NEW & IMPROVED Upcoming Cuban Festivals Around the US

For those of you who have the dancing traveling bug (with so many people sick after the SF Reuda festival, no pun intended), there are several dance festivals coming up this year. I brought back a stack of flyers for various festivals around the west and east coast and learned of a few more this week. So here they are, I'm sure I am missing a few in the east coast:

Vancouver BC: March 7th-11th
Vancouver International Salsa-festival (VIS) 2013 Goes Cuban
This is gonna be huge! I've been to the Vancouver BC Cuban scene, it is awesome! Lovely people to dance with, excellent teachers and the Northwest always goes to their event (Rum banana, Portland Casineros, Eugene Casineros, Seattle Casineros, Bellingham Casineros, Tri-city “Salsa con Rumba” Casineros from Eastern WA, Portland Casineros, Boeing Casineros, Victoria Island Casineros). That's a lot of fun people to dance with. There will be four genres of dances taught and performed at this event. Salsa, Bachata, Cuban & Kizombe(a dance from Angola, Africa looks like tango and bachata combined). They are bringing the best artist from NYC, Paris, Milan and Oregon to the festival for the Cuban piece. For more info. Go to:

Portland OR/Vancouver WA: April 11th-14th 2013
Rose City Salsa & Timba Festival
This festival brings both the LA On-1, On-2 and On-Timba crowds together. Wilfredo will be one of the highlighted guest instructors. For more info, go to

Atlanta, GA: June 7th-9th 2013
SalsAtlanta 10.3 3-Day Cuban Party
3 full days of workshops, 4 nights of party; 3 DJ Spinning non-stop Cuban music
Featuring band: Havana D'Primera
For more info go to

Las Vegas, NV: August 2nd-4th 2013
Las Vegas Salsa Rueda Festival
3 Days and nightsdance parties, Cuban dance workshops, pool parties, mega-ruedas, performances, Vegas Strip Flashmobs Featuring Timba band – Will Campa Y Su Orquestra
All-Star guest instructors: Yanek Revilla and Karelia Despaign from Cuba
For More info, go to

Palm Springs, CA: August 22nd-26th 2013
Palm Springs Salsa Casino Congress
Salsa, Bachata, Rueda and More!
This festival brings three dancing commuities to one event. Pool parties, performances and live salsa music. For more info, go to

Cancun, Mexico: September 12th-15th, 2013
Salsa Casino Mayan Congress hosted by CMV Con Ritmo
This is one event my casino friends all over the US told me was the best by far, for location, the quality of Cuban dance instructors and who they brought as the featured band. They had Havana D'Primera their first congress! Last year, they had Elito Reve Y Su Charangon! This year promises to be as exciting! For for info, go to:

Lastly! Drum roll please! Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Havana, Cuba: November 24th-29th, 2013
Baila En Cuba
5 days intensive-workshops for beginners to advance and master class, 5 levels, 22 hours classes in 10 rooms with live percussion & music, top instructors all from ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte), 6 nights with shows, parties and concerts of the top bands from Cuba, personal Cuban dance-partners possible.
Check out who they have for featured bands playing. This is gonna blow you away: Los Van Van, Adalberto Álvarez, Manolito y su Trabuco, Charanga Habanera, Elito Revé y su Charangón, Paulito FG, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, NG la Banda, Bamboleo, Azucar Negra and many more. I had a friend from Seattle who went to this last year. She said it was incredible, awesome, fantastic...superlatives kept on describing her experience. For more info, go to:

From Cuba, Orquesta La Farandula Live -Sun Feb 24th @ Ocean House!

Live music events are popping out of nowhere! This is amazing! The Cuban band from Tijuana who played at the Palomar College's Noche Havana is playing at the Ocean House! Let get out there to support the music we love.

Here are the details:
What: Ocean House Salsa Sunday with live Cuban band La Farandula
When: Sunday, February 24th
Cost: Typically it is FREE before 8pm, but when they have a band, they tend to charge $10 to get in. so expect to pay something. Just be prepared.

Curuye Party in LA - Mini-Party bus to get you there safely! Sunday, March 10th

That's right timberos! There is a mini-bus we can order, thanks to Jerri Nachman where we can all ride in a mini-bus to the Curuye Party on Sunday which goes 5pm-9pm. It would be $20 for the ride and $10 for the entrance to the Curuye party.

