Posted on September 3, 2008 - by MG
Around six weeks ago we went to see Oscar D’Leon at the Roundhouse in London. Aged 65, he’s one of the top salsa stars in the world. Which means that despite living in Oxford UK, hardly the home of salsa, I have now seen:
Oscar D’Leon (London)
Charanga Habanera (London)
Manolito y Su Trabuco (London)
Maikel Blanco (Havana)
Pupy y los que Son Son (Havana)
Septeto Santiaguero (Santiago de Cuba)
Los Van Van (London)
Buena Vista Social Club (London)
Afro-Cuban All-Stars (London)
Celia Cruz (London)
Jose Alberto (London)
If you’re not a salsa fan this won’t mean anything to you. But it’s roughly equivalent for an indie-rock/pop fan to have seen the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Blur, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Green Day and whatnot.
Damn I feel lucky. Oscar D’Leon, what can I say? He’s an amazing performer, a formidable dancer and bass player; he sang and elegantly danced his way through a two-hour set without a break, almost without pausing between songs. He can improvise in the most amazing way (but so can all the best soneros I’ve seen).
And he can do reggaeton. Maybe not like a young hipster. But man, he gives it a go.
Here’s a video I recorded that evening – quickly risen to be my Youtube channel’s most popular video. It’s distant – we were far away, but you can sense the energy in the audience. The camera work is a bit shaky for the first 30 seconds because I literally couldn’t stand still, I was so excited.
I mean. OSCAR D’LEON!!!! Jess – espero que te gusta pero MUCHO!