(photo credit: Scott Fleishman)
This band was so many things at once. It was chaos and it was angry and it was winking and it was outspoken and shy. The photography for this was beautiful, and the full article gives the gist:
The range of age between the members of Kilombo Mambo, one of Boston’s most venerable local salsa bands, spans almost 40 years: from twenty-something Marco Godoy, the dreamy-eyed pianist, to sixty-something Mauro Tortolero, the winking bassist. When asked how long he has been involved with music, he thinks for a moment and says, “Well, when my mother was pregnant with me, she was a singer…”
(Pictured above: Tortolero)
While Tortolero clocks in at 50 years of playing bass (which he can now do while dancing), the total number of years of musical experience under the group’s collective belt is also impressive: a whopping 123 years. Marcelo Ozain, the Argentinan frontman and founder of Kilombo, said that he and trombonist Mondongo have been playing together since the band’s beginning in 1997. As the former house band for Cambridge’s Green Street Grill, Kilombo Mambo has held court as a quasi-collective for many of the musicians in Boston who make a living off the art of salsa.
The concept of “kilombo,” according to Ozain, has an even older pedigree. In Argentina, the kilombo began as a concept of community which was all-inclusive; a place for exiles where “it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, white, black, handicapped—there will be a place for you,” said Ozain. He added that in modern Argentina, the world “kilombo” is also slang for a party or rave.
Needless to say, it’s an appropriate moniker for the revolving-door membership, hedonistic sound, and long-standing dance instigation that Kilombo Mambo has brought to Boston’s music scene over the last decade. Frontman Ozain reiterates his mission statement throughout the session as something to the effect of “music and dance can change the world. It’s going to take a million years, though, so we might as well enjoy ourselves in the meantime.”
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(Ozain plays, sweat dripping down his face, as WERS staffer Angshuman Gosh dances to the music outside the studio)