CABARET DIOSA | CUBAN MUSIC HISTORY 101

Cabaret Diosa schooled a large crowd of enthusiastic music fans Wednesday evening at the historical Chautauqua Auditorium. Chautauqua Park sits at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Throughout the summer Chautauqua Park host concerts, comedians, dance performances, and other festivals for the public’s enjoyment. The auditorium, included on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1898. Immaculately maintained, when you enter the building it is much like you are walking back to the days of the Colorado pioneers.

Cabaret Diosa’s Miguel Ramos was our history lecturer, while the band backed him up and demonstrated some of the Cuban music styles and playing techniques. I was expecting the typical Cabaret Diosa MAMBO style dance show, but what I got was much more than just entertainment. Miguel talked about the history of the Mambo and the Conga, but what I found most interesting were the demonstrations. He talked about the “Clave” beat, someone in the band would demonstrate that beat, and then the band would break into a song with the clave beat. Miguel then talked about the "Son Clave beat," a variation of the Clave. As one member of the band would demonstrate the Clave, another would layer in the Son Clave beat. It was interesting to look into the crowd and see the look on people’s faces as their cranium soaked up this music history lesson.

What is Cuban music if you can’t dance? Enter Kimberly Franco, lead vocals and dancer extraordinaire of Cabaret Diosa. As Miguel was teaching us about the music and its history, Kimberly was teaching us the history of the dances. From the Mambo to the Conga, this girl has it wired. She loves to dance and interact with the crowd, and before the end of the set, she had nearly two-hundred people in a Conga line.

David Sherman is the lead male vocalist. He has a strong voice, is very humorous, and definitely can dance. He can dance almost as well as Kimberly, and when they get together, they make the International Salsa Dance competition look like a third grade recital. I think I had as much fun watching these guys as they did dancing.

Cabaret Diosa’s first set was a lesson in history; the second set was 100% Cabaret Diosa Mambo.

Cabaret Diosa’s sound is large. Ari Dvorin plays the flute, clarinet and saxophones. I have seen this guy sit in with numerous bands; Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Global Funk Council, The Motet, and Deep Banana Blackout just to name a few. Ari’s playing seems to easily blend in with whomever he is creating with. The guy is simply amazing. Along side Ari, on trumpet is Grant Rieder. Beside the horn section is the deep sound of Paul Mrozek on upright bass. Darrin Feder plays guitar and does a great Dezie Arnez impersonation, while Mendel Rabinovitch and Jon Rabinovitch handle percussions. Miguel Ramos, the evening’s host, played viola and added nicely to the vocals.

The only description for Cabaret Diosa is Latin Big Band with a Habanera pepper added. The music is spicy, the lyrics are sometimes sassy, and the dance they do is forbidden. They have opened for Maceo Parker, Harry Belefonte, Buddy Guy and the Greyboy Allstars, but if you really want to spice up your life, you should catch the upcoming show they will be playing with the current Latin sensations Ozomatli at Mishawaka Amphitheatre. If that isn’t enough salsa for you, I suggest you buy the Pace Picante Salsa factory to satisfy your needs.

Set List

I
Mambo
Bata
Bach
Carmen
Cinquillo
Danzon
Rumba (clave)
Fugaz
Anticipated Bass
Son Clave
Son da la Lama
Conga #5
Baila
Songo

II
Mars
Moz
Tito
Imhotep
Pach
Follow
Mistake
Baby
Maria
Kiss
Corazon
No Pare
Cave

Boulder BiLL
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 8/20/02]

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