With this December/January 2009 issue, we are proud to complete our 18th year of publishing Latin Beat Magazine. Thanks to the support of many of our advertisers, subscribers, contributors and the entire staff of the magazine, we have been able to document, report and follow the saga of Latin music with a focus on salsa, Latin jazz, Latin pop, and Afro-world rhythms.
We began 2008 by featuring bandleader/percussionist Ralph Irizarry as he unveiled his new signature line of timbales from Tycoon Percussion during the annual winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. In the same issue, we paid tribute to the legendary conga master Carlos "Patato" Valdés, whe passed away on December 4, 2007. In March, the veteran sonero Ismael Miranda graced our cover with a feature article written by Chico Alvarez discussing Miranda's past, present and future. In that issue we also said goodbye to Andy Palacio, a folk artist from Belize who left this world on January 19. This amazing singer/songwriter led a crusade to save the threatened music and culture of a tribal people found along the Atlantic coast of Central America, the Garifuna "Black Carib."
The April issue showcased mallet master Dave Samuel and his latest adventures with the Caribbean Jazz Project. We also chatted with Marty Sheller, José Madera and trumpeter Miguelito Miranda. This time we paid our respects to the Cuban master conga player Tata Güines, who passed away on February 4, 2008.
In May, we featured the DJ world of remixes and focused on Fania Records" new remixes. We said our farewells to Cuba's legendary bassist and creator of the mambo, Israel López "Cachao." Our June/July summer issue featured the 21st century urban sonero Hermán Olivera, as well as renowned...