"What Sharon Jones did for oldschool soul, what Antibalas did for Afrobeat . . .Spanglish Fly is doing for bugalu." – Lucid Culture
SPANGLISH FLY’s members have origins in Puerto Rico, the Upper West Side, Cuba, Japan, New Jersey, Canada, and Mexico. They come together in New York to play music born in 1960s Spanish Harlem. With their pulsating Latin percussion, soulful horn section, swinging bass and piano, and divine vocalist who offers dance lessons at every show, they provide memorable evenings of a party atmosphere and endless dancing!
SPANGLISH FLY breathes new life into Latin classics like “Bang Bang” and “Micaela”, makes hips shake to fresh boogaloo arrangements of soul standards such as “Fever” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” and mixes in irreverent originals like “My Shingaling Boy” and “Here Come the Po-po”—their new take on the old school!
Since the summer of 2009, SPANGLISH FLY has been thrilling audiences at venues such as SOBs, Le Poisson Rouge, Barbes, and Camaradas El Barrio in NYC, World Café Live in Philadalphia, and the Harrisburg Jazz and Multi-Cultural Festival.
Charly Rodriguez, timbales/ Dimitri Moderbacher, bass/ Erica Ramos, lead vocals/ Jonathan Flothow, bari sax/ Jonathan Goldman a/k/a Jonny Semi-Colón, trumpet/Martin Wallace, piano/ Gabo Tomasini, perc/ Mick Santurio, perc/ Rose Imperato, tenor sax/ Sebastian Isler, trombone/ Atsushi Tsumura, trumpet/Rafael de los Reyes, perc
EP: "Latin Soul y Bugalú"
7" single: "Think" b/w "Let My People Bugalú"
Selected Radio stations:
WKCR New York City
WNYU New York City
WFMU New Jersey
WBAI New York City
WUSB Long Island
WWOZ New Orleans
WRTI Philadelphia, PA
KRUU Fairfield, Iowa
102.7 Melbourne, Australia
PBS 106.7 Melbourne, Australia
BBC 6 The Craig CXharles Funk and Soul Show," U.K.
Hard Salsa Radio (internet)
Break Thru Radio (internet)
Blue Raccoon Radio (internet)
CD Review: Spanglish Fly's "Latin Soul y Bugalú"
[+ Show ]
This is what Spanish Harlem was rocking to forty years ago. What Sharon Jones did for oldschool soul...This is what Spanish Harlem was rocking to forty years ago. What Sharon Jones did for oldschool soul, what Antibalas did for Afrobeat and what Chicha Libre is doing for chicha, Spanglish Fly is doing for bugalu. It’s what happened when Cuban son melodies collided with Stax/Volt and Motown, with fiery horns and a fat midtempo groove over a latin beat. It was a Nuyorican phenomenon and very popular back in the day. If you know Bang Bang by Joe Cuba, this is the same kind of thing. It’s about time somebody brought this stuff back and it’s a good thing it’s this band because they have authentic sabor with a 5-piece horn section, three percussionists, piano and a rhythm section plus Erica Ramos’ casually alluring, soulful voice soaring over it when there’s room. As dance music, it’s irresistible (at a live show, the group will often offer a free dance lesson for anglos or newschoolers who didn’t have the good fortune to grow up with this).
The cd’s opening track, Think (Pensamiento) is typical of what the old bugalú bands would do, a brand-new latin version of the old James Brown hit with fat low end, tight horns and a suspenseful intensity where the band theatens to completely rip it apart at the end but just manage to keep it together. An original, Latin Soul Stew was obviously made to be played live, with soaring trumpet over an ominous piano groove, the horns coming back in full force after a little vocal break. Another original, by one of the band’s trumpeters Jonny Semi-Colón a/k/a Jonathan Goldman sounds like ska but with a slinkier groove. Like a lot of bugalu hits, it’s a series of trick endings where the intensity builds every time the song comes back, with a gospel-inspired break toward the end. There’s also a joyously rattling cover of the big Ray Barretto crossover hit New York Soul.
The band is an inspired collection of veteran New York jazzcats: besides Ramos and Goldman, they have Martin Wallace on piano, Mick Santurio on congas, Charly Rodriguez on timbales, Gabo Tomasini on bongos, Atsushi Tsumura on trumpet, Dimitri Moderbacher on bass, Rose Imperato on tenor sax, Jonathan Flothow on bari sax and Sebastian Isler on trombone.
SPANGLISH FLY breathes new life into Latin classics like “Bang Bang” and “Micaela”, makes hips shake to fresh boogaloo arrangements of soul standards such as “Fever” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” and mixes in joyous originals like “Latin Soul Stew” and “Here Come the Po-po”—their new take on the old school!
Our club dates typically last for hours! But we have also been brought in to events to play a short set that revs up an audience or brings the night to its peak.
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
El Dia de Mi Suerte
Happy Soul with a Fly Hook
Here Come the Po-po
My Shingaling Boy
Let My People Bugalú
Mira Ven Aca
Sweet Tater Pie
New York Soul
Time is On My Side
Me Gusta mi Bicicleta
There are no upcoming dates at this time.