Old News

March 2001

Event of the month: Salsa Celtica Big Band Live at the Queens Hall on the 9th March

Workshop on New York Style salsa 17 March The Ark Semple St

2 - 3pm Beginners (no experience of dancing on 2) £6

3.30 - 5.30pm Intermediate (those familiar with NY Mambo footwork and ready for partner dancing / turn patterns)£12

Tickets on sale at the event, doors open at 1.45pm

For the intermediates, who have been following the mambo classes at Gaia, if you feel you would benefit from going over the basic steps and footwork again, please join in the beginners class as well. For both classes you will be charged £15. Please note that the intermediate class is strictly for those who feel comfortable with the basic step patterns of NY Mambo - those who already dance on 2, or have followed Marlon's last workshop and Fiona's mambo classes at Gaia since then.

Weekend introductory classes to Argentine Tango

Tango Immersion Weekend for beginners with visiting teacher John Harris 10.00 am &endash; 4.00 pm Central Halls Fee: £30 (£25). Organised by DanceBase. Focusing on introduction to tango, and leading and following skills.

Nick and Margaret will be teaching introduction to dancing to cuban son on Wednesday evenings 9pm in Baracoa.

Old news

Last night to catch the Spanish Play, put on by the University Spanish Department. It is by Garcia Lorca, and runs in Adam House from 7pm, cost £4. In spanish of course.

This is a new one on me - but there are tuesday lunchtime exercise classes at Edinburgh Univeristy Sport Centre called something like Salsacise, or workour salsa - get fit with salsa based gym class!

El Barrio is redoing it's Monday night spanish night to be appeal more to local spanish community, with spanish DJs, and less of the castañets!


A beginners tango workshop is being run on Saturday 27th by the ETS. Introduction to Argentine tango for those with no experience. The venue is Inch Community Centre, as castle in the middle of Inch Park, by the Cameron Toll shopping Centre. Cost £7/5. For more details mail [email protected]

Is anyone interested in this: I'm writing from Rhetorical systems Ltd, a company dedicated to developingSpeech Recognition Technology. We are currently recording the voices of peopleaged 50 or over who speak Spanish or Italian as a first language.We will pay £30 for two hours of your time - simply read out some words andphrases, and collect the cash.If any of your friends or family would be interested in the offer, please letthem know - we'll pay you £15 for everyone that you send us that we record.If you're interested, contact Matt or Amelia on 0131650 4435 or [email protected]

For Spanish residents of Edinburgh there is a new Spanish Residents association, ALBA, and a magazine, Clan Destino in spanish with articles relevent to living in Scotland.


Janurary 2001

2nd Friday/3rd Saturday Feburary New York Salsa and Mambo Workshop with Marlon Borkulo of Holland,

Organised by Salsa Escocia Tickets from Peter and Fiona at Baracoa

"All levels of dancers will be catered for.Marlon Borkulo is an amazing dancer who comes from a background of electric boogie and breakdancing. He drifted into salsa dancing by chance and was immediately noticed as a gifted salsero. He has since trained in New York with Eddie Torres and Nelson Flores and specializes in NY mambo or salsa on 2. He will however also be teaching the salsa that we are used to in Edinburgh (on the one)."

Friday at Gaia (Kings Stables Rd.)-
8-9pm Beginners salsa with Peter for those with under 10wks experience of salsa (upstairs)
8-9pm Intermediate Salsa with Marlon
9-10pm Intermediate level introduction to Mambo, with Marlon
10-3am Music and dancing upstairs with DJ Jim.
Cost Intermediate: £6 each or £10 for both. Beginners: £4
Saturday at the Ark (Semple St)-
5:30-8:30pm Intermediate/Advanced Level Mambo. Dance technique - spins £12

There is a new line of of teachers at El Barrio, and Hector has a new web page too, at www.elbarrio.co.uk


Bye Bye SAM!

As most people will know,Edinburgh Salsa teacher and entrepreneur Sam Ganon has to leave the country this month. During his time here he has done a great deal to increase the popularity of salsa, improve dancing levels and throw some great parties. He will be sorely missed, despite his tendency for forthright expression! He is running a workshop on the 15/16th, and having a salsa party in St Stephen's Centre, Stockbridge on the 16th 7:30-midnight.

Friday 15th Dec at the GAIA








Latin Dances

Latin Dances


Practice Hour

Practice Hour

Saturday 16th Dec at St Stephens ChurchStockbridge (bottom of St. Vincent Street)





Merengue & Line Dancing


Dancing Healthy & Safely


Cuban Salsa

Rueda de Casino


Puerto Rican Salsa

Puerto Rican Salsa



The party will include the following shows: Egyptian Bellydancing, Tango, Salsa, Merengue, Rueda, Flamenco and Jazz. The Shows will start at 20:00. Please bring drinks and food for starving Sam :)

Prices (please book in advance): Fri workshop- £5; Sat workshop- £15; Fri+Sat- £17; Party- £5; Fri+Sat+Party- £20

Rueda at Baracoa on Monday night (11th) is cancelled for a private party -go to the Angel Eye instead at 10pm.

