Live Shots: Tito Gonzales at Red Poppy, 7/31/09

Text and photos by Ariel Soto

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I love how everyone makes Latin music their own, from the blonde dude shaking his head and slapping his leg in time, to the Asian couple cha-cha-chaing across the room with elegant ease and perfectly choreographed movements. At a performance on Friday, July 31st, at the Red Poppy Art House, Tito Gonzales, a renowned Cuban tres player (an instrument similar to guitar), stated that the bolero was born in Cuba, but then someone in the audience shouted out “No, es de Colombia!”

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But none of this really mattered because the only important thing that night was that everyone had a good dance partner and just enough space to shake and twist a bit. Tito’s band played all the classics, including “Besame Mucho,” and made it totally impossible for anyone to stay in their seats. If you like the Buena Vista Social Club, you’ll love Tito and his Son De Cuba. And if you missed the show on Friday, they’ll be preforming again at the San Jose Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 8th. As for the original birth place of Latin music, well, that will always be a mystery.

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