My creed for art in general is that it should enrich the soul,
it should teach spiritually by showing a person
a portion of himself that he would not discover otherwise...
a part of yourself you never knew existed.
- Bill Evans, Composer / Jazz Musician, 1953
About Founder: Gus E. Ramirez
Combining his natural love for music with an evocative interpretation of memorable experiences, Gus Ramirez took a circuitous route to this juncture - the creation of SalsaBlvd.org, the website of a vocal classic salsa music fan.
To be honest, I thought this website would never exist. That's what I believed.
And yet passion is a tricky thing. It can present itself unannounced at your doorstep when you least expect it. It can put you on the road across Latin America without you realizing it at first. And some version of that is what happened to me.
The idea of SalsaBlvd originated a few years ago after a monumental experience of spending over a year living abroad throughout Venezuela and Colombia. Apart from the rewards of travel itself, the underlying aim for me along the way was to learn Spanish. Thus, it was fitting, of course, to invoke the magic of music to aid in my endeavor.
I had always been passionate about music. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a musically rich environment, I acquired an appreciation for all music. Like all of us, through music I have enjoyed countless memorable moments.
For many years, I loved listening to various types of music, whether classical, jazz, hip hop or blues, among others. I rarely met a genre I didn't like or couldn't assimilate. With music, change was my compass, surprise my guide.
Then I discovered classic salsa.
Indeed, I had listened to this music before. But as I increasingly understood the lyrics as my fluency in Spanish began to take hold, I found growing comfort in the music. Also, my time in both Cartagena and Cali, Colombia were major contributors. Experiencing live performances and learning names and styles of classic artists, it seemed, each day, I found myself wedged so tightly around this style of music, rhythms and melodies.
Meanwhile, from Cartagena to Cali, people listened, smiled and danced, and it happened everywhere classic salsa music was performed.
That was when I knew I was a believer. This was my music. That was it for me.
SalsaBlvd is my endeavor to pay tribute to the celebratory form of classic salsa that has shaped me immensely. My endeavor to pay tribute to the patience and good will of many friends, both here and abroad, with whom I have had the good fortune to encounter.
SalsaBlvd is a website, then, about celebration.
Celebration of music. Celebration of friendships.
Often times, it is easy to forget to celebrate. Today, like most of us, I concentrate my efforts on both my personal and my professional life. I have a fulfilling career in the business world, graduated from UC Berkeley and Wharton, and then there is the school of life.
But then there's that moment as the music spins, as the possibility of learning the music of a new artist before me, when my face lights at the prospect of what could be, of what one little song might bring.
Sometimes even the believers forget what they believe.
Gus Ramirez resides in South Florida | firstname.lastname@example.org