Salsa trad from Galway - Baile an Salsa and their new album Tribu

In April 2013 we featured a review of an EP by Galway based band Baile an Salsa.  With a name like that it really is an international line up.  The EP charted at No.2 in Colombia, which must have been a first for a trad based group. According to their website Baile an Salsa perform original material composed by the band, blended with traditional Irish tunes. Andres Martorell, the lead vocalist and founder of the band, brings melodies from various styles including Salsa, Rumba, Flamenco, Sean Nós and more with songs in Irish, English and Spanish.  They made it onto The Late Late Show last year and have gone back into the studio to make their debut album which is now on release.  It’s called Tribu.

We spoke to Andres about their brand of Salsa Trad and how it is being received in Galway and the western counties where they perform.  “It has been received very well with lots of fiesta and dancing!” he says.  “Luckily much more than we expected.  I have to confess that we were a bit worried when our project was starting, worried that maybe some people may not like what we were trying to do with trad music. For us it has been very important to keep the purity of the Irish music intact,  keeping the tunes the way they are, and adjusting everything else around them.”

“We have to say that our most important component, in Baile An Salsa, is the traditional music which for us is the roots of our project.  We also focus strongly on the vocals and include songs like Mo Ghile Mear, and Súil A Rúin.  There is a lot of work involved in getting the Irish pronunciation correct and I have been working hard with my teacher and friend Caitriona Ni Cheannabháin on that.”

This album gets much closer to the full concept of the music that Baile an Salsa are trying to create. They have added more Irish melodies as well as lyrics in Irish according to Andres.  He feels their music is slowly starting to mature, and after two years on the road, the fusion and mix is now much more balanced.  TRIBU has 12 tracks (they added 8 new tracks from the base EP), and Andres states that there are songs like Mo Ghile Mear, Rumbero Soy yo, My Salsa Song, Chan Chan or Have You Ever Wondered, which he feels  brings a new sound to Baile An Salsa.

“Our plans are to keep playing the way we have done for the last 2 years, in venues such as Dolan's in Limerick (serious sound there and amazing people) or The Grand in Killarney where we found our second home, and a great connection with people.  Also, The Harbour Bar in Bray (with all that dancing crowd) and we are now adding Donegal (Leo's Tavern) this coming 20th February.  Regarding overseas, we are close to agreeing our first US dates in Kansas for September.  We are dying to get there and bring our Salsa-Trad to a new audience.  We are keeping  all of us fingers crossed on that, and with 10 people in the group that means a lot of fingers."

You can catch the band on the Galway circuit in Monroe’s which he describes as his favourite or the Crane, one of the other leading trad venues.

Check out their website where you can purchase the album.  It’s also available on where you can listen to some samples.


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