Hector is putting on a salsa night in the Princes Street gardens Marquee venue at the 'Angel Eye' on Monday nights from 10pm though December.

There are a number of latin events around new year - including salsa celtic on the 1st Jan, Salsa Viva in the Assembly rooms, free on the 30th, and El Barrio Christmas Party on the 20th.

I see Salsascene have found an interesting new service called TutorLynx targeted at Edinburgh University, which enables you to sign up to find people to do language exchange with, and offer other expertise too. To sign up go to TutorLynx


I here that the cuba beer sponsored salsa night last wednesday at El Barrio was fantastic, with live music, great classes and a really good atmosphere.

The city is empty of salsa dancers this weekend as they all go off to Pontins in the West Country for a moster salsa weekend - the Rueda Club at Gaia is cancelled this Friday.

Salsa Viva has started in Baracoa, Victoria at on Thursday nights , playing 'salsa dura' for dancing.

The ETS Tango ball was a great success with 80 people from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, the US and England all dressed up 20s style and dancing the night away.

Don't forget El Barrio Latino Xmas Party with hot salsa band Grupo Caché.Tickets £10 (£8 advance booking).Wednesday 20 December, 8pm till late

Old News!

Wednesday 29 November in El Barrio: The Morro Cuban Lager Road Show LIVE 10:30PM ti'll late with the 'Sonido Morro' Salsa Band featuring impressive international line-up: Duranze Lorza from Colombia, Osvaldo Chaquón from Venezuela, El Pidio from Colombia, Omar Puente from Cuba and Salsa dance show withGeraldo & Magdalena

Some tango events:

The Edinburgh Tango Society is holding a weekend workshop on the 25/26 with visiting professionals Biki and Muso. There is a complete beginner's introduction class from 11-12:30 at St Stephen's Centre, St Stephen's St £7/5. The Grand Tango Ball is the same evening at the Zoo - tickets only in advance. For more details see the ETS website. Tango Courses also start at DanceBase and Dance for All in Janurary.

Steve McKay has set up two new tango classes and practices, Wednesdays -The Outhouse, Broughton St Lane 8-9pm , Thursdays Club Java, Commercial Street, Leith, 8-9pm. Both classes focus on sensuality and musicality. £5.Steve says they may not run for long.

A 6 week course in Flamenco starts on Monday 6th November at El Barrio with Amaya del Mar from Jérez, Spain. Classes will run 8:30-9:30pm on Mondays and will be accompanied by our live Flamenco night with 'Los del Barrio'. There are already 20 people so hurry to sign up. Monday nights at El Barrio is Flamenco night

Another special salsa class by Paola on women's technique, at El Barrio this Friday.

Reports i have heard say yhe weekend salsa trip to Blairgowie was a great success.

Salsa Workshop on Friday 27 Oct, 7-10pm @ El Barriowith Orlando & Paola, Styling for Men & Women and Fancy footwork and combinations

Go to the Salsa Celtica website to sign up for their mailing list, and here about what they are up too. Latest news includes a possible US tour, visiting the Cork Jazz Festival and Playing the Fruitmarket, Glasgow on the 18th Jan 2001.

Those interested in live music, the Glasgow Cuban Music week is on this week 16-22 October featuring Pablo Milanes 15/10, City Hall 20:00 £16.00 (£14.00) ; 16/10 Omar Sosa with Gustavo Ovalles, Tron Theatre Bar 20:00 £7.50 (£5.50); Omar Puente with Raiches Cubanas 21/10, Renfrew Ferry 20:30 pm £8.50 (£6.50); and Edinburgh regulars Sonora La Calle on 22/10 at the Renfrew Ferry 20:00 £10.00 (£8.00) (I don't know if they have done something about the floor, but last time I was there to here them it was still the original old car ferry planks, not great for dancing)

Introductory Tango workshop on the 28th September 11-12:30 in St Stephen's Centre, Stockbridge, followed by weekend of improvers and advanced workshops by visiting teachers Pedro and Alexandra.

Sam's Highland Fling on the 28th-29th October is now arranged: A weekend salsa weekend in to Blairgowrie, with accommodation in self-catering chalets (3-rooms, 6-people), with all leisure facilities etc. The mainschedule is:

Leave Edinburgh at 10:00, Afternoon for sports,
20:00-22:00 Salsa Workshop with Sam, Fiona and more guest teachers (Glasgow based Merengue champions)
22:00-01:00 Halloween Party
11:00-13:00 Salsa Workshop
Return 17:00

Price £40 per person excluding travel and food.An extra £10 may be needed to cover a bus.. Places limited to 42 people. Contact SAM

*El Barrio has three live music events for the Autumn lined up, which should be great - go support live music and enjoy!

