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Groundbreaking local band create trad/salsa fusion

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

What do you get when you cross trad with salsa? Find out when Baile an Salsa play Monroe’s Live on Saturday next August 24. The ten-piece band is made up of lead singer Andres Martorell, Alan Preims (congas), Antonio Aguilar (bass), Michael Chang (fiddle), Frailan Moran (Bata/percussion), Peter Brazier (mandolin/guitar), Ger Chambers (accordion), Brid Dunne (piano) Rags Ferguson (timbales/bodhrán) and Gabriel G. Diges (flute and bouzouki).

Baile an Salsa is the brainchild of Uruguayan native Andres and the singer recalls how the notion came about.

“I had the idea five or six years ago,” he says “We used to play salsa in Massimo’s [on Sea Road], and we used to go to The Crane Bar for a pint on our break. I told Alan and he said it was a good idea, so the two of us started to pick up people from different places. He contacted Mike, and then we called Antonio and different people and we put it together like that.”

“I know Andres from the salsa band,” continues Antonio. “I was playing piano at that time; Alan was also part of the band. When Andres asked me to join the project, I was playing the double bass. I said ‘well, I’ll do that for the band’.

“I’m originally from Mexico, so I’ve played some Latin music in the past,” Antonio adds. “It’s great to be part of this; there are a lot of similarities between Irish traditional music and Latin rhythms. 6/8 rhythms are also very common in Afro-Cuban drumming.”

Alan Preims is Baile an Salsa’s conga player. What challenges does the band present to him, as a percussionist?

“I think the challenges are to choose the right Latin/Afro centric rhythms and not to be, I guess, repetitive,” he says. “You can put something together quickly, but if you don’t give it thought they can kind of neutralise each other.

“I think selecting the rhythms that we put together from the Irish with the salsa is the challenge, to keep the Afro- Cuban elusive, so that it’s supporting the Irish.”

The band started to rehearse last summer, and began working on a four-track EP shortly after that. When did Anders know that band were ready to start gigging?

“I don’t think we are ready yet!” he laughs. “We believe that it’s going to work, but we still have a lot to do. We did the first EP in a bit of a hurry, just to show the music that we do. The first songs we put together were the four songs we put on the EP.

“We have way more things now that, I believe, show the band a little bit better. The EP didn’t do too badly, we’re very happy with it.”

They may have fleshed out their set since then, but the EP gives a good sense of what Baile an Salsa are about. Some bands are overly fussy about their debut recording, but Anders and the band were keen to get some music out there.

“We recorded it in Nenagh, in record time!” he says All the instruments in one day – ten people. In three or four days we had the whole thing done. 

“We had a lot of discussions with the traditional musicians [in the band], because I would consider myself a Latin musician,” adds Antonio.  “Half of the band have their roots in Irish music, so we’re always trying to make this vision work, how to bring certain motifs of Irish music into Latin, and vice versa.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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David’s debut album on sale in local shops

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David Larkin’s debut album, With A Toot on the Flute and a Twiddle on the Fiddle, a tribute to his fellow Roscommon man, Percy French, featured on these pages last week.

For those who want to purchase a copy, the range of places where it’s on sale has increased. Anyone who wants to buy the album can do so by contacting David through Larkin’s Beehive Facebook page. It’s also available at Bell, Book & Candle, The Small Crane, Galway City; Funky Beans, Westside Retail Park, Galway City; OMG / Zhivago, Shop Street, Galway City; and Custy’s Traditional Irish Music Shop, O’Connell Street, Ennis.

Galway City Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Saileog takes up sean-nós singing residency at NUIG

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Saileog Ní Cheannabháin. Her Carna-born father Peadar was her earliest singing influence.

Saileog Ní Cheannabháin has been named as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at NUIG’s Centre for Irish Studies for 2021.

The sean-nós singer, musician and composer, who was reared in Dublin in an Irish-speaking family, learned traditional and classical music from a very young age.

Saileog’s father, Peadar Ó Ceannabháin comes from the rich tradition of sean-nós singing in Carna and  was one of her earliest influences.

Saileog grew up listening to singers from Iorras Aithneach in Conamara and she includes Seán ‘ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha and Josie Sheáin Jeaic ‘ac Dhonncha as formative influences.

Her mother Úna Lawlor is a classical violinist and her siblings Eoghan and Muireann are also singers and musicians.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Award-winning author Doireann finds truth ‘in little rituals of life’

Stephen Glennon

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose book A Ghost in the Throat won this year’s An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year Award, took her first breath in Galvia Hospital – now the Bon Secours.

When A Ghost in the Throat, the beautifully-written book by Galway-born author Doireann Ní Ghríofa, was announced as the An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year winner last week, the news came as little surprise to those who’ve read it.

Since its publication, A Ghost in the Throat has received rave reviews. Interweaving lyrical passages with striking prose, it tells the story of a present-day young mother who is drawn to the life of 18th century-poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill and her poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire.

Although this was Doireann’s first book of prose, she is far from unknown, having written six critically-acclaimed poetry collections. These have earned her numerous awards including the Seamus Heaney Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Arranged a week in advance, the phone call from the Tribune in the wake of the awards announcement proves to be a timely one. Doireann is giddy with excitement. “I am delighted. The funny thing is that it doesn’t just feel like a win for the book; it feels like a win for the way this book tries to tell the stories of women.”

This is hugely important to Doireann – A Ghost in the Throat begins and ends with the line, ‘This is a female text’ – and she hopes the book is viewed as a celebration of the lives of women, past and present, and the work they do, visible and invisible. “That still often goes overlooked,” she says.

As with Emile Pine’s Notes to Self, Doireann casts light on issues affecting women by sharing intimate details of her life. And it’s not just the big themes she gives consideration to, but life’s banalities. When added together, these can also become a burden.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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