by Brenda Vowden
Wellington based Cuban band Son de Cuba is shimmying its way back to Napier for a night of Latin dance and music this Saturday at the Napier Latin Club.
Son de Cuba, which plays traditional styles of Cuban music — salsa, boleros, rumba and Afro beats — has been playing at the Marine Parade-based club for almost 20 years, says manager and principal instructor Joe Taylor.
"We are hosting a series of new Latin dance classes and special workshops as a build up to Son de Cuba. We are working with Salsa Hawke's Bay and Wellington-based Viva Latina Dance company amongst others."
Joe says you don't need to be a dancer to attend.
"This is a ticketed event so open to the public. Our first lesson is always free to give it a go."
Joe says Son de Cuba are all talented dancers of salsa fusion in their own right, as well as accomplished musicians. The Napier club also hosts professional dance instructors at both national and international level and has been using the former Hairy Cactus venue since the early 2000s.
"The venue is amazing with its lovely polished wooden rimu floors — arguably the best dance floor in the Bay — high ceilings, lovely wooden panels, you could easily believe you were in Havana or Buenos Aries, and as far as I know we are the oldest organisation that has been promoting authentic Latin dance styles, with an emphasis on Argentine tango lately."
The Latin club operates more as a dance studio three days a week, with hosting various special licence events, Joe says.
"Over Art Deco weekend and for several years we have hosted various community events, including the Cuban ambassador and his family when Son De Cuba played a show here late last year. He was impressed with the level of talent he saw from the tango dancing that night — they are rated amongst one of the top Latin bands in the country."
Son de Cuba will be hosted by Alzbeta Tango project, with a Milonga (tango dance party) prior to the live music.
"These events usually bring visitors from outside the Bay to Napier. The boys are very excited to be invited back to Napier and look forward to seeing you all there."
■ The Details
What: Son de Cuba with support from Alzbeta Tango project
When: Saturday, May 22 from 7pm
Where: Hawke's Bay Latin Dance Club, 39 Marine Parade, Napier
Info: Inquiries phone 0275829925 or visit www.napiertangoclub.com