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Bio Ritmo, 10-piece salsa band, headlining latest Guest Artist concert

Ten-piece salsa band Bio Ritmo is bringing its unique sound to the Randolph stage next month as part of the College’s Guest Artist Concert Series.

“They have such terrific energy,” said Emily Yap Chua, Randolph’s Catherine Ehrman Thoresen ’23 and William Erness Thoresen Professor of Music and director of the Guest Artist Concert Series.

“In recent years, we’ve been making sure to have a variety of cultures and music represented onstage. We’re venturing into jazz and some more popular genres, and now we’re going to switch to salsa. Bio Ritmo has Puerto Rican and Chilean roots.”

In addition to their concert, set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, band members will also lead an educational session at 4 p.m. that explores the roots of salsa dura music and demonstrates the different rhythmic patterns and instruments used.

Admission to both events is free.

Based in Richmond for more than 30 years, Bio Ritmo is known as a pioneer of the indie-salsa music revival. They draw inspiration from classic salsa dura artists of the 1970s—traditional musicians from the Puerto Rican and Cuban diaspora who began to collaborate with New York-trained jazz artists.

Members have created their own sound, mixing influences not commonly found in salsa music and drawing from their diverse experience playing punk, jazz, and reggae music. They bring together a formidable brass section with Puerto Rican percussion traditions including bongos, congas, timbales, claves, and guiro.

They have been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk, and their latest double vinyl LP was featured on’s “Best Latin Music” for January 2024.

Chua has seen them in concert before and thinks it will be a memorable night for the Randolph community: “We want people dancing in the aisles.”

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