You might ask: what Salsa band can get an audience of farmers in plaid shirts and country women in long cotton dresses to get up and dance with bear feet nonstop to their Latin rhythms? The answer would be Orchestra Fuego.
Since their debut in 2013, Orchestra Fuego has ignited all types of dance floors throughout Florida with their upbeat; high energy performances. Much to their surprise, their music appeals to a wider audience than they anticipated. Marcus Hernandez, musical director and founder of the band states, “We wanted to put our music out there for Latinos to enjoy; but we were amazed at how well received our music has been with all types of people in Florida and around the world. Our first single release, Encendido, has been downloaded from Miami to Denmark and even Singapore.” Orchestra Fuego is one of the most newly sought out Salsa groups in the Tampa Bay and Ocala area in Florida.
Orchestra Fuego started when Marcus Hernandez, piano player, and lead singer, Luis “Torpedo” Aponte, reunited in Florida several years after moving down from New York. The two performed together in the New York City scene in the late 70’s and 80’s when Salsa was at its peak. Fueled by their mutual interest in Salsa, they started performing together with other members of the original band also living in Florida. “After playing a few gigs,’’ says Marcus, “It became evident early on that the time was ripe to revive the classic Salsa sound.”
Orchestra Fuego is a twelve piece Salsa band consisting of two lead singers, backup singer, percussionists, brass musicians, pianist, and a base guitarist. The group’s sound has maintained the integrity of what is referred to as “Old School Salsa”, with a similar vibe to bands such as Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tito Nieves, but with a fresh twist. The blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms mixed with Nuyorican flavor sets the dance floor on fire. Their songs are familiar, but have invigorating new arrangements. The percussionist is into rhythms like that of Ray Barretto and Willie Rosario. The pianist, Marcus, is inspired by Papo Lucca. While the group’s main passion is for Salsa, they also perform a wide variety of other Latin music including Merengue, Bolero, Cha-cha, and Bachata.
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These seasoned musicians perform in various entertainment venues such as parties, individual and corporate catering events, nightclubs, and restaurants. Their danceable beats bring energy and exciting entertainment to any occasion. Kathy McGuire who hired the band for a party states, “You guys were great! A fun time was had by all. I’ve been telling everyone about you.” An avid Salsa dancer, Fernando Alicea, said, “I’ve been clubbing around Tampa for some time, and I have never seen any band that comes close to Orchestra Fuego. They are hot!”
Although Orchestra Fuego is excited about the enthusiastic fan following in North-Central Florida, they want to perform their music to all of Florida and work their way up the Eastern seaboard to New York and beyond. “We just want to get out there and share our music,” remarks Marcus. In addition to performing live, they are also working on several recording projects. “We really enjoy performing and watching others appreciate our music;” states Marcus, “and we are eager to bring our sound around the world.” They are doing just that since their music is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, CD Baby, JangoRadio.com, and Pandora Radio.