We can do this, but we need to hear from you who all is willing to go. More details on pick up location later. We just need a total of 10 people to confirm. Contact me at or text me at 206-300-4523.

Una Bulla!

Melaza Underground at the Kava Lounge - Wed Feb 27th

La Melaza Underground!!! Pirito & Dj AxL spinning Latin basement jams found nowhere else in San Diego: Soul & Groove, Latin Funk, Rock en Español, Reggae, ElectroCumbia, Hip Hop, Timba & more. Music Vibes from Latin America, from Mexico down to Chile and the Caribe. 

Chill, dance around, have a drink. There'll be tunes for every mood, non-dancers and dancers alike.
Wednesday, February 27th 9pm-2am, 21+

Kava Lounge
2812 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA
Cost: $5

San Diego Afro Cuban Collective Is Bringing On The Cuban Music Live

Greetings Everyone,
Alex Guillen's Meet Up Group, San Diego Afro Cuban Collective are hosting some really colle live Cuban music events where we can all practice our "son" "cha cha cha" and "danzon." Here are the details; there are three so far but more are coming:

1. Thursday, Feb 21st Septeto Jam Session (for musicians and anyone who wants to hang out and listen...maybe dance a little) at 
Solar Turbines 2200 Pacific Highway Road
Fireside Conference Room, located inside the Learning Center, San Diego, CA
From Alex Guillen's Meet Up Page: Let's meet up just for fun and do only traditional septeto format songs. This means only the following instruments...
Acoustic Guitar
Not more not less....Vocals and coro are expected to double on one of these instruments. We might cancel if we do not fill all the positions. If you want to come check it out, sit in the back and enjoy, that's cool too. If more than one instrument present we might have to rotate, to have just seven playing and find that true sound of the old septetos of Cuba.
Pieces will be traditional son and they are found on the Latin Real Book and/or the Latin Real Easy Book:
Echale salsita
Suavecito (Latin Real Easy, septeto nacional version not the Real Book one)
Lagrimas Negras
Chan chan (this is Dm-F-Gm-A7 throughout)

you must youtube these pieces and become familiar with them prior to the meetup. If I have time I will scan and post the sheets for the music, if not you can buy the book on Amazon.

A $2 voluntary donation per person attending will be sent to Alex Guillen for the upkeep of this website.

2. Saturday, Feb 23rd Live Cuban Music at McDini's - 105 East 8th ST., National City, CA
So after you get your fill of Casino on Cardbaord in Oceanside Harbor,  or maybe you cannot make Casino on Cardboard and want to support this event, you are weclome to show up: Live Cuban Music at McDini (From the Meet-Up group) Buena Vista SoCal Club will be playing from 5 to 8 PM at McDini's. Come and support this band that is formed with some members of this collective. This is also a good chance to check out some of the tunes we do, and to enjoy the camaraderie of people that like this genre. Please note this is not a jam session and there is a $5 charge at the door which will get you a beer.

3. Thursday, March 21st - Danzon Session 7pm-9pm at at 
Solar Turbines 2200 Pacific Highway Road
From Alex Guillen's Meet Up Page (description):
The danzon is one of the most beautiful musics from Cuba and at the same time, one of the least commercial. You don't hear that on the radio. It is mostly alive in Veracruz, where it is played with brass sections. Originally played by charangas, this traditionally involved a flute or clarinet, and violins. So let's shoot for the real deal and have the following instrumentation:
Violin (one or more)
Guiro (Jorge)
Congas optional, not really required but don't hurt either.
And we will play the beautiful Danzon Almendra, Real Book version.
Please indicate what instrument you will play. Because of the technicality of this genre, we won't rotate but it will be first come, but if you see a spot you would like to play filled, you will be on waitlist in case that person cancels. Don't be afraid to try, we are not here to make a record. And the more the merrier, so if you want to come and just check it out, it's cool too. That said do try to sound your best, and get familiar with the piece on youtube. If you want to socialize arrive 15 min earlier. We will start promptly at 7, have a 10 min break in between and finish by 9. At the end, we will record the session and email the mp3 to the players so they can check out their work. We might have to cancel or reschedule if any of the instruments missing, so also let know if you would be available but some other date...Thanks and see you. There will be a $2 voluntary donation per player for Alex to keep up this website.

