Friday, July 14, 8 p.m., National Hispanic Cultural Center (all-ages); $25-$35: Hailing from Cali, Columbia, a town so infatuated with Afro-Caribbean sounds that it is known as “Capital de la Salsa,” Son de Cali are standouts among grupos picantes on the salsa scene. After 15 years as singers for the world-famous Grupo Niche, Javier Vazques and Willie Garcia struck out on their own, backed by an orquesta comprised of top Columbian musicians; percussionists Douglas Guevarra, Jorge Orta, Alvaro Burbano and Reynerlo Escobar, and trumpeters José Aguirre and Olwaldo Salazar, to name a few.
To further the Latin excitement, the NHCC is not hosting a regular old sit-down concert: That would just be unfair. This is a salsa dance concert; therefore, those of you out there who know your way around a ballroom needn’t look further for a place to shake your sexy Latin or wannabe-Latin hips. (Remember, eight beats: on “one … two … three” the leader steps backward, replaces, steps forward, on “five … six … seven” the leader steps backward, replaces and steps forward--or vice versa.) Attendees can expect a few ballads tonight as well, so those who aren’t up to salsa speed can join the party.
Tonight the 2004 Premio Lo Nuestro winners and 2005 Grammy and Billboard award nominees drop a merengue-tinged salsa bomb on Albuquerque so intoxicating you’ll probably only need water. But, in the antagonistic and ridiculous spirit of proposed New Mexico booze regulations, I leave you with a refreshing mojito recipe which you can concoct at Son de Cali pre- and after-parties:
In a glass, place three slightly smashed and fresh, I repeat, fresh mint sprigs, up to two teaspoons of sugar and three tablespoons of fresh, I repeat, fresh lime juice. Stir well and throw in some ice. Add a shot (or two) of rum and top off with chilled club soda. Garnish with lemon and mint. Bask in self-satisfaction.