Wednesday 18 October, 10pm till late- Merengada. An energetic 9-piece UK Latin band, playing salsa, merengue classis and originals. Currently promotingtheir new album, "Arrancando". Tickets £8. Merengada havebeen regular visitors to Scotland for several years.
Wednesday 29 November, 10pm till late - Hanny.on his "The young voice of Cuba" tour.Superb 9-piece band playing Salsa, Boleros and Son. Tickets £8. Info on AfroCubaWeb. and review on Cuba-solidarity (London) and from London based Salsaworld . His second album is out on Mr Bongo Records.
Wednesday 20 December, 8pm till late - Latino Xmas Party with hot salsa band Grupo Caché.Tickets £10 (£8 advance booking).

*A new SALSA BAND is looking for percussionists with experience. This will be a gigging band. Contact Paul or myself

*A new FREEweekly Tango class on Thursday lunchtime at the Pleasance, for students and non-students 12:30-1:30

*New programme for the Edinburgh Spainish Circle now available. Talks on hispanic/latin themes.


Slighly older news

*Highland Fling. Sam is arranging a salsa weekend in the Highlands on October 28th-29th, OR the first in November 4th-5th. Weekend in a hotel taking classes anda dancing the night away. Sounds great! Mail SAM

*Qbar, owned by the same people as Baracoa is ceasing to be a latin theme bar. Probably just as well, since Edinburgh can only support a few venues, and it is better that they are good and well supported rrather than half empty.

*Dance Base starts its terms of classes this week

*Any men wanting to join the Monday night's Tango classes 6-7 at DanceBase would be most welcome, since we need to get up to even numbers!

* 3rd Netherlands International Salsa Festival Final program, now available at: http://www.salsadancersunion.com/festival

*Salsa Viva is no longer in Cuba Norte from this week.

*Mary Thompson is holding a Ceilidh and disco(!) to raise money to start an Edinburgh dance web site with details of all the palces to dance, for all dancers. The dance is on  Friday, 10th November 2000 at Marcos. E-mail [email protected]

*Hector at EL BARRIO has started to give names to his various nights, and reduced the amount of salsa. Now Thursday nights has Arakataca DJ Jaffar for " TROPICO UTOPICO!" playing a mix of african and latin sounds. Wednesdays and Fridays will be hard core salsa nights til 1 am, so no complaining about the lack of salsa in Edinburgh! El Barrio also has a Spainish night on Mondays. I was in on Tuesday, and Orlando's dance class was big!

*Also watch out for El Barrio's afro-carribean REGGAE afternoon on Sundays with live music. I great way to chill out on a cold dark winter's afternoon.

*New e-mail discussion group for edinburgh tango

Subscribe to the ETS discussion list

If anyone would like a salsa discussion list, mail me

*Some of the latin bars are struggling at the moment, but hopefully with the students coming back they should soon be packed - especially with those back from exotic summer holidays and study periods in salsa dancing locations!

*"SALSA STUDENT FUSION" 4 workshops with Orlando, Paula, Sam and Fiona

Saturday 30th September, 2pm to 7pm in Central Hall, West Tollcross (0131-229-7937)

  1. Salsa Styling: partner styling, men's style, ladies' style, free-style fancy footwork
  2. Salsa Clinic: body posture, hands' positions, leading techniques, spins and turns.
  3. Cabaret Style: unleadable sequences that both partners need to have learned.
  4. Fancy Combinations: like those superb Cuban moves you saw in the Festival
Classes 1 & 2: are for All levels (except absolute beginners, you need a firm knowledge of basic steps, turns, and Cross Body Lead.
Classes 3 & 4: are for Intermediate and Advanced level dancers.
£8 for Salsa Styling and Salsa Clinic
£8 for Cabaret Style and Fancy Combinations
£15 for the full workshop

Contacts:Sam's Email: [email protected] Sam's Mobile: 07967 569594 Orlando's Mobile: 07880 636906

These pages have a new address www.edinburghsalsa.co.uk. After 5 years of being an obscure url finaly some easy way to identify Edinburgh's own Latin guide. There is also a new address for the Tango: www.edinburghtango.org.uk

*Gaia is no longer running a latin club, but Sam is continuing his classes there.

*Many of the Cubans are leaving this week. Lady Salsa show goes to London, and Sergio goes to Cuba.

*The LIST has at last got round to revuing the Scottish Salsa scene in the next edition.

*Save up and sign up for a Cuban dance holiday. The next dates for Kath's Caledonia Langages Abroad holiday in Santiago is 3-18 November 2000. She also runs salsa and sevillana's holidays in Spain, and is setting up a tango holiday in BsAs. call 0131 621 7721 .

*Jaime and Daniel are calling themselves the Latin Passion Club and running a series of classes at Cuba Norte including salsa, cha cha and mambo. [email protected]

*If you want to keep up to date with info on Salsa by e-mail the best is to mail Nick, who sends out regular updates on all the events, rather than the mailing lists of individual clubs.

