Orquesta El Macabeo

Old school salsa with rock attitude from Puerto Rico.

Founded in 2008, the Orquestra el Macabeo is one of the big sensations of the current ‘old school’’ salsa revival of Puerto Rico. The self-proclaimed rockeros con guille de salseros (“rockers posing as a salsa band”, because the eleven musicians have backgrounds in punk rock, ska and reggae) play some classic salsa sound, following the tradition of the islands salsa pioneers like Rafael Cortijo, Roberto Roena and La Sonora Ponceña, but in a fresh and youthful sounding way with a mean, dirty brass section and often with funny and hard-hitting lyrics.

This group of former punk rockers are tired of the genre’s commercialisation. Here’s a cohesive group of musicians whose value goes beyond the chiselled smile of a pin-up vocalist. This is salsa as the former generations knew it, in the glory days of Fania. By looking back, Orquesta El Macabeo moves salsa forward, attracting completely new audiences by their energetic, and punk-rocky approach.

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