NYC's Spanish Harlem Orchestra transforms Seattle's Jazz Alley into salsa party

By Carol Banks Weber, AXS

After the sixth song, Spanish Harlem Orchestra bandleader Oscar Hernandez exclaimed jubilantly to the audience: “We took it somewhere else.” The 13-member, all-star salsa dura band from New York City definitely did in its 10-song, one-and-a-half-hour opening night set at Seattle’s Jazz Alley last Thursday.

Every song the Grammy-winning band performed — mostly from the new, self-titled album — even the one or two ballads, exploded with high energy, passion, and excruciatingly tight, polyrhythmic syncopation that every audience felt in the feet.

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