Downtown After 5 rolls around again this Friday; the fourth in this five-concert series that takes place on the third Friday of the month, May-Sept.
The Friday, Aug. 20 show kicks off just after 5 p.m. with opening act Nuevo Montuno Salsa Orchestra. The local up-to-10-piece band says, “Nuevo Montuno performs driving salsa in the 1960’s and 70’s New York style. Music for the dancers.” Bnd leader Grant Cuthbertson DJs Latin dance parties, plays bass and, in the late 1990s, performed with the Tyler Ramsey Trio. A few years ago, Bold Life wrote, “With the popularity of the Buena Vista Social Club project he found several Latin bands that were mixing traditional Cuban music with other Latin styles, including Montuno, Los Gringos Salseros, and Eta Carina. ‘None of them were salsa bands,’ [Cuthbertson] says. ‘That’s more like son, it’s Cuban music.’ A couple songs might be more like salsa as far as tempo and feel, but in general it’s traditional stuff. Eventually I just found other songs that I wanted to do, and started writing them out, and it kind of snowballed.”
The headliner is SPAM Allstars, a nine-piece hip-hop/Latin/funk/electronica group from Miami (they take their name from DJ Le Spam). The instruments on stage are an interesting juxtaposition of digital and analog (turntable and samplers. trombone and guitar), jazz and roots (saxes, congas). The group’s own bio states, “DJ Le Spam & the Spam Allstars blend improvisational electronic elements and turntables with latin, funk, hip hop and dub to create an electronic descarga.” Their most recent release is 2008’s best of compilation, Introducing Spam Allstars.
The show is free and takes place on Lexington Ave. near the I-240 overpass.