*New programme of classes at Baracoa with Sam



*New programme of classes at Baracoa with Sam

*Great weekend of salsa at El Barrio on the 9 and 10th September, classes by local teachers all day Saturday and Sunday, with live percussion to learn about the rhythms of salsa.

13:00-14:00 Nichito (Beginner)
14:15-14:15 Paola (Intermediate)
15:30-16:30 Joel (Beginner)
17:00-18:00 Catherine (Intermediate)
18:15-19:15 Nichito (Rueda)
19:15+ Salsa night
13:00-14:00 Nichito (Beginner)
14:15-15:15 Carol-Ann (Intermediate)
15:30-16:30 Orlando (Intermediate)
16:45-17:45 Jenny (Beginner)
18:00-19:00 Nichito (Rueda)
19:00+Salsa Night
£15 a day or £20 for two days
The dancers from "Lady Salsa'will be teaching on Saturday nights at the Mambo Club, and on Wednesdays at Baracoa for a Rueda course for 2 weeks.


*Dancing on the Roof od trhe shopping centre at Waverley --salsa and rueda on the 19th and 26th of August

*News from Hector on a WORKSHOP:

SALSA & RUEDA WORKSHOPSin EL BARRIO Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 August with members of 'Lady Salsa', performing at the Edinburgh Garden Festival show

Instructors: Ayamey Villa, Member of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba Yanet Fuentes Torres Professional Dancer & Instructor in contemporary and folkloric dance; Luis Ernesto Castillo & Alain Soto Aguílera, Teachers and Dancers with Grupo Folklórico Ban Rra Rra; Yaisel Rafael del Busto,Professional Dancer and Instructor\for the Grupo de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba

This is a one-off opportunity to learn Cuban style salsa from a pool of very gifted andtalented artists. Come and learn the new intricate footwork and spins practised on thedancefloors of Havana!"

Saturday 2:00pm-4:00pm Session 1: Cuban Salsa  Workshop for intermediate level (individual footwork & spins - part I) 4:15pm-6:15pm Session 2: Rueda de Casino Workshop for intermediate level - part I

Sunday 3:00pm-5:00pm Session 3: Cuban Salsa  Workshop for intermediate level (individual footwork & spins - part II); 5:15pm-7:15pm Session 4: Rueda de Casino Workshop for intermediate level - part II


*Another WORKSHOP from Tanty and Piera at salsa connections

24th, 25th & 26th August. with Elder Sanchez

Thursday 24th 7.30/9.30 Absolute Beginners @ Gaia

Friday 25th 8pm/9pm Beg/int, 9pm/11 int/adv @Gaia.

Saturday 26th 9pm/10.30 Advanced only @ The Mambo Club

Price Beg/£5 per Hr, Int/Adv £10 for 2hrs or £15 for 3.5Hrs. For more info contact Piera or Tanty at salsa_connections.com or phone 0403322606 after 6pm.

News and Comment 10-7-00  

Sonora La Calle, regular visitors from Cuba, are playing with the cuba dance show Lady Salsa during the festival.

Sam and Fiona are presenting a show in the Fringe combining Bellydancing and Salsa called LATINO ARABESQUE

Tango in The Traverse Theatre Bar - one of the smartest bars in town is will have its first tango night on Thursday 20th July, 8:30. Watch out for more tango events in the Autumn.There will be tango beginners classes in Glasgow on the 5th and 12 August too.

 Workshop in El Barrio Friday 21 July with Saher & Lisa third place finalists at the recent Bacardi UK Salsa Championships. improvers' and advanced level workshop
7:00pm-8:30pm The improvers' workshop will concentrate on introducing footwork and solo dancing as well as routines with emphasis on styling for men and women basic knowledge of the cross body lead is necessary in order to do the patterns taught.
8:45pm-10.15pm The advanced workshop will concentrate on using syncopated footwork, double turns (M&F), multiple spins, turn patterns & dips -attendees MUST be fluent with the cross body lead & got a good grasp of rhythm and timing - anyone with back problems is advised not to do this workshop).
For further information on the workshop <http://www.salsaOxford.f2s.com/salsa4.htm> .£10 per session at El Barrio. Sahar is also teaching in Glasgow the previous weekend.

Opening of New Edinburgh Salsa/Latin bar, El Barrio by Hector (ex-Baracoa). He has done up the old punk venue in the 'pubic triangle' (which is going upmarket a bit now) with big dance floor, stage and non-stop latin music. good luck Héctor. Héctor plans a variety of live music and workshop in August,

Cuban Dance Company DanzAbierta Are performing at Queen Margret UC during the festival. Also catch them at Salsa Viva,on 11th and 18th August for a live music nights, and at El Barrio on the 8/9th August.

Salsa Connections are bringingback Elder Sanchez to teach, and Tammam, a teacher from Amsterdam, and winner of Europea Salsa Championship (?) at the beginning of September.

Mr McFall's Chamber performed a fantastic set at the Bongo Club on the 2nd July, featuring Valentina Martinez from Chile singing somebueatiful tangos and tango instired songs from Argentina and Chile

The ETS will be running a tango milonga every Sunday in Baracoa thoughout the Festival for locals and visitors.

