IF YOU GO
Out of Galway, Ireland emerges Baile An Salsa, a ten-piece band comprised of world class musicians featuring, Andres Martorell (vocals), Alan Preims (congas), Benjamin Becerra (bass), Michael Chang (fiddle), Frailan Moran (bata and percussion), Ger Chambers (accordeon), Brid Dunne (piano), Rags Ferguson (timbales and bodhran) and Gabriel G Diges (flute/ bouzouki).
MORE ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA FOLK FESTIVAL HERE
Seamlessly blending Latin salsa and traditional Irish music with a touch of Rumba, Flamenco and Sean Nos (traditional Irish singing), which Baile An Salsa calls “Salsa Trad,” it is not uncommon to hear songs sung in Irish, Spanish and English. In just a few short years, Baile An Salsa has established a creative presence internationally, one fan at a time.
“We haven’t reached as many people as we would like to, says lead singer Andres Martorell, from Galway, Ireland. “It is very difficult to get exposure when you play music that is not on the popular stream, and this makes it difficult for us to get to the people we want, but we are working on it!”
Founded in Galway, Ireland by Martorell in 2012, the sole purpose of the band was to merge a variety of musical styles that would resonate with varied cultures globally.
“We wanted to create a unique music style, with fusion,” recalls Martorell.” The dancing sound from our Latin rhythms mixed with the magical melodies from Irish Trad Music. We wanted to play our roots music from our homeland, and mixed it with the land that we all live in now, to give back and to share the music from Ireland with our people. What we do is completely different, fun and complex at the same time, the fusion is a big thing!”
Baile An Salsa released their debut EP “Salsa-Trad” in 2013 to positive reviews, gaining radio exposure, TV and concert appearances in Ireland and a fan base in Columbia, Poland, Singapore and China.
“The first time we saw on the dance floor people dancing so many different styles at the same time; people dancing salsa in one corner while others doing Irish dance at the same time, and another group just jumping/dancing their own way, in that moment, it was an eureka moment for us!” recalls Martorell. “That was it!”
“After we played Trad Fest in 2014 in Dublin Temple Bar, we started to play in many festivals in Ireland, plus we got our first invitation to play the USA, at the Kansas City Irish Fest,” recalls Martorell. “This was our turning point although I think we are still looking to turn a bit more.”
“We got voted #2 at the Colombian DJ’s dance charts in 2014,” adds Martorell. “We got to the top 20 in World Music iTunes’ downloads in China the month we released our album and Play Irish “Artist of the Month” by Ireland radio broadcasters. We also got selected for an official showcase at the Folk Alliance International in 2017.”
Three years since they released their first full-length album, “TRIBU” (2014), Baile An Salsa is working on their next record.
“This may be our biggest accomplishment so far,” says Martorell. “We are being produced by five time Grammy Winner producer Walter Flores, and we feel that our music now has matured enough to get to the place we all would like to be at. We are releasing in December/January.”
“So far, we are so happy with the support from everyone,” says Martorell. “We were a bit scared to be true about how “purists” in latin [music] or trad will take our music, but all the reviews so far have been amazing!
“We want people to experience happiness and joy for sure, but also, there’s a strong message of multi-culturalism in our music,” adds Martorell.
“We are really excited about playing at the Folk Festival! We cannot wait to see all of them on the dance floor!”