Percussionist and Merengue Jazz King, Alex Diaz, and his band, Son De La Calle, will return to SOB’s for a special edition of Salsa Groove on Friday, August 30! Also performing to celebrate the release of her latest album, ‘TriAngulo,’ will be Layla Angulo, one of the only female saxophonists/vocalists/band directors in the world of Latin music today.
Considered the pioneer of the merengue-jazz concept– a title inherited from his mentor, Mario Rivera El Comandante” (considered the best Dominican musician ever) —Alex Diaz began playing with popular local bands from his home region such as Nina “ El Gago”, “Yeyen” y su Bajo, “los Antillanos del Sabor” among others at the age of 10. At age 16, he joined the group “Los Juveniles del Sabor”, whose lead vocalists were Ruby Perez and Aramis Camilo, both considered among the best in the country.
A young Alex Diaz’s first gig in New York was with famed Dominican merengue singer, Victor White. Diaz’s big break came in a call from Jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz, with whom Diaz went on tour for the next two years. His career took off soon after, performing with big names such as Tito Puente, Jose Figaro, Chucho Valdez, Mario Bauza and the Afro Cuban Ban, Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nations Orchestra, Xavier Cougart, Ceila Cruz, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Cachoao, just to name a few.
Alex Diaz keeps busy today, performing alongside his band “Son De La Calle” around New York City. His latest project, “The Bebop Bogaloo Kings” is the first of many attempts in combining Jazz and Contemporary music with Santo Dominigo’s folkloric beat, “merengue.” This is only the beginning for Diaz, as his career continues its upward trajectory.
Layla Angulo is an adept composer, band director, singer, saxophonist, and flutist who has toured the world with her own 13 piece orchestra, as well as with reggaeton superstar Don Omar, Tito Puente Jr., and the Sugarhorns. In addition to playing with the best, Layla has received numerous awards for composition including her 2010 Hit, “Que Te Vaya Bien Sin Mi” in the International Songwriting Competition.
Layla was also a semi-finalist for her latest salsa tune, ‘La Pelicula.’ Having worked with Luisito Quintero, Oscar Stagnaro, Arturo O’Farrill, Tony Escapa, Carlos Cascante (Spanish Harlem Orchestra), MastaKriz LaGuira, and other Grammy award-winning musicians, Layla’s set to bring her masterful sounds and heavenly voice to SOB’s for Salsa Groove to perform songs from her forthcoming album, ‘TriAngulo,’ which is to mark a breakthrough moment in her career.
Bring your dancing shoes and prepare to groove like you never have before on Friday, August 30! Doors for this event open at 5PM, with an afterwork happy hour from 5-7, a beginners salsa dance lesson at 7, and the first set of live music with Alex Diaz beginning at 8PM. There will be a second set with Layla at 10PM.