Sam is back and organising things like crazy, including an Edinburgh dance show on the Ross bandstand, Princes Street gardens on the 12 August. This includes salsa, ceroc and tango shows, classes, and Salsa Celtica playing 2 hours in the evening. It will be broadcast on the Internet




Edinburgh Latin Hispanic Dance and Music Service 5th Birthday

I just realised I have been runnning these pages for over 5 years now, from when I started in May 1995. I hope I have done something to promote latin music and dance in Edinburgh, and judging by the many e-mails over the years, I have helped put Edinburgh on the world salsa, sambe and tango maps. The last year has seen a considerable increase in use of the pages as more and more people get on line, and salsa as exploded as a popular pastime, rather then as a hobby for an eccentric few. I hope I can continue to provide this service, but as ever I rely on the input of others in Edinburgh and elsewhere to keep things up to date. If you want to make something known, write some comment, or a review, please send it to me.

Intermediate Son workshop by Sergio at The Venue, Calton Rd (Before Salsa Viva) on Friday 23rd 9-11.

Now Westfield Halls are open again after the flood, and classes and events resume. Anne Lennon's beginner's salsa classes start on Sunday July 9th at 7:30 with open dance afterwards at 8:30/9ish.

News from Kath Bateman of Caledonian Languages. Sergio from Cuba, who toured with Ballet Folklorico Cutumba is in Edinburgh for the summer teaching Tuesdays at Siglo, Beginners Cuban style salsa/son 8-9pm, Intermediate Casino/son 9-10pm, £5 a class, or £25 for 6 weeks. He will be teaching other workshops arranged by Kath throughout the summer.

Looking forward to the Festival and Fringe, there will be a Cuban contemporary dance company performing at Queen Margaret University College. More details soon - expect to see publicity around the clubs. I will try and get full details of Fringe events over the next few weeks.

Salsa Viva will be running Sunday evenings in a new venue Loca on the Cowgate. With live music. Starts today (11th) with a Charity night for Firefly Youth Project Bosnia., featuring APU and Coco Vega. Next week the Samba School, and 25th Carlos Peña.

Salsa dance weekend workshop Saturday 17th & Sun 18th of June. Cuban Salsa Masterclasses with Kerry Ribchester & Harold Williams focusing on the dynamic differences between the male and female style and technique, plus what makes Cuban style so powerful! £25 for 5 hours, £15 for 2.5 hours. beginners 1-3:30 improver/advanced 4-6:30pm both days. Organised by Piera and Tanty from Salsa Extravaganza in the Mambo club, tel.0403 322606 It is great that there is going to be some serious professional teaching of salsa in Edinburgh now, with some focus on body, rythmn and interaction, rather then on moves and turns.

Congratulations to Hector for a great night on Saturday, a good turn out, atmostphere, and band (although I was sorry I had to leave early) Please do it again!

Does anyone know about another new club opening on Monday, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?


The mambo king died at the beginning of June 2000. Born in Puerto Rican Harlem, Tito Puente had a recording and performing career that covered 7 decades. A drop out from Julliard, he led the development of a range of latin music styles, from the mambo (which earned him the title ' The Mambo King'), the cha-cha-cha, Rhumba, and Salsa. He was a tymbales and percussion player who composed, arranged a led his own orchestras, working with latin and jazz stars, most notably Celica Cruz. Much of his work was in latin jazz, as well as developing latin grooves. Those who saw him in concert will never forget his incredible energy and stage presence. His 120 albums and 5 grammy awards mean his music will ever be forgotten.

Where can I buy music? If you are wanting to buy some salsa, tango or other latin american music, I recommend first looking on some of the web sites listed in the music shop section, especially Descarga. You can then order by internet from a variety of companies on line. Some of the most mainstream can be bourght from Amazon or BOL, otherwise you will have to try MUNDIAL or the new RUANA. You can also try Virgin Records in Princes street. James Combe, regular DJ at some of the Edinburgh venues runs the world music section here, and is trying to build up a good stock of music from latin america. He can also advise and order music. Go there and ask for a guided tour of what he has in stock ( but make sure you have a full wallet!) There is the added advantage of being able to listen to the music. Also when you hear a good track on the dance floor, ask the DJ who it is by.

The Bongo Club now have their own web site http://www.thebongoclub.co.uk

Hector, the DJ how helped build up Baracoa as a venue is leaving to set up his own club...

Claudia Codega and Esteban Morena, professional tango dancers who have performed in the last 3 Fringe Festival will be visiting on the 10th and 11th for teach and do a small show for the Edinburgh tango community.

Salsa Celtica have released their new Album, much more salsa now - go out and buy it and support local musicians!!!!

