Grupo Arcano is a Salsa band playing out of Brooklyn/Queens, NY that brings together the best from a rich tradition, as well as the hottest trends in salsa music. To packed dance floors, Grupo Arcano plays the hits from decades past as well as explosive original compositions. Its members, whose expertise in a range of musical backgrounds including jazz, soul, merengue, funk, and classical, unite to perform some of the most exciting Salsa music in New York City.
George Vélez, Jr., saxophonist, composer, and musical director of Grupo Arcano began his interest in Salsa as child. His father, one of Grupo Arcano’s vocalist, George Vélez, Sr., was an active Salsa trombonist who introduced his son to the screaming melodies, searing mambos, and joyful rhythms of the music.
“What I love about Salsa and merengue and other forms of Latin music is the interplay of the instruments, the way the sections layer upon each other in the mambo or moña sections,” says Vélez. In original Grupo Arcano tunes such as “Esa Mujer,” and “Rumba en mi Barrio,” the power of Vélez’s mambos is what inspires the musicians to increase their intensity, and the dancers to stay on the dance floor all night long.
Grupo Arcano’s instrumentation is key to its unforgettable sound. Opting for a brass section comprised of trumpets and trombones, combined with a woodwind section made up of an alto and tenor saxophone.
This concept, along with a desire to connect with tradition and family, is how Grupo Arcano originated. “Grupo Arcano was started as a project I could share with my father,” says Vélez.
Grupo Arcano has since developed into a world class act. The band is comprised of some of the most cutting edge young musicians in New York, along with Salsa veterans who have been committed to the style for decades. Grupo Arcano plays hits by Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Hector Lavoe, Eddie Torres’ Mambo Kings, El Gran Combo, Richie Ray, and powerful original tunes that today’s young Salsa fans will be singing to their grandchildren.
Performing regularly at clubs, weddings, parties, and festivals, Grupo Arcano is an eclectic mix of musicians of various ages and backgrounds, who share the desire to bring their talents and energy to the fiery, body-shaking, and overwhelmingly upbeat Grupo Arcano sound.