Listen to the Live Interview February 8 Episode #423: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Interview with: Marcus Hernandez from Orchestra Fuego

We’d like to feature a cover song in our albums and will continue that tradition. We chose Quimbara- which was a hit song in 1974 that Celia Cruz performed with Johnny Pacheco. We want to celebrate her great contribution to salsa music. The word Quimbara is an African word that means an “expression of happiness”. Celia Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa” and I would like to honor her memory by redoing this song that everyone associates with her. We partnered with Arturo Ortiz, former musical director for Ricky Martin, to do a fresh arrangement to the song, and it sizzles. When we perform this song the dance floor gets jammed packed and you can see the delight in people’s eyes; it brings back a lot of good memories of Celia Cruz and Salsa music as a hole.


Music Video…
We are in the works of doing our third music video to one of our songs from the new Salsa Brava album titled “Isla De Mi Querer”; this song was written by our two lead singers Jorge Tamayo and Luis Aponte. The song is about the things they love from their native islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico respectively. It encourages a positive brotherhood between these two beautiful islands. The video of this song will have some scenes of the beaches of St. Pete. The entire band is part of the video, but it will mostly feature the singers and myself. We expect it to come out sometime in May of this year.

The Work…
Since our debut, we have maintained the NYC Salsa music flavor and I truly believe it is what fans are looking for. Many of our Florida fans are NYC transplants. When they hear our music it keeps the NYC culture in them alive. We want our music to remind them of the Corso, the Copa, and the Casa Blanca clubs in NYC. We write our music with the dancer in mind. We want our audience so moved by our music that they get up and dance. An example of this is when we performed for the Latin American Club of Citrus Hills. It was stage event with the audience sitting in a theater.

The crowd was so moved by the music that they got up in the aisles to dance. Our music and performances have lots of energy. We get our audience involved in our songs by getting the singers into the crowds and let them sing or dance with us on stage. We also capture the excitement in the recording studio, so when our audience listen to our music on the radio in their cars, they want to take out a pair of maracas and play along with us. We want our passion for salsa to be contagious. Fans that have seen us perform have stated how infectious our music is.


Currently we are in the creative mode…
in writing and composing our own original songs for our third album. In this album, we want to take our salsa music to the next level artistically. Our band is growing together and expanding our artistry. After the spring, we look to forward to more opportunities to play not only all over Florida, but up the Eastern coast and beyond. Presently we are also developing a plan to market our music around the world to not just the Florida and NYC audience but to everyone. We would love the opportunity to do a tour in South America where Salsa and Latin music in general is thriving.


Balancing life…
music and marketing is a challenge. Finding time daily to be creative and to practice our art is difficult in the face of work, family and other responsibilities. But, we make time for it. I currently do all our music marketing which includes 4 or 5 social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Reverb Nation, etc. I try to post updates on our status of recordings, awards, and shows every week, but it’s getting difficult to continue recording, performing and doing all the marketing on my own. I am looking for a service that shares our vision, has the right connections in the salsa industry, and at the right price to do that for me.

3 Things:
First, your music production should be of the best quality; second, if your live band members are just not good in the studio, consider hiring studio musicians. Not all musicians are good in the studio; they may rock when they play live, but studio is a whole different environment. Third, hire good arrangers that will work with you and arrange music around your style.

I wished would have done more research into the marketing strategies and may have hired a service from the beginning. Especially that there are very little recording companies out there and you’re basically on your own.


We are in Land O Lakes, Florida…
which is near Tampa. The Latin music scene in Tampa is very subdued; not much happening in this part of town for large live salsa bands as far as night clubs are concerned. In the local area, we perform mostly for private parties. Salsa music is somewhat thriving in larger urban areas like Orlando and Miami, but we’re starting to see more and more fans like our music in our area and we’ve been blessed to have performed in some of the best Country Clubs in Tampa.


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