>> media // orqesuta bc salsa: gecko club residency: xx.xx.07

I started playing with Orquesta BC Salsa in 2006. The band had a weekend residency at the now defunct Gecko Club in Downtown Vancouver between West Pender and Dunsmuir next to the Old Marble Arch Hotel. On Friday and Saturday nights, we would play from 10.30 pm until 1.30 am entertaining salsa dancers with the latest styles and the classic hits. I was reunited on these gigs with Elio Ramazzini, my old pal percussionist from my cruising days. I played with the group until mid-2007 when the Gecko Club was shut down by the BC government as it was being turned into housing in preparation for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

julio jorgedaniel markanthony elioramazzini danielwaltercathy esau
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The band consisted of leader Julio Portillo on timbales, drums, and coro; arranger Tony Arevalo on keyboards; Elio Ramazzini on congas; Jorge Ramazzini on bongos; me on bass guitar; Malcolm Aiken on trumpet; Jeremy Vint on trumpet; Volkan Mutaf or Francois Leveque on trombone; Kevin 'Vern' Daalnik on baritone and tenor saxophone; and Cathy Lopez, Daniel Celis, Esau, and Walter Pineda on vocals.

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