Article, Photos & Video by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media (see photo gallery below)
It was billed as “The Party of the Year!” and this year’s KUVO Radio’s “Live at the Vineyards” lived up to that billing August 11th in Denver. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed an evening of fine cuisine from 25 of Denver’s top restaurants paired with a variety of quality wines from the family owned Balistreri Vineyards. The were also numerous auction items to bid on but the highlight of the evening was the incredible Salsa music of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra led by Oscar Hernandez.
“I don’t think I have ever seen so many people dancing at this event. The dance floor is large but there is still not enough room for everyone who want to dance,” said Maria who has attended the event for the pasts several years.
Carlos Lando, KUVO Station Manager told Latin Life Denver Media that he was very happy with this year’s event and especially with the selection of Spanish Harlem Orchestra as the featured entertainment for the evening. “I believe this is the best musical group we have had here in the history of this event,” I have known them for several years so that helped in getting to come here to perform.
Oscar Hernandez said he felt so blessed to play in Denver and wished he could stay longer to get to know the area. “It was San Antonio last night, Denver tonight and New York tomorrow night.” A gracious Hernandez also said he was graced to have played with the likes or Ruben Blades, Chick Corea, Paul Simon and many other over the past 15 years of the band’s history.
A recent Arts San Antonio program for the band states: “The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, two time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band has set the standard for excellence for authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. With four albums and as many Grammy nominations this Latin Jazz powerhouse knows it is crucial to continually push themselves and raise the bar.”
Oscar Hernandez was born into a large Puerto Rican Family living in the Bronx. It was the nearby Spanish Harlem neighborhood that shaped his cultural musical sensibilities. He started playing the trumpet at age twelve. He switched to the piano and by the time he finished his teen years he was making a living as a professional musician.
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media