Ritmo Masacote – New Timba out of Boston, Massachussets

| 08/17/2011

Joel and Ana Massicot have made a name for themselves in the United States and around the world as exciting and innovative salsa dancers and choreographers. However, many do not know that Joel also heads up ‘Ritmo Masacote’ – a Latin jazz/mambo/timba orchestra that calls Boston, Massachusetts its home. Even I was surprised to know that before Joel danced…he played piano. And before he was in Boston, he was in Washington DC where he earned the nickname ‘Masacote’ from his piano solos (Ritmo Masacote Website).

Joel started Ritmo Masacote back in 2006 when they released their first album ‘Masacote’.  ‘Masacote’ contains great mambo and Latin jazz music. In 2008 they released their second album ‘Fantagious’. Both albums are funky, contain mostly instrumentals, and have great danceable music. The arrangements are top-notch and it is clear that the musicians are some of the finest Boston has to offer.

Now, in 2011, Ritmo Masacote has released their first original Timba song, ‘Lo Que Quiero es Timba’.  Although this is their first Timba release, Joel says, “My earlier albums had an undertone of the Cuban/Timba rhythms beneath the Latin Jazz.” For many years, Timba geeks have had to wait for new music to come out of Cuba, hope iTunes carried an album, or try to find someone who knew someone to get new Timba music. It is exciting that groups in the United States are releasing new music that is not only easily available but also excellent for dancing.

I was excited to hear the song and have played it quite a few times since receiving it. The song starts out smooth and chill. As it progresses, it picks up steam and turns into a great dance song. I can judge many songs by how often I hit ‘repeat’ or how much it makes me move at my desk at work. At the 3:00 mark it explodes, the piano takes over, and it is all I can do to not just blast it in my office and get up and dance. “Lo Que Quiero es Timba” should soon prove to be a song that is requested by many casineros.

I asked Joel if his love of Cuban music influences his dancing and choreography. He answered, “The love for this music influences my dancing and choreographies tremendously! This music is like life to me! Because it is so close to the music from my island (St. Croix V.I.), it takes me back home and to my roots.  The energy of this music is so high and infectious that it gets me in to a trance when I’m performing to it (Both Musically and dancing)!” You can read more about his thoughts on Timba in my past article ‘Give Timba a Chance’.                     

It seems that Boston is quickly growing to be a Cuban dance/music spot within the States. I was curious how Boston was embracing Ritmo Mascatoe, the Timba, and the Cuban dance. Joel replied, “The Boston scene is embracing more of the Cuban salsa.  The great thing about Boston is [that] there are a huge variety of people who dance on1, [and] on2. We teach our entire schools to Timba and now, with Amanda Gill being part of our staff, we’re offering a Casino Rueda at our schools.  At the beginning of the year I decided to gradually switch the sound of the band to Timba and it’s been well received by the public.” Masacote has been hosting ‘Club Cubanos’ once a month and the rumors are that it is THE spot to be!

I know that I won’t be the only one anxiously awaiting the full album release in the Spring of 2012. If the first single is any indication, the whole album is going to be hot and will put Ritmo Masacote on the map as one of the new Timba bands to watch here in the United States.

Watch them perform their single at their Single Release Party:

Support Timba music – purchase the new single at CD Baby or on iTunes.

For Tour Information: www.Masacote.com
Ritmo Masacote YouTube Channel


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Category: Music, News, Timba

About the Author ()

Hello! I love Cuban salsa. While I really love all salsa music my heart, soul, and body just responds best to Cuban salsa. It doesn't matter if it is the early work of Celia Cruz or Ibrahim Ferrer or the current Bamboleo album - I'm gonna move to it! I live in the Washington DC area and work to promote Cuban dancing and music and try to educate people about what timba is... what rueda is... what salsa casino is... and how, historically, it all played a big part in them being able to go to a club and dance salsa.

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