The Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is a thrilling 11-piece salsa group which forgoes the standard repertoire, instead playing dynamic, dura arrangements of indie rock tunes we love. No bananas in the hair; this is innovative, astonishing salsa with a new, vibrant aesthetic. With an ever-evolving set list that includes songs by Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio, Animal Collective, Spoon and many more, the WSO has taken the typical salsa form and infused it with a completely modern identity.
The explosive arrangements have established the band as an groundbreaking force in the New York underground and have led to a high-profile open-ended residency at The Brooklyn Bowl, bringing the big band sound back to Brooklyn after decades of absence. Featuring a full compliment of horns & percussion, the WSO contains some of the best young players on the scene with backgrounds from Colombia, Panama, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Nueva York, and all over the good ol’ U.S. of A.
With the attitude of a rock band, and the grooves of classic New York salsa, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is resetting the boundaries of the art form and introducing this great music to a new audience. Having found a growing following of salsa dancers, indie music devotees and curious party people, the WSO is somehow uniting communities and making music for all.
Led by percussionist/arranger Gianni Mano (from the Latin-funk legends Radio Mundial), the WSO debut Album, released in June 2011, was recorded in the classic style: live in the studio with minimal overdubs and no click-track.
A long-time resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mano has had one foot in each camp – indie & Latin – for years. He took his love of both and mind-melded them in the WSO, finding a new voice to push the music forward and to welcome in the audience of tomorrow.