The holidays are upon us and so it’s time to work on our Christmas playlists. Yes, we have our forever favorites, but new songs are now arriving hoping to make it to your dance floor. Here are a few songs you should consider…
“Alegria” – Justin Quiles
Justin Quiles was born in Bridgeport, CT, and raised in Puerto Rico. Earlier this month, he released his tropical Christmas song “Alegria,” which mixes traditional holiday sounds with Salsa and Urban rhythms. The video was filmed in his hometown of Aguadilla and features the artist’s family and friends. In the spirit of the season, it is filled with dancing, food, and giving, as Justin organizes a neighborhood toy drive.
CARIBE WONDERLAND – Milly Quesada, Manny Cruz, Techy Fatule, Carlos Alfredo Fatule, Pirou, Sabrina Estepan, Rose Mateo, Pavel Nuñez, EhShawnee, Badir, Kiara Franco, YouMaico, La Banda Gorda, Ryan Milo
From Canela Music and La Oreja Media Group, CARIBE WONDERLAND is both a TV special (now ready to stream online free of charge) and a music album to be enjoyed during the holidays. It’s a set of 10 Christmas songs arranged with salsa, merengue, bachata, and vallenato rhythms and performed by well-known voices from the Dominican Republic. The project was directed by Dioni Fernandez and produced by Porfirio Piña y Alexis Brugal.
The 33-minute video opens with “Adornemos los Salones” in the voices of Milly Quesada and Manny Cruz. This is followed by a father-daughter merengue duet of “La Rosa Blanca” by Techy and Carlos Alfredo Fatule, and by a bachata arrangement of “De La Montaña Venimos” in the voices of Pirou, Sabrina Estepan, and Rose Mateo.
There is also a Salsa version of the famous “Feliz Navidad” by Pavel Nuñez, a Spanish translation of “Jingle Bells” (Llego la Navidad) in EhShawnee’s voice, and a merengue by Badir – “A la zarandela.”
Kiara Franco and YouMaico perform “El Salvador,” a Spanish translation in merengue of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and La Banda Gorda and Ryan Milo present the only vallenato in the album – “La guacherna,” before all the artists gather to sing “Joy to the Word” in Spanish (Al Mundo Paz).
Although not in the video, Dioni Fernandez is also part of the album with his performance of “El Cascanueces.”
The half-hour video would be perfect to enjoy with the family (follow link above), and the album is now available on all streaming platforms.
“Feliz Navidad” – Lenier, Beangel, Luis Fernando Borjas, Leoni Torres, Nesty, Omi Hernandez, Dale Pututi, El Carli, Kelvis Ochoa, Diana Ela, y Gardi
This is a Salsa remix of Jose Feliciano’s famous song performed by ten Cuban singers and one Venezuelan (Borjas). It sounds familiar, but this time you can dance to it. Salsa, Urban, and Navidad make for a fun combination.
“All I Want for Christmas is You” – Ralphy Dreamz
A cover of the Mariah Carey hit, in Bachata rhythm.
“Salsa con Trova en Navidad” – Edwin “El Calvito” Reyes, featuring Prodigio Claudio
This danceable song mixes traditional and modern instruments and sounds. It was written by Reyes and arranged in collaboration with cuatro player Prodigio Claudio. It reminds me of Christmas parties with Puerto Ricans. In other words – authentic.
“Vamonos Ya” – Fernandito Rentas
Also Puerto Rican, Rentas sings in “Vamonos Ya,” (Let’s Go), inviting you to celebrate “como en los viejos tiempos” (like in the old times). Last year we were locked in, it says, but not any more! This song was written by Edgardo Irizarri, with arrangements by Robert Requena and the participation of cuatro player Tony Perez. It’s a fun one!
These songs have been added to the VidaSalsera.com playlist on Spotify, which you can access from the right margin, or at the bottom, of this page.
I’ll be adding more music to this page as the season continues, so keep an eye on it!