La Sonora Ponceña meets Tito Rodriguez, with a Brooklyn/Queens twist!
That’s right! Grupo Arcano, bringing salsa from the other side of NYC’s East River. Coming out of Brooklyn/Queens with attitude and a refreshing sound, Arcano perfectly combines together the best of traditional salsa with some hot new sounding trends. Inspired by all that came beforehand, Arcano looks to build off it and form something new.
Formed in 2008 by George Vélez, Jr. (Alto Sax) alongside George Sr. (one of Arcano’s two singers) and with the aid of Danny Diaz (Bass) and Ray Torres (ex-singer), Grupo Arcano has progressively moved forward finding the right players to form la perfecta combinacion! With the integral addition of pianist/composer, Harold Gutiérrez, the foundation was set to build what is now un tremendo bandon, Grupo Arcano. And while every member of the band contributes to Arcano’s sound and presentation the newest and youngest band member, conguero and vocalist Anthony Almonte, has now solidified what Grupo Arcano is all about. Screaming melodies, searing mambos, joyful rhythms and a serious approach to the art of Soneando!
Grupo Arcano’s instrumentation is key to its unforgettable sound. Opting for a brass section comprised of trumpets and trombones, combined with a woodwind section made up of an alto and tenor saxophone. This concept, along with a desire to connect with tradition and family, is how Grupo Arcano originated. “Grupo Arcano was started as a project I could share with my father,” says Vélez.
“What I love about Salsa … is the interplay of the instruments, the way the sections layer upon each other in the mambo or moña sections,” says Vélez. In original Grupo Arcano tunes such as “Rumba en mi Barrio” and “Un Tipo Sala’o” the power of both Vélez and Gutierrez’s mambos are what inspire the musicians to increase their intensity, and the dancers to stay on the dance floor all night long.
An eclectic mix of musicians of various ages and backgrounds, who share the desire to bring their talents and energy to create the fiery, body-shaking, and overwhelmingly upbeat Grupo Arcano sound.
George Vélez: Vocals
Anthony Almonte: Vocals/Congas
Harold Gutiérrez: Piano/Coro
Abraham Saenz: Bass
George Vélez, Jr.: Alto Sax/Coro/Director
Jacob Teichroew: Tenor Sax
Ricardo Cox, Jr.: Trumpet
Larry Nissman: Trumpet
Mike Engstrom: Trombone
Nadav Nirenberg: Trombone
Juan Gerena: Timbales