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Interview mit Joaquin Arteaga von Bloque 53

Bloque 53

Bloque 53, eine Salsa-Dura-Band, die in Barcelona beheimatet ist, überraschte im Januar 2010 mit einer Salsa-Dura CD im Vibe-Sound (mit Vibrafon). Michael von Salsa-Berlin.de hatte die Gelegenheit zu einem Interview mit dem Bandleader Joaquin Arteaga ( http://www.joaquinarteaga.com ).

Und unter unserer Rubrik CD des Monats findet Ihr eine CD-Besprechung des neuen Bloque 53 Albums

[«] Zurück zur Interview-Übersichtsseite

Michael: Joaquin, Congratulations for your first album La Ruta De La Salsa. Could you tell us about the band. Who is Bloque 53? - I found the names in the booklet but who is behind the names. Are these musicians all from Spain?

Bloque 53 is a project that started 4 years ago searching for a new sound in salsa but without forgeting the swing and texture of salsa brava. Is formed by Miguel Porras and Joaquin Arteaga from Venezuela, Tito Bonacera from Argentina, Andreu Caadell and Andreu Vilar from Catalunya Spain. We like to use guest vocalists to give a variaty of taste on songs, but with the same concept. On la ruta de la salsa we have vocalist Enso Verd, Ernesto Melaito Paz and Lenin Jimenez from Venezuela, and Diana Feria from Canary Island. Musical production and concept is by percussionist Joaquin Arteaga (www.joaquinartega.com) who has worked as a percussionist with Gerardo Rosales, Venezuelan Masters orquestra, Larry Harlow, La Sucursal s.a., among others.

Michael: How came it to the the name 'Bloque 53'?

The name BLOQUE 53 was given by 1st vocalist and co-founder of the band Lenin Jimenez, because it was the place (Bloque 53) in Venezuela in barrio "23 de enero" where his family use to live. We loved the name cause it got personality !!! and we started calling our self Bloque.

Michael: Could you live in Barcelona from the Salsa music or do you have to work in other jobs?

All of us are professional musicians, working and studying 24 hours a day!!! we love it, but it is really hard to make a living out of music, specially salsa. But the best regard is watching the people dance and enjoy themselves while you are playing ! I (Joaquin) also teach percussion at my own private studio, as most of the band and I play with other bands from Barcelona, playing other styles too, from jazz to funk.

Michael: Your band plays excellent Salsa Dura with a Vibrafono. How came this idea? I don't know another band in Europe with this style.

Thanks for the comment! At the begining we where searching a new sound, and no one played with vibes in Barcelona, so we thougt about a sextet, it is a lot easier to move a band as a sextet than 12 musicians, thats when everything started, we found Andreu Vilar , a classic vibrafone player that we convert into a salsero hahahha!!! we corrupt him ! and he loves the music so we started giving him salsa from Joe Cuba, Grupo Mango, Alfredo Naranjo y su Guajeo, Louie Ramirez,,,, and he is really into it now !!!!! At the moment I dont know if in Europe someone else is doing it with our sound.... o sorry yes ! I know that Cutufla ( my favorite timbale player, living in Paris), got a new sextet with his son on vibes and it sounds great ! Cutufla is a great inspiration for me.

Michael: Could you tell us a little bit about the production of the CD?

We started composing on our 2009 summer tour through Spain, and got into the studio in October, with Venezuelan sound engeneer Jim Colominas in Barcelona. He is an excellent professional. It was really hard to find soneros in Barcelona, since I wanted to have diferent voices on the CD. I work with Enso in other bands (Sabor y Son and la Sucursal) so I call him, Ernesto Melaito Paz had 3 years without singing, so I convince him to start again, Lenin Jimenez it was part of the band since the begining but he left for personal problems, but we wanted him on the CD. And Diana Feria is a great vocalist in Barcelona, she is new on salsa but is like she always did! So we are using Bloque 53 as a platform to show Vocalists and soneros in Europe ! Someone wants to jump in????

Michael: What is your favourite song on this first release :-)

waoh,,, thats hard question.... Its hard to say, I dont want to sound selfish since is my composition, but I like a lot Baila la Negra, originally it is a tune I composed for Tambores Venezolanos in 6/8, and I adapted to salsa. And I think ESE DOLOR is agreat tune too, composed by Karla Leardini from Colombia. It got nice taste !

Michael: Yeah, I like these 2 songs too - and Ese Dolor is the song we are playing here in Berlin :-). Joaquin, thank you very much for the interview. We wish you a great success with your first release!