Flaco Navaja – Neo Latino Soul Impresario

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

I had the distinct privilege, a few weeks ago, of witnessing the incomparable Flaco Navajo do his thing at Apt 78. I stood there mesmerized, mouth agape as Flaco Navajo belted out pitch-perfect renditions of Salsa classic after Salsa classic. I mean this man, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Hector Lavoe or as Dominicans would say Pin Pun, sang Periodico de Ayer like he was channeling the great singer himself. Echoes of Ismael Rivera, Oscar De Leon and Ruben Blades among many others serenaded those fortunate enough to be in attendance that evening.

The thing with Flaco is that he doesn’t simply mimic the old standards; he breathes new life into them, reworks them and infuses these gems with his boogie down Bronx flavor, energy and spirit. Flaco’s music is an intoxicating mélange of Salsa, Spoken Word and Nuyorican Soul. Hector Lavoe meets Marc Anthony with a dash of Gil-Scott Heron thrown in for good measure. I think it is only fitting that his moniker, Flaco Navajo, originates with his love of the song Pedro Navaja by Salsa giant Ruben Blades. It so happens that the father of one of his close friends saw the young boy singing the tune and instantly and immortally dubbed him Flaco Navaja. The rest, ladies and gentleman, is what they call history.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/25796961 w=525&h=295]

Click here for pics of Flaco Navaja at Apt 78.

Flaco Navaja @ APT78 from Ruben Henriquez on Vimeo.

Today is your lucky day; Flaco Navaja is coming back Uptown tonight to inaugurate Apt 78 and Heineken’s Uptown Summer Series with the one and only Bobbito on the wheels of steels. Be there or be sorry that you missed it!

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