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The Tribe has Arrived ! ( Zon Del Barrio ) !

New Generation-Zon del Barrio-"a gozalsa"


Oreste Abrantes


The teenaged percussionist first started showing signs of his rhythmic virtuosity when he was still a baby boy. His mother recalls how he would beat rhythms and patterns on anything his little hands would touch. She started buying him toy drums, however, he rejected the toys and cried for real drums until she had to buy real percussion instruments for him to play on.

Oreste went on to devour every salsa music recording he got his hands on. By the time he was 5 years old, his mother entered him in a competition sponsored by Univision where he came in 2nd place, between two adults, playing congas. He takes his music seriously and has been studying percussion and music theory at the age of seven at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Spanish Harlem. He was part of a percussion trio of children who opened for Salsa singing giant, Gilberto Santa Rosa at Carnegie Hall when he was merely 9 years old. He appears on television playing alongside Tito Puente when he was eleven on an episode of Nickelodeon's Gula Gula Island. He is a part of Boys & Girls Harbor Youth Ensemble and appears in the PBS documentary "Mi Mambo". Today, Oreste proudly sits in the conga chair of Zon del Barrio and will be recording with us on our upcoming CD to be released in 2008. YEAH KIDD!


Nelson Matthew Gonzalez


Sixteen year old Matthew is already a professional musician and dancer. Raised in a musical family where his grandfather, Benny Ayala is a seasoned plenero, composer, folklorist and maskmaker, little Mathew was weaned on the Afro-Caribbean beats of Boricua roots music.

He is a member of Danza Fiesta, a theatrical dance troupe led by Gilda Rivera Pantojas and also performs with Los Pleneros de la 21. He is now a member of Zon del Barrio as dancer and percussionist.



Aurora Flores y ZON DEL BARRIO 2010 (Homenaje al Sonero Mayor-Ismael Rivera)


Aurora & Zon del Barrio
CD Single:  Homenaje Al Sonero Mayor
feat. Yomo Toro

By: Benny Ayala
Arrangement: David Fernandez
Released: July 15, 2010
Barrio Cultural Zone Muzik

Produced by: David Fernandez

In this first single since the release of Cortijo's Tribe / La Tribu de Cortijo in 2007, Zon del Barrio continues in the tradition of hard core salsa mixing Mozambique rhythms with salsa alongside a touch of bomba with jazz.  "Homenaje al Sonero Mayor" pays tribute to one of Puerto Rico's mastersingers that spearheaded a black pride movement on the Island bringing faces of color onto television and worldwide stages. Complemented by Yomo Toro's cuatro solo, Yomo recalls the many times when he would alternate on many stages alongside Cortijo y su Combo & Ismael Rivera & his Cachimbos.

"Homenaje al Sonero Mayor" connects the past with the future in an urban, modern format that captures the funk of salsa while showcasing an intergenerational & co-ed future.

This musical tribute also introduces ZDB's young percussion section with Nelson Matthew Gonzalez on timbales & Oreste Abrantes on congas. Both 18 & 21 respectively they are already making a name for themselves as "Los monstritos" (the little monstors) of the barrio zones and have quite a history already as students and performers. Nelson Matthew being weaned on the native folkloric rhythms of Puerto Rico alongside his grandfather, musician & artesan Benny Ayala, (composer of this tune) as well as dancing with the theatrical dance troupe, Danza Fiesta while Oreste Abrantes was playing with adult musicians over Spanish language television before he was five years old.


Alongside veteran musicians such as legendary bassist Ruben Lopez  or Tito Gonzalez  on bongos, Zon del Barrio is animated by the vocals of Sammy Rosa and Maryann Santiago all lead and directed by its in-house composer & founder Aurora, they are creating their own musical history on the streets of Latin N.Y.


ZDB's musical director David Fernandez produced, arranged & performed on this single.


Recording date: June 23, 2010
UltraSound Studios, New Jersey
Engineer: Carlos Lopez
Musicians:  Yomo Toro, David Fernandez, Aurora Flores, Ruben Lopez, Eduardo "Tito" Gonzalez, Sammy Rosa, Maryann Santiago, Oreste Abrantes & Nelson Matthew Gonzalez.


Aurora & Zon del Barrio
CD Single:  Homenaje Al Sonero Mayor
By Benny Ayala
Arrangement: David Fernandez
Released: July 15, 2010
Barrio Cultural Zone Muzik

Produced by David Fernandez
En este primer sencillo desde el lanzamiento de su CD La Tribu de Cortijo en el 2007, Zon del Barrio continua con su pimentoso swing de salsa en un caldo de fusion sabrosa y cocola de Nueva York en este "Homenaje" que mezcla una guracha con Mozambique con un chin de jazz y completado con un broche de bomba. Un numero original en tributo al sonero mayor de Puerto Rico, Ismael Rivera que con su compadre Rafael Cortijo crearon un movimiento de orgullo Afro-antillano escuchado atraves del mundo, "Homenaje al Sonero Mayor" se sobresale con un solo de cuatro por Yomo Toro que se acuerda de las muchas tarimas adonde el compartio y alterno con las bandas de Cortijo y Maelo.

"Homenaje al Sonero Mayor"
connecta el pasado con el futuro en un formato urbano y moderno que capta el "chequendeque" de la salsa mientra enfoca una luz brillante a "los monstritos" de los cueros de Zon del Barrio y las mujeres salsaeras de este grupo del futuro.

Contando con 18 y 21 años, Nelson Matthew Gonzalez en los timbales y Oreste Abrantes en las congas fueron creciendo en un ambiente lleno de música, folklor e instrumentos.  Es mas, fue el abuelito de Nelson Matthew, el plenero y artesano Benny Ayala quien compuso el numero. Unidos con leyendas como Ruben Lopez en el bajo y Tito Gonzalez en el bongo con la animación y vocales del sonero Sammy Rosa y Maryann Santiago y dirigidos por la personalidad y compositora que es la fundadora del Zon del Barrio, Aurora que junta a su esposo y director musical David Fernandez, estan creando su propia historia musical desde las calles de Nueva York.


  • Credits:
  • La información contenida en este link (Textos y Photos) son cortesía de Aurora Flores y Zon Del Barrio para Klave Latina.
  • Para mas informacion click at: www.zondelbarrio.com

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