Musical pioneers the New Swing Sextet joins the ¡VAYA! 63 dance party with a free show at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Friday, February 15, presented in collaboration with the NYU Music and Social Change Lab. Before the show, Marysol Cerdeira, a.k.a. DJ Mar Y Sol—host and producer of WBAI's Montuneando con Marysol—gets us in the mood with a few of her favorite tracks from the band's past five decades.


Marysol Cerdeira: Legendary. Explosive. New Yorkers. In 1965 the New Swing Sextet made its professional debut performing at the final New York World's Fair. Their unique sound exhibits the innovative edge of Latin music in the late '60s and is indicative of what would drive the Salsa explosion of the 1970s. New Swing Sextet still swings today, continuing a 54-year (and counting) musical legacy in their hometown of NYC and around the globe.


"Coquero"
Written by George Rodriguez, co-founder and current musical director of NSS, this track appears on the band’s first album “The Explosive New Swing Sextet” released in 1967 on Cotique.


"Vente Pa' Ya'"
This track appears again on the 2008 Grammy Award–nominated release The New Swing Sextet ‎– Back On The Streets... Taste Of Spanish Harlem Vol. 2.


"The Monster"
A song so good they recorded it twice. This version is the original from 1968. Check out The New Swing Sextet ‎– Back On The Streets... Taste Of Spanish Harlem Vol. 2 released in 2008 for the newer cut. Both are smokin'!


"Pico Swing"
This party-starter is a dancer's favorite. Released on Swingin' Along (Cotique, 1969), this tune shows the forward-thinking style of the New Swing Sextet.


"My Favorite Things"
Another cut from the album "Swingin' Along" (Cotique, 1969). It’s an instrumental masterpiece. You might recognize the melody from the classic movie “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews.


"El Trioteo" (a.k.a. "Bang, Bang")
Another dancer's favorite, this original version of "El Tiroteo" is off the 1970 album Revolucionando and recorded newly on the 2008 Grammy Award–nominated album Back on The Streets. Both versions feature the stylistic vibe-playing of founding member George Rodriguez.


"Che Che"
Over three and a half decades after Revolucionando, George brings together a new version of the New Swing Sextet and they record Back On The Streets... Taste Of Spanish Harlem Vol. 2 on Fania Records. This album was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Tropical Latin Album. "Che Che" features sonero Cheo Medina on lead vocals.


"Maybe Then"
This soulful track features the New Swing Sextet's conguero (conga player) Ángel Justiniano singing lead vocal in English! This sizzling tune is on New Swing's sixth album Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow released in 2013 on NSS Music.


"Somos El New Swing"
Sung by Gilberto Velazquez, a.k.a., "Don Sonero," this tune tells the history of the NSS in Spanish, but don't worry if you don't understand the lyrics because it's an excellent track to dance to!


"Los Ritmos Mejores"
After loads of international travel and by popular demand, NSS released this single in 2017, continuing to enchant generations of dancers with this upbeat and rhythmic single. Personnel includes Héctor Ortiz on bongo, bell, and chorus; George Rodriguez on vibes; Ángel Justiniano on congas and chorus, Jimmy Figueroa on timbales and chorus, Orlando Ortiz on vocals; and Harry Justiniano on bass.


"Carmela"
This latest single delivered by the legendary NSS shows and proves that the guys at New Swing are going to swing right along into the next decade! It features the vocals of Orlando Ortiz, whose high energy matches the trademark that is the New Swing Sextet!


Listen to the full playlist.


About the Curator

Marysol Cerdeira, also known as DJ Mar y Sol, is the host of the biweekly show Montuneando con Marysol on WBAI (99.5FM) in New York City, and co-host of Que Viva La Música with Vicki Solá and José Calderón, airing weekly on WFDU (89.1FM). Live streams are available on www.wbai.org/listen.php, www.wfdu.fm, and www.mundosalsaradio.com.