Following last year’s success (we won “Concert of the Year” at the UK Latin Awards) once again Glasto Latino is in a field of its own – a feast of music, dance, song, percussion, colour, food and drink from the world of the senses that is Latin culture. We’re in the South-East (aka Naughty) Corner, between Block 9 and The Common. with a big tent, stage and a full dance floor, surrounded by stalls offering everything you need, and a big open area for you to enjoy yourself.
Every night, after the main stages finish, there will be sets from world-famous Latin bands, including one of the world’s top vocalists, an international drum maestro, and British artists who are stars in Latin America. In the afternoons, we’re putting on a Cuban carnival, with costumed dancers, musicians and percussion – this on top of our ever-popular beginners’ salsa classes, three times a day, with two of the country’s top teachers.
And we have a new and improved bar – the Latino Beat – set in a striking Cuban street scene, offering full drinks service, and as usual the best cocktails this side of Havana.
Mayito Rivera and the Sons of Cuba
Mayito Rivera – “The Poet of Rumba” – is on the absolute top level of singers worldwide, a giant of Cuban music, renowned for the power and atmosphere that he brings with him everywhere he goes, moving audiences as well as keeping them moving. For fifteen years he was front man with Los Van Van, uncontested as Cuba’s top band, winning countless awards, as well as being Grammy-nominated for his own project “Negrito Bailador”. His guest appearances with other groups are legendary – “creating the mood, among the bandmembers and audience, that history is taking place before their eyes.” (timba.com). At the same time, he has featured on nearly every all-star compilation produced in Cuba in the last decade.
Glastonbury will be the final night – and only UK appearance – of his tour with new project “The Sons of Cuba”, an 8-piece band with some the island’s hottest young talent. Expect a night to burn the dance floor!
Imagine a band with congas and a banjo, with a full brass section and bagpipes, with vocals in Spanish and Gaelic. Imagine numbers that flow seamlessly from furious rumbas to foot-stomping jigs and reels. This is Salsa Celtica, whose fusion of Latin music and Scottish/Irish folk has no parallel anywhere else on earth – making them ideally suitable for the Glasto crowd! Originating when top traditional music players and expatriate South Americans met up in the pubs and clubs of Edinburgh, and became fascinated by each others’ styles, their unique fusion has led to six albums, and sold-out performances not just in the Scottish Highlands, but in Venezuela and Colombia, where the fans know all the words to the songs, and earlier this year queued for hours, around the block, to get tickets to their sell-out concerts.
Edwin Sanz’s ‘San Agustin’ Salsa Orchestra ft Alex Wilson
San Agustin is the barrio in Caracas, Venezuela where percussionist Edwin Sanz was born and raised. He is now paying tribute to this hotbed of creativity with a band featuring some of the top salsa musicians in Europe. Edwin is a master of rhythm, a professional dancer since the age of 6, and percussionist for some of the best – the list is too long to mention, but includes the Gypsy Kings, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Africando and Cheo Feliciano. Leading light in his band is legendary keyboard player Alex Wilson, who must be one of the very few Brits to be invited to Cuba to teach Latin music. His own compositions have been salsa hits worldwide, and we’ll be hearing them when the band performs. Another ‘be there’ night!
Ají Pa’ Tí
Back for a second year after their tent-packing performance in 2013 – a collection of ten musicians from Latin America and beyond who have come together amidst Bristol’s eclectic musical scene, Ají Pa’ Tí means literally ‘Spice for You’. And spice is exactly what they have to offer, playing a heady mix of cumbia, dub, salsa, bolero, bambuco and more, on a spectrum of instruments from traditional to modern, topped off with Indira Román’s smoking hot vocals. They call it “tropical electro-acoustic folk dance”. We call it… indescribable but hot!
Son Yambu and Cuban Carnival
Son Yambu play authentic Cuban son, the intoxicating fusion of Spanish and African rhythms that gave rise to salsa. The band features a new generation of Cuban musicians who are all passionate about maintaining the traditions of the genre, but at the same time giving this irresistible music a contemporary edge. For Glastonbury they’ll be teaming up with a troupe of costumed dancers from Santiago de Cuba, and a truckload of percussion, to offer a daily dose of Cuban carnival. Every afternoon we’ll be filling the field with music, drumming and dancing: participation will be _very_ hard to resist!
By now a fixed and indispensable part of the programme, our salsa classes are just short of a riot. Whether you already bust some fine moves, or whether you think you have two left feet, our teachers – Mauricio and Nigel are two of the UK’s best – will get you shaking your stuff in ways you hadn’t imagined – and dancing _with_ one another: salsa after all is a partner dance. But you don’t have to bring a partner, everyone gets swapped around – it’s all part of the fun. There are three classes every afternoon, so there has to be one that suits your schedule!