New York Times Article About the SF Rueda Festival

Check out the New York Times article on the San Francisco Rueda Festival! The Cuban scene is HOT HOT HOT in SF and NYC! It is estimated that over 1000 people will be at this Rueda festival!!! It is the largest in the nation. Ay Mi Madre!

Cubata, the San Diego-based dance performance team, choreographed and directed by Wilfredo Guilbiac Rodriguez, will be performing for the first time at the festival on Friday night (Feb 15th). Una Bulla!!

Casino on Cardboard at Ocenside Harbor Beach - Sat Feb 23rd

Greetings Mi Gente,
We are pulling out the cardboard this time and duct-taping it together to make a dance floor on the sands of Oceanside Harbor! This time. we are making it a BBQ as well as a snack-luck! 

I will need some help to tape the heavy-duty cardboard floor together. Thanks to David Branch for providing the cardboard, we will have a huge dance floor to dance on. If you want to help volunteer, please show up at 3:30pm in the FREE parking lot at Oceanside Harbor and then we go to the spot on the sand to set it up.

For those, who are new to the concept of dancing on cardboard, Seattle casineros began this tradition in the beginning of the long summer days, duct taped large heavy-duty cardboard together with tiki torches at each corner with a boom box, and we had some of the best Cuban dance beach parties ever! We have now made this a San Diego staple once a month event interchanging it with Casino on Astroturf. Spring is coming soon because the groundhog did not see its shadow this last Saturday. That means more sunny days to come.

Here are the details:
For those who want to help with the cardboard and get the BBQ set up, meet me at 3:30pm in the free parking area across the street from
Joe's Crab Shackmore info
314 Harbor Drive
Oceanside, CA 92054 and drive under the Amtrak bridge to the parking lot.

For those who want to just get there to dance and eat, you have some options on where to park. You can pay for parking at the Oceanside Harbor Fuel Dockmore or park in the free parking lot and walk through the harbor to our destination.

Where will the dance beach party take place?
On the sand and the benches closest to the bathrooms and kids playground. Once you park at the Oceanside Harbor Fuel Dockmore, walk towards the Harbor Pelican Store. You can Google "Harbor Pelican Store" to see it on the map. WALK in that direction and you will see the picture of the BBQ picnic canopy with the palm trees around it. 

Time: 3:30pm-4:00pm Set up cardboard for
4:00pm to 6:00pm dancing, breaking bread together as the sun goes down.

What to bring: flip-flops, sneakers to dance on, beach chairs, beach blankets, sweaters (if needed later on), SNACKS and a few dollars ($3 or $4) for the meat(carne asada) and charcoal/lighter fluid for the Bar B-Q.

Hope to see you there!!!

If you have any questions or are lost, call me at (206)300-4523
Una Bulla!  

Manolin - El Medico De La Salsa in LA Sat, Feb 9th

Concert Alert from Adela Morales, Deejay Warapo & Karina Carmona from LA:
Cayman Entertaiment Presents: "Salsa & Timba" Direct from Miami on His Tour in the West of the Country: "Manolin El Medico de la Salsa" While Promoting His New Album " Tiene que ser Manolin" At the Famous Florentine Gardens!!!! Special DJs Guest: SuperDj Robby & Deejay Warapo Playing The Best Salsa and Timba!!! Pre-sale Tickets $25.00... This Event is Produced by: Adela Morales and Chuy Martine!! For tickets and more info please call at (562)528-1407 Adela Morales or (323)707-6808 Chuy Martinez.

 Here are the details:
When: Saturday, February 9th from 8pm to 3:00am
Where: Florentine Gardens in LA  
            5951 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028
Cost:  Pre-sale Tickets $25.00.This event is produced by: Adela Morales and Chuy Martinez!! For tickets and more info please call Adela Morales at (562)528-1407  or Chuy Martinez at (323)707-6808

 If you want to see what he will be singing, this is one of his new songs. I LOVE THIS song. Listen to the piano kicking ass with the clave beat. This video will make you jump up and dance. So who is going to LA?