While nobody was looking, Washington DC became one of the most dynamic cities in the world for Latin music. With hot musicians pouring into the Capitol from Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, not to mention North America, it was simply a matter of time until something new and crucial began taking root.
During countless knock-down-drag-out Friday and Saturday nights, Washingtonians have been sweating to one of the greatest party bands in America, without knowing they were getting an ear full of original Latin fusion – brand new Latin rhythms designed to pay homage to Latin America’s culture while keeping America dancing until it’s sweaty and spent.
Gato + the Palenke Music Co. is the band that best represents the fusion that is Washington – deep Latin folklore meets classic salsa, with equal parts tropicalia and rock thrown in for good measure – both Americas collide, and everybody is having a great time.
Since 2002, singer and composer Jaime Andrés Salazar – “Gato” – has been searching for a musical way to represent the incredible diversity and vitality of the latest round of immigration in the Americas. His lyrics are mostly related to the feeling of many emigrants who leave their country in search of new opportunities; they speak of wanting and longing, reconciliation and hope. And the music behind it simply kicks.
Palenke Music Company crystallized this vision the only way they could – by honing their live sound in countless bars, weddings, concerts, embassies, and festivals and learning to keep everybody - from every country – dancing for hours.
Now, as a testament to this infectious energy, Palenke releases La Situación, a completely original blend of music in twelve tracks. This newly released record is an elaborate blend of diverse Latin American rhythms, such as salsa, merengue, seis chorreado, festejo, bomba, cumbia, merecumbé, punta, gaita as well as blues and reggae. No band has ever combined these rhythms, which together with Salazar’s heartfelt songwriting, simply soar.
Of course, the only way to get the real deal is to see Palenke live.
Gato + the Palenke Music Co. Band Members:
Jaime Andrés Salazar, Gato: vocalist, composer, guitarist, producer and director (Colombia)
Christian Gonzáles, Bass (Peru)*