is my biography which not only is a biography, but in some way a
little history of Salsa in Seattle...
born in Maracaibo, Venezuela and grew up as a child in Caracas,
Venezuela. I moved here to Seattle when I was very young, but continued
to visit Venezuela every year. When I turned 18 years old bought
myself two Technique 1200 turntables and a mixer. I have always
loved music since I was little and so I had a pretty good collection
of records which I had bought through the years in Venezuela and
here in Seattle. I began playing at house parties, quinceañeras,
birthday’s, etc. for about 3 years. When I turned 21 I went
to the Hollywood Underground, which was on the corner of 3rd Ave.
& Jackson St. in Seattle. They had a Salsa night every Wednesday,
which was the only Latin night in Seattle at the time. Two Live
bands would alternate every week. One week Latin Expression would
play and the next week Bochinche would play. Both these Orquestras
were the only 2 bands at this time. In the intermission, DJ Gregorio
from Panama would spin Salsa, Merengue, Soca, etc. There were also
two ladies, Sharon and Theresa Cronin, who would teach everyone
how to dance. I would help them a little every now and then.
going to Venezuela every year for 4 months at a time so I was able
to continue updating my collection of records and seeing ideas to
bring to Seattle. I met lots of people at Hollywood Underground
and one of them was Gustavo Clark, who was and still is a DJ, Dance
Teacher, and MC at most of Seattle’s Latin Events. In 1990
Gustavo started a Latin Night every Saturday at Beso Del Sol which
was located at 45th & Stoneway. I helped him out every Saturday
since opening night. Between Gustavo, who had the experience and
great MC abilities, and myself who was constantly updating music
and learning to be a professional Disc Jockey, we had Beso Del Sol
rockin’ for 3 or 4 years.
began to achieve a huge following and reputation for the music I
played and my style of promoting a nightclub. In February of 1991
I started my own Latin Night on Wednesdays at Latitude 47 (what
is now Rock Salt). Immediately it became so popular that people
could not fit so I opened on Sunday’s as well, which also
immediately became just as popular. Many of the people around the
Latin Music scene today were introduced to the Seattle Latin scene
by first going to Latitude 47.
a very popular name all through the Northwest through advertising,
networking, and most importantly, the music. As the Latin Club scene
grew, Beso Del Sol & Latitude 47 became too small for the popularity
of Latin Music. In 1994 I was offered to promote & DJ at Sharky’s
on Shilshole Bay in Ballard. This was a great opportunity for me
because Sharky’s was one of the biggest and most popular nightclubs
in Seattle with a connection to the American crowd as well as Asian,
Middle Eastern, etc. I Started Sharky’s on Friday, November
4, 1994 and I had 300 people the first night which soon increased
to 500 – 600 people on average. For the first time Salsa was
being introduced to a large diversity of people in the Northwest.
Before Sharky’s there was mostly, but not limited to, people
from the Carribean, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Central America,
& Mexico among other Latin Countries. With the opening of Sharky’s
you would see people from Asia, Middle East, Americans, and more.
started to DJ at many popular Nightclubs around Seattle including
concerts and events throughout the Northwest including Portland,
Vancouver BC, and Tacoma. In March of 1995 I started promoting Tuesday
nights at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. Later the name changed
to the Doubletree Hotel and now is the Hilton Hotel. This also became
very popular and I stayed there for 10 years.
on to be interviewed by many newspapers and magazines, played in
many American nightclubs and events in Seattle as guest DJ, and
organized more than 20 concerts in Seattle with Mainstream Artists
like Marvin Santiago (the first concert in Seattle in 1993), Oscar
D’ Leon, Grupo Niche, Tito Puente, and with Joey Cora (former
baseball player for the Seattle Mariners) we brought Marc Anthony,
Ruben Blades, Gilberto Santa Rosa, La Patrulla 15, and more.
I promoted Friday nights at Tia Lou’s in the Belltown area
of Seattle. With between 600 to 1,200 people every week through
the doors, this was the most popular Latin Club night ever in Seattle.
all this I still had my Wednesdays and Sundays at Latitude 47 until
in 2002 it was sold to new owners and became Rock Salt. I stopped
playing there for a couple of years and on May 4, 2004 with Mateo
of Alou Entertainment opened up Friday nights at Rock Salt where
I continue to this day.
List of past and present Nightclubs…
1991 - 1993 Beso Del Sol
• 1991 - 2002 Latitude 47
• 1994 - 1998 Sharky’s on Shilshole Bay
• 1995 - 2004 Red Lion Hotel / Doubletree Hotel
• 1996 - 1996 Castlerock
• 1999 - 2001 Tia Lou’s
• 2000 - 2003 China Harbor
• 2004 - present Rock Salt
are lots more I will be adding soon...