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by World Music Network October 30, 2015


Obituary: Wayne Gorbea - Salsa Dura's Finest

It is with a heavy heart we write that salsa pianist and musician Wayne Gorbea, has died after an arduous struggle with bone cancer. Gorbea died at his home in New York where he was receiving chemotherapy. The producer and composer, born on October 22, 1950 in  Manhattan, will be remembered for eighties hits such as  'Improving Life', 'What says Justi' 'YoYo' and certainly his most successful work: 'At sauce'. Gorbea founded the 'Orquesta Cuda' and the band 'La Nueva Comparsa'. One of his greatest creations was the Joint Salsa Album '73 Salsa Boricua SMC'.

His most successful musical production period was mostly between 1970 and 1990, where his album 'Set sauce with Wayne Gorbea Salsa' was recorded in 1977 for the International Disc label. Amongst other productions are the albums 'Puerto Rican Salsa' 1972 'Keep Dancing' 1986 and 'Introducing Wayne Gorbea's Salsa Picante' 2007 - which presented a dazzling overview of his career.  

John Renbourn: The Attic Tapes

Introducing Wayne Gorbea's Salsa Picante

Serious Latin music lovers and salsa dancers everywhere have been digging Wayne Gorbea's pure uncut sound for more than thirty years and now a wider audience is coming round to his unblemished form of classic salsa dura ('hard' salsa). This disc spans Wayne's career and is crammed with over 70 minutes of his finest cuts, tracks that have sent dancers into trance-like states with the relentless groove, dynamic arrangements and authentic lyrics.

Available now on CD, Download & with Subscription 

His African-oriented stylings inside Cuban traditional music formed a beautiful fusion to match the likes of mainstream Cuban hard hitters. Always with a strong trombone section, Gorbea reflected multiple Latin-tinged aesthetics for dance music and world music alike. He was a salsa icon and will be missed.