Three events in London for a holiday weekend trip . 4 June. El Pueblo Latinoamericano 2000: London's big latin carnival in Southwark, London. INcludes El Grupo Niche from Columbia, and many other groups palying music from all over latin america. FREE. Call 0207 582 1917; 24-25 June Sat and Sun, Congreso Bacardi in London. Two days of salsa dancing, with advanced classes and shows and the finals of the UK Salsa Competition; 30st Friday - Nacho Sanabria and his Orchestra play at the Guayando Club in London

 This month's record reviews

Two constrasting CDs this month, Ignacio Piñero and his Septeto Nacional "Entre Precios Palmeras" recorded in Cuba in 1928 and 1930, and Marc Anthony Greatest Hits released this year.

Ignacio Piñero and his Septeto Nacional "Entre Precios Palmeras" (1999 IMC Music, series Música Latina Nostalgias MLN 55001). Piñero (bass) is one of of the musicians that the currently popular 'Buena Vista Social Club' (BVSC) musicians would have listen to growing up. Piñero was one of the leaders of the son musical form, developing if from a rural sound, adding elements of La Habana trova song (the tres and the sexualy charged lyrics) and and bringing in the trumpet making it more jazzy, laying the foundations of 'hot' latin styles that were such a success over the next 70 years: mambo, 'rumba' and salsa. His sexteto brought together the key instruments of this music : claves, bongos, maracas, with bass, tres, and trumpet. Despite the 1930 style and recording, this music is instantly accesible from the BVSC son we have become familiar with more recently. Laid back by modern standards, this album is a delight to listen to, the steady rhythm underlying the interchange between voices and trumpet. Anyone interested in the history of Cuban music, or who loves the BVSC sound would enjoy this album.

Marc Anthony Greatest Hits (2000, RMM, on BAT in Spain). Mark Anthony has been one of the big young New York Salsa stars in the 1990s turning out many dance floor hits. His style is polished, romantic ('Necisito Amarte',' El Ultimo Beso',' Nadie Como Ella') and very dancable. The Album features two hit duos, No me Ames with Jennifer López, which sounds a bit like a soap opera theme tune, and the dance floor favourite 'Vivir lo nuestro' with India (see last month's reviews). Many tracks such as Te Conozco Bien will be instantly recognisable by dancers. For salsa dancers this is good album put on and play right through; very dancable, but lacks some of the raw energy or musical experimentation of other groups.

Next Month: Jimmy Bosch, Ruben Blades.

Reminder for this weekend

Sam and Hector, after the success of Robert Charlamagne and the new competiton are going to be putting on new events. Following other dance groups, such as lindy hop and tango, salsa people are starting to realise that there is a market for bringing in great teachers from elsewhere, and putting on live music. One of the events they are planning is COPACABANA DANCE NIGHT EXTRAVEGANZA to be held on Saturday 10 June, 9:00pm-1:00am in the Assemby Rooms, Edinburgh with London band Conjunto Sabroso with Luz Elena Caicedo. Tickets £18. Since the Assembly rooms carnaval stopped it is great to have these guy revive the 'big event'.

Dance for All studios is moving to take over Edinburgh Dance and Theatre School in Stockbridge, so the classes in Salsa, tango, tap, flamenco and everything else will move at the beginning of July.

New tango evening on Wednesdays at Cafe No 1, Chambers street (no longer at Bar Muse). Beginners classes 7:30, improvers 8:15, followed by a dance. Taught by Francesco from Rome. £3 each, £4 couple. Remeber salsa downstairs the same night.

Outdoor tango events coming up this summer! watch this space.


Great Saturday for salsa in Scotland on the 27th. Roberto Pla and latin Ensemble from London are paying for free in Leith on saturday afternoon/evening, as part of the summer music festival on The Shore. In Glasgow, Sierra Maestra from Cuba return to play in the Old Fruitmarket, Albion Street. Only £11.50.

Since Sam is away for the moment new teachers are doing the Baracoa/Gaia classes in salsa according to Hector. Thursdays with 'Los Reyes de La Salsa' with Elicer and Karen Reyes for beginners and improvers salsa. Tuesdays Catherine from Dance for All will be doing the advanced classes.

Dance Base have their new programme out for the spring and summer. Classes in salsa, meregnue, capoeria, rueda and all the other wonderful things. Look at the classes page for up to date details


Baracoa, the 'cuban' bar on Victoria street will be going salsa 7 dayts a week from the Festival. Hector will be spining the disks from 9pm every night. Now you can dance every night in the same same place... or you can get a life!

Baracoa now has tango every Sunday from 5-9pm. Intro classes at 5:30pm free every other week.

