Alex Torres & His Latin OrchestraView in iTunes
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Based in Amsterdam, NY, a small city near Albany, bass player and vocalist Alex Torres and his fourteen-piece band, Los Reyes Latinos (translated as "The Latin Kings") have attracted international attention with their lively, horn-driven approach to Latin dance music. Voted "Best Latin band" by Metroland Magazine in 1995, 1996, and 1999, the group has increasingly emphasized the jazz elements of their repertoire. Their fourth album, Entre Amigo, released in April 1999, was a Grammy award semi-finalist Formed in October 1980, Alex Torres Y Los Reyes Latinos spent five years sharpening their sound during weekend performances at weddings, benefits, and telethons. During this time, the band released three singles: "Ël Pilonero" in 1983, "Como Yo Te Quiero" in 1984, and "Estoy Desengado" in 1985. Taking a more professional approach, Alex Torres Y Los Reyes Latinos released their debut album, Noche Habanera, in late-'85. The following June, the group placed first in a battle of the bands in Hartford, CT. In addition to Torres, Los Reyes Latinos features Nicholas Lue (assistant director, piano, vocals), Miquel A. Cruz (lead vocals), Jimmy "Pelu" Fontanez (bongos, tambora), Todd Fabozzi (congas), John Bronk, Kevin "Pan" Hendrick, Brian Patneaude, Terry Gordon, Mike Perry and Chuck "The Mime" Yurgans (trumpets), Ken "Snoopy" Olsen and William "Professor" Merkley (trombones), Juan Carlos Marrero (timbale), and Angel "Sweet Pea" Dueno (guira, vocals). ~ Craig Harris