One of the best ways to master the Salsa timing and rhythm is attending live performances and watching the players as the play. The visual association of the playing band members with the sound they produce helps us to internalize the patterns and separate the rhythms played by the different instruments.
Unfortunately, not all of us are able to afford going to live Salsa performances, and even those who do usually stand far away from the players, unable to notice all the happenings on stage. And some of us can’t just stand and watch, as soon as the music begins we grab our partner and start dancing…
With this in mind, I have decided to share with you some of my favorite clips where you can watch high quality live performances, including camera close-ups of the players. So here we go:
Tito Puente – Ran Kan Kan (HD)
Watch out for the great Timbales solo, played on 6 different drums around minute 4:20.
Marc Anthony – Nadie Como Ella (Live Bógota, Colombia)
So many energies on the stage, hosting J. Lopez for a short dance, and a great Conga solo by Eric Velez around minute 6:20.
Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz – Sonido Bestial (HD)
Richie Ray is one of the most talented Latin piano players I know. This video ends with four special solos dedicated for the following instruments: Congas, Bongos, Piano and Timbales. You can actually see how the band members signal to each other and communicate the changes in the music when the play.
Juan Carlos & Dan Den – Viejo Lazaro
Featuring a crazy pianist, a lot of close-ups on the percussion and piano players and funny faces. Around minute 5:10 there’s a call-and-response sections between the piano and the timbales, and you can actually notice the on-stage dynamics between the players. Minute 6:24 in the clip holds a little surprise for you
These 4 songs are just the tip of the iceberg, and still, there is a lot to learn from watching them. If you have any questions or want a break-down of any of the songs above, please leave a comment.
Last word, if you know any good youtube links for live Salsa performances, I invite to share them too. Just leave a comment below with the youtube link. Thanks !