New Club in the Mambo Club. The mambo club used to be the only place to go to hear latin sounds, apart from Fiesta latina once a evert few months.However it was not to everyone's taste, and salsa people took to the new clubs opening elsewhere. Now three women new on the salsa scene Piera, Tanty and Stephanie, calling themselves Salsa Connections have taken over Saturday nights to run a salsa club. They hope to invite visiting DJs, teachers etc. They have their first salsa workshop on the 6th of May with the following details

Elder Sanchez from Columbia is the author of three successful Salsa teaching videos. He is visiting Edinburgh for the first time to give two days of workshops to be held at Central Halls, West Tollcross & The Mambo Club, 3 West Tollcross (Cavendish).
Master Class (upper intermediate/advanced)
Upper Intermediate - Saturday 6th May ˆ 2pm-4pm at Central Halls
Advanced ˆ Saturday 6th May ˆ 8.45pm-10.15pm
Prices - £18 for 3hrs or £12 for others
In this class Elder will concentrate on technique and style
Beginners - Friday 5th May ˆ 9pm-10.30pm at Central Halls
Improvers ˆ Saturday 6th May ˆ 7pm-8.30pm at the Mambo Club
Prices - £15 for 3hrs or £10 for others

This weekend there is salsa workshop in Glasgow with SAHER SIDHOM SATURDAY 15TH & SUNDAY 16TH APRIL Contact: Helen, 0141 950 6127 [email protected]




SALSA WEEKEND Those in the Rockabilly, Ceroc, and Swing scenes probably already go to the big weekend festivals of dance and music that happen regularly around the country. On the 24th-27th March there is a big salsa weekend at Pontins in Southport. The weekend includes bands, classes and shoes by Grupo X, Salsa Pa Gozar, Robert Charlemagne, Kerry Ribchester, Leon Rose, Susanna Montero, Garcia Baxse, Jose Cardosa, Jane Griffiths and Rohan Brown and the 'FloorTechnicians', Yatie Silva and Joseph Koniak, Garcia, and Leon and Susanna. Costs from £58 per person inc accommodation. Tel 0870 604 5606 to book or Cressida Childs [email protected] (www.clubcubana.com)

LA NOCHE DE LA PASION. For those wanting to travel further afield there is the famous 'La Noche de la Pasion' on Sunday the 23th of April (Easter Sunday) in Ghent, Belgium. This event takes places in the completely renewed Casino (4000m2)and includes 4 or 5 halls with live bands and recorded music including all types of salsa and tango, as well as shows in the big theatre. For info and reservations: http://users.pandora.be/polariteit


I got some new CDs, old releases, but they might interest readers, 'Dicen Que Soy' by India (1994) and Nuyorican Soul (1997) an album featuring a number of artists. These are both CDs by artists from the home of salsa, New York City, where carribean and US sounds mix . India (who has recently released a new album Sola to poor reviews) is one of the leading NY latin singers, and learned much of her music with NY salsa great Palmieri. Her album is quite different to the rootsy cuban music becoming more popular now. Influenced strongly by R&B soul sounds, and a powerful, busy, feel create good upbeat music for dancing. Her voice can get a bit annoying for listening, rising above the band rather than with it. India also features on Nuyorican soul (think Puerto Rican), but this is a completely different style of album, a music project that crosses genres to capture the best of current NY sounds. Produced by Louie vega and Kenny Gonzalez for Masters at Work who have worked many years in dance music, from hip hop through salsa, disco and dub reggae, it brings together a variety of great artists in an eclectic mix of styles reflecting the current rich NY music culture. Artists include India, Tito Puente, George Benson, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmeri, Jocelyb Brown and Roy Ayers.Tracks go from House to Big Band swing though great solo performance by Benson and Palmieri. Great for Listening and Dancing. I also have the remix of this album, which is equally good, but without the salsa bits. I got these through Amazon.com, but I think they can be got from Mundial in NL.

Wednesday night Salsa Viva at City Cafe II has closed down, but Thursdays at Cuba Norte have started again and there is also Siglo every Tuesday, with classes from Ana from Cuba and Alex from the Dominican Rep.

Another charity event - this one a big on to raise money for the Drake Music project, and called SALSA CHALLENGE CUBA. Set for Feb 2001, a chance for a great salsa holiday and do some good too! More info on Neil's Glasgow Dance Guide

TANGO on LOCH TAY Edinburgh Tango Society takes their weekend workshops a step further, and relocates to the banks for Loch Tay for a weekend of dance and outdoor activities on 31march-2 April. Still places for non-beginners.



Cuba Norte have their licence back, so salsa is happening on Fridays and Saturdays straight away, and on thursdays from 3rd Feb. There are classes running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays too.

Negociants have clased down Salsa Viva on Sunday nights, despite it being popular - yet again the venue does not make enough money on drinks BUT Salsa Viva is starting again on thursdays at Cuba Norte

Kath at Caledonian Languages runs 2 week salsa and spanish language holidays based in Santiago de Cuba. Champion dancers teach 3 hrs a day. I have heard very good reports from local dancers who have been. They cost about £1000 all in though, but sounds a great experience. Next trips are 12-26 February and 15-29 April 2000.Go to Caledonian Languages Web Page for more details.

Also look at the language section of these pages to know about more places to learn spanish and portugese in Edinburgh

Hogmany party was good: Salsa celtic played in the Town centre, the Samba School entertained the crowds, and the hard core dancers went to the Tango Society party and danced to salsa, tango, and classic dance tracks from the last 40 years. Thanks for Ian, Karin and Claudia for arranging it, and tod Sam for DJing til dawn.

