Palo! is a band that have created their own style of tropical music they call “Afro-Cuban Funk”, which is a mixture of a series of genres that range from salsa to jazzy improvisationes with a funky beat that captures the allure of root Cuban music.
The group was formed in the year 2003, when producer/pianist Steve Roitstein (Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Tito Puente, Cheo Feliciano, Oscar d’ Leon) invited his fellow musicians to join him in an improvised musical experiment combining Cuban music with funky beats.
Palo! began piecing together & playing catchy original songs that were just made to order for the extraordinary sultry voice of Leslie Cartaya (nominated for a Latin Grammy). The scorching percussion and vocals of Philbert Armenteros (congas) and Raymer Olalde (timbales) punctuate the performances with the flavour & fire of traditional Cuban music.
Steve Roitstein was in charge of fusing these elements with a foundation of edgy, unforgettable rhythms akin to soul & funk. And to put the icing on the cake, the virtuosity of saxophonist Dr. Ed Calle, who featured in the band from 2003 till early 2017.
Since it took off, Palo! has become a featured act in Miami’s premiere live music venues, concerts, festivals and private events, and is their base of operations. Success of their many discs has taken the band on tour, performaning to packed houses & festivals in major cities in the USA and Latin America, and more recently in Europe.
In June 2016, Palo! released their third album, Yo Quiero Guarachar, with a lead or advance single titled Al Monte, a catchy number that had more than 1.3 million visits on the Internet. In July 2016 the band went on a successful European tour, including París, Luxembourg, Belgium, Amsterdam and the prestigious Tempo Latino Festival in France, where they were named “Padrinos” of the Festival and Best New Artist, 2016.
Steve Roitstein: keyboards & vocals
Leslie Cartaya: vocals
Raymer Olalde: percussion & vocals
Pedro Pablo Rodríguez: percussion & vocals
Juan Carlos Rosquete: saxophone