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Orquesta Ritmo | BackStage Pass

Big band salsa from Michigan, a dance favorite led by Mike Eyia.

Originally aired 10/6/09


Orquesta Ritmo plays a fusion of Afro/Cuban rhythms, Spanish melodies and jazz horns that make this salsa orchestra from Michigan a dance favorite. Featuring singer and band leader Mike Eyia and spicy hot horn and percussion sections, this eleven piece orchestra can fill a dance floor in no time. Says band leader Mike Eyia, Sr., "This kind of music is what we feel. It's our lives."

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According to bass player Terry Newman, "This music is all about the dancers. If we don't have people up dancing, then we are doing something wrong."

Orquesta Ritmo can be heard live at festivals and celebrations throughout the Great Lakes region. Musicians in the group hail from Lansing, St. Johns, Haslett, Kentwood, Swartz Creek, Grand Rapids and Davison, Michigan.

Songs featured in this episode of BackStage Pass include Mama Guela (Grandma), Llego La Banda (The Band Has Arrived), Malagueña Salerosa (Sassy Lady from Malaga), La Musica es mi Vida, Contigo en la Distancia (With You in the Distance), Dejame Sonar (Let Me Dream), Odiame (Please Hate Me), La Salsa Vive (Salsa Lives) and Aguanile (Water From the Nile).

The musicians of Orquesta Ritmo are:
Mike Eyia (director, lead vocals, guitar), Oscar Gonzalez (vocals, percussion), Rob Mulligan (percussion director), Tim Thalen (timbales), Carmelo Sanchez (percussion), Terry Newman (bass), Paul Lesinski (keyboards), Carl Poposki (trombone / arrangements), Mike Eyia Jr. (tenor and baritone sax), Russ McMartin (lead trumpet), Mike Sailors (trumpet).


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