
Bogotá raised Lao Ra combines an eclectic array of London sounds and her Colombian heritage with dancehall, reggaeton, afrobeat, hip-hop and pop. Boasting as much bite as colour, Lao Ra’s is a story of dislocation and defiance. Once relocated to London, Lao Ra began producing her own demos, her songs celebrating femininity, power and heartache with a fast-evolving sound that is innately able to translate to crowds far beyond Lao Ra’s own (she has already toured with MØ, Crystal Fighters and Anne Marie to Rejjie Snow and Bomba Estereo, picking up tens of millions of streams along the way).
South London producer/artist/sound engineer Dukus bridges the gap between melodic rap & singing and has been producing singles and albums for Giggs (Is It Gangsta, Whippin Excursion & Lock Doh), Charlie Sloth (Hood Heat Vol. 2 & The Plug), Yxng Bane (Diamonds, Froze & Vroom), Xo Man (Pull It To The Side), Roadside G's & Eugy (What’s Good), reaching number 2 on the UK album charts with Giggs's ‘Landlord’. A classically trained pianist, Dukus also produced the soundtrack for Reg Traviss’s film ‘Anti-Social’ in 2015. His Colombian roots have enabled him to make Spanish & English songs side by side with the recent success of ‘Me Enamoro’ with Guerrero & his latest release ‘Talking Spanish’.https://www.instagram.com/duku5/
camilo menjura and the lol choir (FOLK - Colombia)
Twice LUKAS winning vocalist and musician, this Colombian singer and guitarist is not only one of the most versatile singers around, but one of London’s best-loved choir masters. His LOL [Landscapes Of Latin-America] Choir have been exploring, singing and sharing Latin American and Spanish folk music for over 4 years in their weekly gatherings in King's Cross. They will be performing some of their tunes on our stage, adding both community & group singing flavours to our celebration of Latin culture in the heart of London. www.lolchoir.com
dj jose luis and friends
Joining the dots throughout the day, this Collective of the UK’s best- loved Latin DJs, will be turning up the temperature in their final set as the sun goes down. You’ll be guaranteed the best Reggaetón, including, of course, the huge Latin hits that have been dominating the global charts throughout the last year. And Latin Fit’s infectious dance animators on stage, together setting the party on fire in a feverish finale.
DANCE @ The SCOOP
Richard Marcel is the choreographer of choice and Latin dance specialist for UK television and artists alike, having worked with the likes of Madonna, George Michael, Take That, Diana Ross, Kylie and on shows such as BBCs 'Strictly' and 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Now running the famous Sunday X-Perience at Bar Salsa, he brings this X-Perience to La Clave, choreographing his best dancers to wow the crowd with the hottest Latin dance crazes. Starring:
The world famous Cuban contemporary dancer, wowed audiences on the London stage and on the salsa scene when she first arrived in London from Havana 15 years ago, as part of the West End's 'Lady Salsa' dance show. Since then she has performed all over the world, graced our screens on shows such as 'So you Think You Can Dance', films (Cuban Fury) and music videos (Aleisha Dixon, Craig David). More recently Yanet has been a frequent feature on stage with Shakira as part of her tour. Don't miss her unique mix of sizzling style and elegance like no other!
Newly arrived from Cuba, Yonly and Despina, these two dancers are the latest in a plethora of amazing Cuban dancers who have made London their home. Laura Basso, who started street dance at the age of 13 and fell in love with Reggaeton 6 years ago when she moved to London, She teaches at Pineapple dance studios and Third Space and performs and works all over Europe.
Hot off the intense rollercoaster that is BGT, choreographer and founder of the 'Cali Swing' Salsa School, has become a household name after his group of youngsters wowed Simon Cowell and his crew. What few people know is that Saulo has worked for years nurturing talent and brings to La Clave his Pro Cali swing dancers, undoubtedly the UK's best exponents of Colombia's fast-paced and exciting style of salsa dancing.
Known for their infectious energy, crazy rueda de casino and reggaetón vibes, Havana Londres will be bringing the sass that has shaken up the Cuban salsa scene in London.
This dynamic duo from Venezuela and Colombia has earned a reputation across London for being a ‘must-have’ for Latin parties, with their infectious high energy fun. Jose and Diego combine fitness, dancing and community spirit centred around ‘Salsa Choke’ - a popular call-based Salsa dance created in the streets of Colombia. These animators supreme are guaranteed to make even the stiffest bones and immobile bodies want to join the fun. They will perform at various times during the day, culminating in a mass dance frenzy with DJs and live percussionists to bring the party to a finale.
back by popular demand is this spectacular Bolivian dance outfit, with outfit being the operative word. Their weird and wonderful costumes represent the beautiful Pachamamas and mythical monsters of this ancient land. The dance of the Morenos or Morenada is from in the Bolivian Altiplano (high Andes), where some participants disguise as black people, it also mocks white men (Spanish conquerors) who are depicted leading imported African slaves usually wearing a mask with exaggerated facial features.
joe davids latin jam @ hays galleria
FREE Salsa and Bachata Dance Classes all day
In parallel to the entertainment on stage at the Scoop, Joe Davids of The Latin Collective brings the UK’s best Latin dance teachers, performers and DJs to give dance classes, demonstrations and music all day in the usually quiet Hays Galleria.There’ll be a choice of 14 classes in Salsa, Bachata, Salsa Cubana, Reggaeton & Rueda, featuring the UKs Top Team of teachers:
LUKAS award winning performer and teacher Iris de BRITO is the queen of KIzomba. borin in Angola, iris trained in Jazz/Contemporary/Street Dance & Salsa DancE before travelling to Cuba to study with Conjunto Folclorico and ballet Cutumba.having performed and taught all over the world, iris runs her own Afro Latino dance school which focuses on Afro-Luso culture.
Also teaching: Olga Ribaka, Sam Hounsell, Raluca Lehadus, Pal Chohan and Joe "The Boss" Davids. Plus demonstrations and performances from special guests James & Evelyn (2017 UK Bachata Stars Champs), Alex & Ashwini, Pebbles & Amie, Andrea Stewart, Magda Sobolewska and Andreas Demetriou.
DJs include: John "Dj Ooo." Dani K and DJD.
The Scoop and Hays Galleria, Queen's Walk, London SE1 2DB
On the South bank, between tower bridge and london bridge
london bridge station (northern & jubilee lines) or tower Hill station (circle & district line)
BUSES: 17, 21,35,40,43,47,48,133,141,149,344