Toronto Latin powerhouse ensemble Sean Bellaviti & Conjunto Lacalu is at the leading edge of Canada’s salsa revival. Rooting itself in the Cuban conjunto tradition, this internationally renowned 11-piece ensemble couples a dynamic three-trumpet horn section with a rhythm section featuring Afro-Cuban percussion, piano, bass and Cuban tres guitar. This particular instrumentation gives the group its “classic” salsa sound all the while enabling the sort of stylistic versatility and creative extemporization expected by contemporary Latin and world music concert goers.
In their own particular way, Conjunto Lacalu’s sound and style pays homage its predecessors such asConjunto Clasico and Sonora Ponceña. Its repertoire features primarily original compositions as well as a number of original arrangements of salsa and Latin American folk music classics. Conjunto Lacalu was founded in 2008 by Sean Bellaviti, also group’s pianist and frequent arranger/composer. Since its inception the Conjunto Lacalu has toured regularly and been featured at major Latin and world music festivals throughout Canada, including Lula World, Hispanic Fiesta, Salsa on St. Clair, and Pan Am Games Torch Run.
As a unit of top tier musicians, this band has been singled out for their bombastic performances and outstanding musicianship—a quality that has made them the backing band of choice for visiting international salsa stars including Tito Rojas, Jimmy Bosch, Tony Vega, and Eddie Santiago, among many others. Conjunto Lacalu is currently in the process of recording its debut album titled “Conjunto Lacalu: Toronto Grooves!,” which pays tribute to the group’s home-base and North America’s northernmost salsa centre. The album is scheduled for a mid-2016 release.