Various Artists – Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks

Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks

Caché – El Sonero Llegó

Caché – “El Sonero Llegó”
Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks

There is a booming Latin music community in Toronto. At the heart of the movement is Lula Lounge – a multifaceted, arts venue and organization that brings people from different backgrounds together to celebrate live music. Nestled in a traditionally Portuguese neighborhood of Toronto, Lula Lounge offers patrons a first-class performance space, killer sound, delicious food and a supportive atmosphere. Now in their tenth year, Lula Lounge has compiled a CD of the impressive Latin sounds coming out of Toronto. Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks features fifteen tracks of the hottest salsa around and is available now on Lula Lounge Records. Jose Ortega and partner-in-art Jose Nieves founded Lula Lounge after they negotiated for the space on the fly. Ortega recognized the need for a cultural hub in Toronto and set about creating one.

“Before we started Lula, there was a whole community of creative people who didn’t have a place to do things. There was also an attitude about art that tended to exclude a lot of people from enjoying the process, as well as a whole lot of raw or not-so-raw talent in Toronto that was underappreciated. We worked together to build something. Lula is just a frame around all this activity and creativity.” – Jose Ortega

Besides accommodating well-known acts like Broken Social Scene, John Cale and Norah Jones, Lula Lounge provides a home for Cuban émigrés who have left big touring bands to pursue a new life in Canada. The venue has supported people like Alex Cuba (as part of the Puente Brothers), Juno-winning Afro-Latin pianist Hilario Durán, as well as Cuban artists such as arranger Roberto Linares Brown, salsa vocalist Yani Borrell and jazz giant Luis Mario Ochoa. It has provided a breeding ground for multicultural and multilingual groups like Caché, Nigerian salsa queen Lady Son, and saxophonist Jane Bunnett.

The tracks on Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks carry the energy of the burgeoning Latin scene in Toronto. Listen to the hottest salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, son montuno and Afro-Cuban music you will find anywhere. Toronto’s supportive fan base and dedicated dancers appreciate when acts try new things and cross over cultural borders to liven up the dance floor. Listen to Caché’s – “El Sonero Llegó” above to hear what’s happening in Toronto today.

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