I have a new baby!!!! She is called Ana Catriona and you can see a picture of her here age 1 day! This is her Website too

Tango started once a month at Baracoa 4:30-9pm. Every 2nd or 3rd Sunday to start with 4:30-9pm. Includes introductory class at 5pm. next dates 16th Jan, 13th Feb

Baracoa Christmas Party - Get down to Baracoa on Xmas Eve and have a cracking salsa experience with Hector Paulito and everyone else.

James' Introduction to Salsa. If you are new to salsa and want some clues of the historyand what music to buy, read this! (for the intro to Tango click here) For samba etc, try the on-line links section

'The Betternot Misstha Rueda Club' meets to dance Rueda on Sunday evenings 7-9 at Dance for All studios, Grange Rd. It is not a lesson, but the Ruedas will be led by local experts such as Sam. £3 for the evening. Call Sam 07967 569594 or Nick 0131-669-2184. mail Nick on <[email protected]>

There is a new latin theme bar/restaurant at 184 Cowgate, called Siglo. It opens Friday 10th December, if you have an invitation. Salsa classes on Tuesday nights. Big, no real dance space though.



Jorge has a another new venue for Salsa Viva on Sundays, bringing salsa back to Negociants on Lothian St with classes 8-10 and a club 10-1am. Opens 5/12. Also Salsa Viva 4th Birthday on the 10th December at the venue with Uchukuta playing live. Unfortunatly this clashes with Club Latino at the Bongo club, who also have live music. Salsa con sabor will also try and offer something. Come on guys sort it out!

A reminder of the charity event on Wed 1st December, raising money for CASA ALIANZA, a charity supporting street children in Guatemala, México, Honduras and Nicaragua.7-11:30, St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, . With dance class by Sam at 7pm, followed by a show and music by Héctor £5 on the door. tel 0131 346 1405

These pages passed the rather arbitary '10000 seperate site hits since the begining of 1998' mark this month, most of the visits coming in the last few months as more people get on line, and salsa gets popular. Currently I am running 25-50 hits a day. It is nearly 5 years since I started compiling these pages with the help of contributors from around the world. Just got a nice e-mail from Barbados say how good they were too. The site can also be accessed at: http://www.members.tripod.co.uk/edinburghsalsa . I may get round to getting my own domain name, if I can justify £100 for it. Any offers of free domain name redirection most welcome.

Bloco Vomit launch their new CD :"PLAY THIS YA BASTARD" Friday December 3rd, Subway, Cowgate Edinburgh to raise fund for charity, Project Peru. 3 bands BLOCO VOMIT + LEAO DO NORTE + PORRIDGE STOATSTickets 4 quid, 3.50 in advance (3.00 concessions) Doors open 9.00. First band onstage 10.00.

Bloco's press release in full:" Bloco Vomit's meteoric rise to fame has surprised no one who knows the charisma of their manager, apart from the rest of the band : a controversial yet classic debut, a fistful of performances that have put the fun back into going out, and now a Brazilian record deal with the prestigious Trama Records, founded by Carlos Miranda, and a tour in April 200 including the first ever appearance by a British band at Abril Pro Rock, the country's biggest rock festival. The gig marks the release of their second album and is followed by a mammoth 2 gig tour of Glasgow and Newcastle. Leao do Norte: the Edinburgh School metamorphosed into an outrageous Celtic karaoke-samba outfit with nude male dancing. Porridge Stoats: "Get stoatally ceilidhed with the shitkicking jigs and reels of Porridge Stoats" violin, electric guitar and bass and djembe! Project Peru is a charity with an associated group in Edinburgh called Project Peru(Scotland). The charity supports a children's refuge in the shanty townsoutside Lima by fundraising for year-round financial help as well asvoluntary construction projects. http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/pps, email [email protected], tel: Dom 0131 6200069."

I didn't manage to get to the salsa event at Baracoa with the UK champions, but I hear they were very popular. Instead, I was busy helping the Tango society provide a very short tango show at a big charity event in Edinburgh.

Sorry to hear that Salsa Viva has been thrown out of the Minus One club for the old problem of low bar takings. The management hardly gave the club a chance to get established either. So it is back to Wednesday nights at City Cafe II.

Talking of Brazilian - try the classes in Capoiera that happen three times a week in Edinburgh - this brazilian dance-flight art is beautiful and highly interactive!

New book in English on the History of Salsa publishing in the UK and US - Salsa:Musical Heartbeat of America. See book section

New advanced Rueda de Casino group meets on Sundays to work with Sam and Catherine Sunday 7pm - 9pm, at Dance for All Studios for those with reasonable knowledge of Rueda. 



I managed to get these pages back on some of the search engines (but not Altavista anymore) after a long abscence, and it is good to see lots of people logging on now.






Students return the next few weeks, many of whom will have got into salsa over the holidays, so expect big crowds.