Harlingen South takes a step into salsa

HARLINGEN — Jacob Sanchez seemed captivated by some magical spell, swaying rhythmically as his thick hands slapped the tall, barrel-shaped congas.

The deep primal rhythms of the congas and the rest of the salsa band at Harlingen High School South resurrected the raw passion lying dormant within the human soul.

That passion, eager for liberation, awaits restlessly for release through such portals as the congas played by Jacob, 17, the bass guitar played by Cristopher Rodriguez, 18, and saxophone player Rene Luna, 18.

“Este Rico Cha Cha Cha Pa’ Gozar,” sang Carol Escorza and another vocalist in the band formed this year by Director Raul Liendo. The Laredo native tapped the timbales, creating a high-pitched, almost tiny sound.

Carol, 17, has never sung before. She wanted to join the salsa band but she plays clarinet. Liendo told here there are no clarinets in a salsa band but he needed a female vocalist. She gave an impromptu audition and she was in.

She knew very little about the music, but she was quickly taken by its enchanting rhythms.

“I love it,” said Carol, a junior. “It’s great. You get that feeling like you want to dance. You don’t know what to do.”

Each instrument, including the maracas played by Guiro Sean Minton, the bongos played by Micaela Garza Keyes and the piano played by Stevie Rosignol, revealed a different part of music’s raw personality.

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If You Go

What: Salsa concert

When: April 28

Time: 6 p.m., followed by the Harlingen High School South Percussion Studio Concert

Where: Harlingen school district’s Performing Arts Center

3217 W. Wilson Road

Harlingen High School South Salsa band members

Timbalero (a person who playes timbales, a type of drum)- Alberto Rodriguez

Conguero (a person who plays congas)- Jacob Sanchez

Bongocera (a person who plays bongos) – Micaela Garza – Keyes

Maracas, Guiro – Sean Minton

Bass – Cristopher Rodriguez

Piano – Stevie Rosignol

Vocals – Edgardo Velez

Vocals – Christian Palacios

Vocals – Carol Escorza

Alto Sax – Cole Allex

Tenor Sax – Rene Luna

Bari Sax – Kevin Perez

Trombone – Luis Alicea

Trombone – Xavier Esparza

Trombone – Saul Velez

Trumpet – Brandon O’Donohue

Trumpet – Mario Alejandre

Trumpet – Anthony Perez