There's a New Band in Town

L.A. Salsa Connection brings back the classic sounds of salsa

Published on LatinoLA: April 30, 2003

There's a New Band in Town

Ivan Montero and Joe Campanella are proud and honored to present L.A. Salsa Connection. This is a 9-piece Salsa band directed by Joe Campanella (formerly of Corporaci?n Latina), and specializes in authentic Salsa Dura, Salsa Gorda, and Salsa Cl?sica.

During the 70s, Salsa bands carried their own signature/style. It was not uncommon to recognize bands by hearing only the first few notes of the song due to their distinctive and unique sound. L.A. Salsa Connection not only carries attributes of the great Salsa bands of the 70s, but they also carry a signature-sound of their own.

Their arrangements and sound stay true to Salsa Cl?sica, keeping the original concept intact. At the same time, this eclectic group of professional and dedicated musicians add a distinctive style they can claim as their own, essentially bridging the sound and discipline of the 70s with the new millennium.

Director, Joe Campanella, is himself part of Salsa history, as one of the founding members of the famous Salsa Band in the early 70s, Corporaci?n Latina. This band was one of three great bands at the time from the same San Juan, Puerto Rico neighborhood. The other two were Isidro Infante and Raphy Leavitt y La Selecta.

Joe was with Corporaci?n Latina from 1970 until late 1977. During that time they recorded four albums, three of which achieved Gold? status, and had approximately 20 Top 10 hits, 10 of which rose to Number One. It was during those years of touring all over the East Coast of the United States, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico that Joe shared stages with the best: Eddie Palmieri, T?pica 73, Bobby Rodr?guez, Sonora Ponce?a, Larry Harlow, Ritchie Ray & Bobby Cruz just to name a few.

In late 1977, Joe opted for a career change and being the scholar he always was, he chose the computer field, and that's where he's been ever since-- that is, until recently. Over the past 25 years Joe always maintained friendships in the industry and sat in occasionally with local bands in Los Angeles, CA.

After a 25-year leave of absence from Salsa music, Joe is making a comeback, and this time he's brought his Los Angeles musician friends with him. His discontent with the current Salsa music "cookie-cutter" arrangements, "pretty faces with nice voices", and lack of "sabor" in the industry is what fueled his desire to make a comeback and bring back the authentic sound he helped create -- that which we today call, Salsa Cl?sica.

Lead vocalist and band manager Iv?n "Pitufo" Montero has been involved in numerous facets of the music industry over the past 18 years. This multi-talented young singer has managed to work as a DJ, Musician, and Record Pool Director, all while serving on Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force at the same time.

His first experience as a lead singer came about eight years ago while stationed on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Due to the geographical location of Okinawa, "Live" Salsa bands were almost impossible to come by, so Iv?n and his military friends decided to put together a Salsa Band and play in the military clubs. The band's popularity reached not only in the clubs, but also all over the island at festivals and concerts.

Since that time Iv?n has played with several local bands in the Los Angeles area polishing his skills as a singer. His unique bi-cultural upbringing between Puerto Rico and the United States serves as the foundation for his unique style; true to his jibaro? roots, yet molded to fit today's genre.

To listen to demo music by L.A. Salsa Connection visit www.LASalsaConnection.com .

For booking information or to receive a copy of their demo by mail contact:

Ivan Montero (310) 489-9377 or Ivan@MonteroMusic.com or Joe Campanella (714) 865-6480 or melenj585@cs.com

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