Galeano: “El Gue Gue”

Born in Nicaragua in the middle of the country’s violent revolution during the 1960s and 70s, Jose Galeano and his family fled to the United States with he was just a boy, creating an identity struggle growing-up as a Spanish-speaking Nicaraguan in the middle of a white-cultured New York. He began performing at the age of six under the heavy influence of his uncle Chepito, who himself was a widely successful, world-touring percussionist and timbale player (chiefly with Santana).

Thus far, Galeano has gotten out of life and his career what he’s put into it. An integral member of the Austin-based, Latin-funk phenomenon Grupo Fantasma, Galeano has a Grammy and 2 nominations under his belt, and that’s a metric that will inarguably increase as his prolific career continues. He titles his solo project after his surname, and with this endeavor, the game is spelled R-H-Y-T-H-M. 11 members strong, rhythm is the absolute core of Galeano, pushing the momentum ever forward without ever once getting out of control.

The sound here has a smattering of colors from an array of genres, blending everything from blues to funk stamped with that trademark Latin-Afro flavor that’s become synonymous with Galeano’s musical identity. The choice to employ such a myriad of sounds stems directly from Galeano’s stalwart pushing against borders and the walls they threaten to erect. “El Gue Gue” showcases all of this excitement, brandishing a fully filled-out rhythm section infused with funky basslines, keys, and (not surprisingly) a horn section to boot. All it asks is that “Poganse de pie y bailen el gue gue!” (Everybody on your feet and dance the gue gue.) Boogie on!

Catch Galeano every Tuesday this month during their residency at Antone’s.

-Taylor Wallace// host, Thursdays 8-11P & Saturdays 2-6P; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli

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