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And the Beat Goes On...

Ray Carrion's Latin Legend All Star & Europa Bands pack houses in the San Gabriel Valley

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: March 24, 2015


And the Beat Goes On...


Alright!

{b}Just in time to kick off an early Summer 2015 in the Land of 1000 Dances, one of the best Latin Soul-Chicano Rock-Afro Cubano-Old School-Oldies but Goodies-Comedy Shows on the West Coast happened this past weekend,[/b] and I was honored and thrilled to be a part of it for 2 nights of music-comedy magic.

Celebrating his birthday and the love of good music & good people, popular L.A. bandleader RAY CARRION assembled some of the best music talent in the Southland, who have become known as "Thee Latin Legend All Stars" for very, VERY obvious reasons, and celebrated for 2 nights with a great crowd that came from all over to party.

The City of Industry VFW Post 144, long a landmark in the heart of Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley for many years for hosting countless dances, parties, weddings, concerts, and other celebrations for over a half century, was the spot for Ray's Old School Music & Comedy Show, which sold out both nights to standing room only capacity.

Featuring Internet TV's Thee Mr. Duran as host, yours truly Frankie Firme as house DJ, and the top 2 Chicano Comedians in the Country, Rudy Moreno and Gilbert Esquivel, as well as the famed Latin Legends and Europa groups, the lucky attending audience was privy to good food, good drinks, good company, and some great music talent that reads like a musical "Who's Who?" on the West Coast.

Along with bandleader Ray Carrion at guitar, other artists included singers Rocky Padilla, Steve Salas, Hank Castro, Gilbert Stokes, TeCheetah Lopez, Monibee Henley, Tex Nakamura, Mike Castanon, Matt Legaspi, Andy Rojo, Francesca Capasso, and Thee Midniter's Jimmy Espinosa, legendary horn men Bobby Loya, Bobby Navarrette, John Burrolla, keyboardists Tony Hernandez & Steve Sanchez, percussionists Dale Villavicencio, Victor Orlando, with SANTANA's Walfredo Reyes Jr and Ndugu Chancler, drummer Steve Gutierrez and bassist Tony Banda. Of course, there were also plenty of music celebrities in the audience.

The VFW Post 144's staff was welcoming and warm, providing some good food, including "home style just-like-Mom's" potato salad & chili beans to accompany some killer L.A. bacon-dogs that left none hungry or craving, and the bar was generous and never ran dry.

The full house & standing room-only capacity negated a dance floor, but that didn't stop the Gente from finding spots all over the hall to boogaloo & cuddle up.

With Thee Latin Legends performing such wonderful Soul, Chicano Rock, R&B, Old School, Latin Soul and Funk classics (Rocky Padilla even threw in a little Rap), along with some cumbia, bolero, Blues, & Selena classics, EUROPA gave us some outstanding vintage Santana Afro-Cubano-Latino rock music that would make Carlos himself sit up and take notice.

Top that off with the original "straight outta da 'hood" stand up comedy from the two masters of laughter Rudy & Gilbert, and me spinnin' the Oldies & Old School Soul tunes before & in between the bands, there was everything musical & entertaining you would want in Aztlan and the Land of 1000 Dances.

"Man! It takes a lot of work putting these shows together, and I have to thank my wonderful wife Maria, and a lot of friends for their help & support, along with the great entertainment artists who together make up the heart & soul of our shows," Ray Carrion tells LatinoLA. " I can't thank these talented people enough for giving the audience their best efforts at every performance wherever we go on tour. They're the reason we sell out wherever we go."

"We originally had only scheduled March 21st at the VFW, but we sold out so quickly, and I kept getting calls from good people still wanting to purchase tickets for our show, so we were lucky to get an additional day, March 20th, which also sold out very quickly. Along with performing my heart out, I also try and accommodate people and include the best talent at some of the best venues, but it still makes me feel bad that some people have to stand, and we have to turn people away at the door who came all dressed up and ready to party and enjoy our show."

By popular demand, Ray will be bringing this famed show back to the City of Industry on May 22nd and 23rd.get your tickets now!

For more good shows happening in the Land of 1000 Dances, check out our Calendario page, and pass it on !

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the Microphone & The Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul
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