August 22, 2008

Salsa Band’s Cuban Style is Explosive

By David Steinberg Journal Staff Writer

Trombonist Cesar Bauvallet thinks of his 15-year-old salsa band Son Como Son as a little school of selfimprovement. The musicians in the Albuquerque band have learned how to play salsa in its many forms, and they always want to get better at it.

"I am very proud that every single member enjoys rehearsing, polishing, bringing new things," Bauvallet said.

He came to the United States from his native Cuba 16 years ago and established the band a year later.

"Cuban-style salsa is more explosive. It uses elements from jazz, uses more rumba and has the influence of the bat drums," he explained.

Salsa from other countries such as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela has its own mix of elements, the 47-year-old Bauvallet said.

Bauvallet picked up drum sticks at age 4 and his father taught him how to play the drums, the timbal, the trumpet and the trombone. And music theory.

As a teenager, he got a classical music education at a music conservatory, where he learned piano and composition. While still in school, he was a studio musician and also was playing in bands with such well-known musicians as Arturo Sandoval and Paquito d'Rivera.

"One of the biggest accomplishments in my life was being in an all-star band backing up Dizzy Gillespie at the Havana Jazz Festival," Bauvallet said.

Bauvallet came to the United States because he was outspoken politically. "I flew out before I was jailed," he said.

Ninety percent of Son Como Son's repertoire of 60-plus tunes are his compositions and arrangements; the rest are covers.

Most of the players have been with the band for years.

Son Como Son

WHEN: 7 tonight

WHERE: Amphitheater, Albuquerque Museum, 2000 Mountain NW

HOW MUCH: $12 general public, $10 students and seniors, $9 Albuquerque Museum and New Mexico Jazz Workshop members at the door

(c) 2008 Albuquerque Journal. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.