For the last five years the buzz has been growing around the Latin/salsa tent as a must-visit venue at Glastonbury. Now it's expanding - Glasto Latino is a field of its own, with a bigger tent - the size of Left Field - bigger stage, bigger dance floor, and surrounded by Latin food and drink stalls. And bigger acts too: every night, after the main stages finish, we have sets from world-famous Latin bands. For the afternoons, we have flown in one of the best Son bands from Santiago, Cuba's old colonial capital and centre of music. They will be entertaining you between our ever-popular beginners' salsa classes, offered once again by some of the UK's top instructors.
And no Latin area would be complete without a bar - as well as offering the best mojitos this side of Havana, Cubana is providing a full range of beers wines and spirits... Is this the year Glasto goes Latin? Come and find out!
Roberto Pla's Latin Ensemble - 20-piece Big Band
Roberto Pla is known as the Godfather of Latin music in the UK. Born in Barranquilla, on Colombia's North atlantic coast, an area rich in music and folklore, he moved to the capital, Bogota and quickly became established, playing with the best bands in the country, touring Latin America and the US, and appearing on TV weekly. After a spell in New York as a session musician with some of the city's legendary musicians, Roberto relocated to London, where, as well as starting the UK's first salsa band, Valdez, his unique style earned him a place playing with acts as diverse as Boney M, Joe Strummer, Kate Bush and even Motorhead! For Glasto Latino, Roberto is pulling out all the stops, bringing his 20-piece all-star Latin Big Band, who will be playing a special set designed for late-night dancing and partying.
Gerardo Rosales Y Su Combo Mondial,
Legendary Venezuelan percussionist Gerardo Rosales is one of the greats of Latin music. He has been performing, writing and arranging for over 30 years, with projects too many to mention, though notably he was the founder of both the pioneer Venezuelan Masters Orchestra and the seminal Our Latin Groove. He is also known for his collaborations with many other famous Latin and jazz artists - Paquito d'Rivera, Bebo Valdés, Toots Thielemans and Dee Dee Bridgewater among many others. The benchmark descarga.com described his latest album as "_very_ powerful stuff, and rated it "Best of 2012". At Glastonbury he is bringing us his Combo Mundial, a very special 9-piece selection of top players from around the world. Don't expect to be able to stand still!
Ondatrópica featuring Frente Cumbiero and Quantic
This is the present, past and future of Latin sound. The latest project from world-renowned producer and musician Quantic (currently resident in Bogotá), along with Frente Cumbiero's Mario Galeano, brings together all-time stars of Colombian music, including percussion icon Fruko and piano genius Alfredito Linares, jamming with the leaders of the new Cumbia funksters. Also on board are the singer Markkitos Micolta, owner of one of the most distinctive voices in Pacific folklore and trumpeter Jorge Gaviria who has played and recorded with pretty much everyone in the world. Combined, they sound like nothing else: the ten-piece band's extraordinary live show brings together cumbia, salsa, hip-hop and mambo, taking in jazz, funk, electro and dub along the way. Theirs is a tropical swinging groove, with the urban global beat of today. Ondatrópica are making _big_ waves!
Ají Pa' Tí
Bristol is renowned for its vibrant, happening and varied music scene, a fertile ground for players of diverse backgrounds to share and create new things. Here, a long way from home, a group of musicians from different parts of Latin America and beyond have come together to form Ají Pa' Tí (Spice for You). And this is spicy! - a heady mix of traditional and modern styles - cumbia, dub, salsa, bolero and bambuco - traditional and modern instruments, the smoking hot tones of Cuban vocalist Indira Román, and the uptempo rhythms of "tropical electro-acoustic folk dance". Indescribable? you really have to hear it...
Alma De Cuba + Los Guanches
As any Cuban will tell you, salsa music originated in Son. Son is the traditional dance music of Cuba (made famous by the Buena Vista Social Club) - acoustic instruments, in the hands of master musicians, turning simple sounds into a multi-rhythmed, multi-layered irresistible polyphony. When it reached New York, the locals added brass and amplification, and the sound, now known as salsa, can be heard all over the world. This is the original though: Los Guanches (here playing as Alma De Cuba) are one of the foremost Son groups from its ancestral home, Santiago de Cuba, which in contrast to Atlantic Havana, faces the warm waters of the Caribbean. Started by bassist Armando Machado when Cuarteto Patria (Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo) split in 1993, Los Guanches have gone from strength to strength, touring the world, and returning to Santiago to perform, record, and lead the conga parade at the annual carnival. We are incredibly lucky to host these master soneros as our resident band - as well as playing every afternoon, they'll be carrying the party into the small hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
Salsa Classes - every afternoon
By popular demand, we're again running three salsa classes a day, served up by two of the funkiest teachers in the country. Classes are free, suitable for absolute beginners, and there's no need to bring a partner - everyone gets swapped around throughout the class anyway.
For resident teacher and MC Nigel May it's been six years since his first Glastonbury appearance - since then he's led thousands of (sometimes!) welly- and mud-clad converts through live salsa bands and international DJs' parties. He's just returned from teaching in Cuba, DJing in the Mediterranean dancing in the highlands and adjudicating dance events in Europe. Never one to sit still for long, As much in demand for his reputation as Mr KPA (King Party Animal) he’ll be keeping everyone going all weekend.
Our guest this year is the inimitable Mr Rohan Brown. From Washington DC and Birmingham, England (it's complicated!), his previous careers have included pro basket ball player, athletics and catwalk model. While stationed in Puerto Rico he discovered salsa, and hasn't looked back - he now teaches at the highest level, DJs, MCs and comperes around the world. We've been trying to get him to Glastonbury since 2007, it's taken this long because his calendar is so crowded. But there's a simple reason for his success, and you could describe it in one word - FUN!
Our Latin/salsa tent is back with a field of its own