Dispatch from the Latin Alternative Music Conference, NYC
Once a year, Latin Alternative musicians – those who don't play salsas, tangos, boleros or other regional beats come together in New York City for a series of industry panel discussions,networking opportunities, open bars (there is a cocktail party that begins at 1 PM on Thursday!),promotional stops and of course plenty of music There are several performances throughout the week, and it is hard to catch everything that goes on in venues like at Harlem's Museo del Barrio, Summerstage in Central Park, Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park (the site of a famed American Revolution battle, by the way) and many other locations around town, which showcase not only established acts but also up-and-coming artists who you have probably never heard about – but should.
Last year, Calle 13 almost stole the show in Central Park as they opened for former Soda Stereo frontman Gustavo Cerati. This year, Cafe Tacuba joins forces with acts like Spain's electronic-influenced Pinker Tones, Mexico's Chetes and many indie names you might never have heard of but might in the near future.
Among the participants at Saturday's show in Central Park is newcomer Pacha Massive, a duo whose first single, "Don't Let Go" was featured on the soundtrack of the movie La Mujer de Mi Hermano last year. Formed by Dominican-born Nova (keys,guitar, voice) and Colombian-born Maya (bass), they recently released their debut, which was reviewed in these pages not too long ago. Need a refresher? http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2007-02-08/music/pacha-massive/
An event for Latin Alternative musicians would not be complete without reggaeton, so representing the genre this time around is Puerto Rico's La Sista, who plays in Central Park on Saturday.
For the official site, visit www.latinalternative.com.
-- Ernest Barteldes