Over the last decade there’s been a burgeoning of what we might call “Classical Fusion” – you know… classical ensembles offering their take on various musical genres or the oeuvre of a particular star name. Thus we’ve had classical readings of things like soulful house/Balearic dance, rock anthems, the Fab Four – even Northern soul at this year’s Proms! Then there ‘s the shed load of albums on which classical ensemble “enhance” the music of people like Elvis, Roy Orbison, Aretha et al! Working the other way there are a number of vocal groups who offer a bastardised/popularised take on the classics. But did you know that there’s also plenty who offer classical interpretations of Latin/Salsa music? The brand leaders are an ensemble known as CLASSICO LATINO (how original!!!)
Led by Colombian pianist Ivan Guevara and British cellist/conductor Graham Walker, the ensemble have five albums under their expansive belts and are about to release a sixth – ‘Salsa Classics’. This new seven tracker is rather specific as it focuses on the music of Columbian multi-instrumentalist and Salsa legend Julio Ernesto Estrada. Known as “Fruko”. In his homeland he’s described as “A behemoth of the international Salsa scene” and here CLASSICO LATINO aim to do him full justice. To be on the safe side dear old Fruko (he’s 72) joins in the fun as too does celebrated Cuban violinist Omar Puente.
Estrada’s best known song ‘El Presso’ kicks things off and sets the tone for an intriguing take on Latin music. The album’s out 17th November via Jazz Tone and if it’s a boat floater, Classico Latino will perform the album and much more live at London Kings Place on 7th December!