by Cindy McCain
La Excelencia returns to Nashville on Friday, October 12 as part of Vanderbilt University’s Great Performances series. The world famous New York City salsa dura band will perform at 8:00 PM in Ingram Hall. A community salsa class free to all ticket holders will be taught at 6:30 prior to the show by Nashville’sGlobal Education Center resident teaching artist, Steven Damo of Sentir El Ritmo.
Latin music fans who attended last year’s National Folk Festival held in Nashville will remember La Excelencia’s electrifying performances. When asked how his 11-piece orchestra feels about Music City’s 2012 Hispanic Heritage Celebration Month culminating with their concert, Jose Vazquez-Cofresi, founder of the group, replied:
EXCITED! We got a taste of Nashville last year and had a great turn out, but by the 3rd or 4th song the rain started pouring down and we did not get to finish the show. La Excelencia is, however, very blessed that we are able to return to finish the job thanks to Vanderbilt University!
For the full interview with Jose Vazquez-Cofresi, go here.
The band known and enjoyed internationally as “The New Generation of Salsa Dura” has been featured by the BBC, The New York Times, Latin Beat Magazine, So You Think You Can Dance and in motion pictures. Grammy-winning producer Aaron Levinson says of the group known as “The New Generation of Salsa Dura”: “La Excelencia represents something very significant, a return not just to the classic formula of salsa but to the virtues of it. They are going back to the more eclectic period when salsa was street music, playing with spirit and integrity and writing socially relevant music again.” Vazquez-Cofresi names their top three culturally important songs addressing discrimination and poverty: "Dale Otra Oportunidad and "La Economia".
Tickets for the Great Performances series are on sale at Sarratt Student Center. Full information on discounts for students, seniors, Vanderbilt faculty and groups can be found at www.vanderbilt.edu/greatperformances. Tickets range from $5 for Vanderbilt students to $30, $35, and $40 for the general public. Information is also available at the Sarratt Student Center open Sunday–Saturday 10 a.m. – 8p.m, by calling 615.322.4230, and at all Ticketmaster outlets.