Monday, March 30, 2009


Batucaxé is a percussion and performance group that started here in Tucson in 2003. A non-profit organization, they are very involved in the community and even have different lessons and classes for anyone who wants to learn their style of dance and drums.

Batucaxé (pronounced bah-too-cah-SHEY) is inspired mostly by the music of Brazil, but features music traditions from all over the world, while also adding in some of their own flavors.

Their facebook page explains the meaning behind their name, saying, " 'Batucaxé' is a combination of 'batuca', or drum beat, and 'axé', the life-fore in call things, and the power to make things happen."

This is a group that has many parts. They have a Performance Group, which is the core troupe of musicians and dancers, and a community group that includes over 50 people, some of which are beginners and some that are experienced. Both groups perform throughout the year at different events and places around Tucson. The Community Group's rehearsals are open to anyone who wants to go and find out more about them and try their hand. There are many ways that you can become a member yourself, and it starts with attending one of their classes.

Some of the events that they play at is at Tucson Meet Yourself, Earth Day, and the Family Arts Festival. Many of these performances are interactive and get the crowd to be a part of the fun and music. The Performance Group, being smaller, plays at more intimate events.

Every Sunday Batucaxé holds Afro-Brazilian dance classes that are open for anyone who wants to attend with just a $12 fee. The classes are at 5 pm at the Rhythm Industry, located at 1013 S. Tyndall Ave., Tucson, AZ.

Batucaxé started off with a small group of friends who got together to perform in the Mt. Lemmon parade in 2003, but has now grown to include anyone and everyone who wants to join in on the fun and learning of different dance and musical styles.

The group also likes to do what they call guerilla samba, where they show up in "unexpected places" and put on "unplanned performances" that get people on their feet.

Batucaxé has become so much more than just a performance group. They have become a integral part of the Tucson community, putting on performances, teaming up with other organizations such as Many Mouths One Stomach to spread the word that help is needed.

They have even begun to put on their own annual parade called Carnaval that invites groups from around the city to come participate and has local music groups come and perform.

Watch them perform!

Also, check out their Facebook page and become a fan!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Don Omar

William Omar Landrón was born in Carolina Puerto Rico. Today he is one of the most well known reggae Latin artists.

Calling himself Don Omar, he released his first album in 2003 titled "The Last Don". This album sold over 1,000,000 copies around the world and also in 2003 he won two awards at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

In May of 2006, Don Omar released his second studio album called "King of Kings" which debuted at the number one spot on Billboard's Latin sales charts. In April 2007, Don Omar won the Raggaetion Album of the Year award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards for his King of Kings album, and one of his songs from the album was also featured in the ending credits of the movie "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift".

Don Omar is currently working on his third studio album that is to be released in late April of this year. It was originally planned to be called icon, but it was later changed to iDon.

Don Omar has participated in several different concerts and has teamed up with several artists over the years and has even released several other compliation albums as well as live albums that give the audience the feeling of actually being at his concert.

In 2005, after he released his The Last Don album, he was granted his own label called All Star Records. All Star Records is a subsidary of Universal Music Group's Machete Records.

Don Omar is both a singer and a composer, and with his huge success he has been able to expand his music and his career universally.

Many of Don Omar's songs are available on iTunes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Vonnell is a singer that was born in Havana, Cuba, but grew up in the musical city of Miami.

Miami exposed Vonnell to the wide realm of the music world and genres such as jazz, hip-hop, and Cuban jazz have all greatly influenced his work.

In 2006, with the help of his friends and family, Vonnell started his own record label, VIMmusic, and released his first CD called "31 De Febrero". This album won four of five awards that it was nominated for in the LA Music Awards, that are sponsored by the Grammys, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Male Vocal of the Year.

In 2008, Vonnell relseased his second album called "31 De Febrero Delux Edition" that added a few remixes to his original songs.

The unique thing about Vonnell is that he works for himself at his own studio, and acts as the songwriter, artist, instrumentalist, and producer for all his work.

Vonnell has also teamed up with Grammy winner Roberto Morales to bring a new life and ideas to Vonnell's work and helped produce his first album.

Vonnell is currently working on another album called "30 in Rio" that is said to be coming out around Christmas time this year or early next year. This album is also going to be multilingual, having parts of songs sung in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, though it will be predominately an English CD.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Toque D Keda

Toque D Keda is a new Bachata group out of Miami.

They debuted their first album in 2005, called Picando Adelante. Their music is said to be considered as the "New Bachata" that combines Hip-Hop with Bachata rhythms. Their catchy songs are popular in not only the Bachata world, but also in mainstream audiences.

Toque D Keda
's music has been no stranger to radio play or bumping in clubs, especially around Miami where the Latin music scene is very popular.

The group has done several re-makes of songs including ‘Lamento Boliviano’ originally by Los Enanitos Verdes, giving it the colorful flavors of Bachata sounds.

This four-member band is no stranger to the entertainment business. Elvis Perez, Eddie Blazquez, Jalen James Acosta, and Ariel Marmolejos have all had previous experience in the music world, whether solo or as members of previous bands. Elvis Perez, creator of the band, explained in an interview how the band came together. He said "I have my own recording studio in Miami, I was working with Eddie on one of our songs (Te Extrano - First single) creating a different latin-pop sound with a bachata guitar and from that moment in October 2004 we started with our dominican producer (Roy Tavere) to mix bachata-pop-hip-hop. Within one month, we dicided to make our own record. I organized some auditions to discover two more members and Ariel and James were the perfect choice. They were working in my studio doing there own projects at the time. So we talk about mixing the 4 and making a different bachata style and here it is Toke de Keda."

Perez was also quoted explaining how they came up with their band name, saying, "Toque D Keda (toque de queda) means curfew and in all of latin america countries there has been a curfew at least one time in its history, so I came up with the idea of a curfew but with music everybody should stay home and listen to music."

Toque D Keda's music has also been used in several different instructional videos of Bachata that is used in many different dance schools.

Monday, March 2, 2009

R.K.M & Ken-Y

Rakim (RKM) and Ken-Y first started their career in Puerto Rico, performing at house parties and other small-time gigs. José Nieves (RKM), and Kenny Vazquez (Ken-Y), started singing together in high school. But they were heard and soon signed by a local label, and they have been growing in popularity ever since.

Known for their reggaeton music, the duo also blends in a little hip-hop to give them a unique sound.

They released their first album in February 2006 called Masterpiece. Their first hit single reached the number one spot on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart in 2006, and Masterpiece also debuted at number three in the Latin Billboards. They released a live version of their Masterpiece album also in 2006, entitled Masterpiece World Tour.

The duo celebrated thei first anniversary of their debut album Masterpiece with the release of Masterpiece Commermorative Edition that was released in April of 2007.

R.K.M. & Ken-Y went on tour and have traveled internationally to places such as Mexico, Canada, Spain, and Colombia.

In September of 2008 they released their fourth album called The Royalty/La Realeza, and they also released a bonus track version of this album.

The two have since guest appeared on several different songs, including Pitbull (see below), Daddy Yankee, and Don Omar.

In just two years, R.K.M & Ken-Y have become the new face of reggae music, and have been accepted all over the world.

Ken-Y was quoted saying, "Our mission is to use our music to reach all kinds of people: young kids, adolescents, adults, rappers, Christians - everybody - and bring Reggaeton into areas of the world where it's never been before."