A unique series dedicated to dance music from Cuba and Puerto Rico hosted by SRBCC and Papo Santiago.
Papo Santiago has demonstrated an uncanny ability to take on new challenges, and become a bona fide bandleader. After mastering the saxophone and all its variants, he honed the craft of flute playing with Banda Municipal de Ponce 1985. Santiago moved to the city of Chicago in the late 1980’s where he found himself having to carve a niche in the city’s music circles. It didn’t take long for his talents to be recognized by the top tier of local musicians, including Orquesta Yambu, Ases del Merengue, Joe Rendon and friends, La Tira and Cuatrisimo.
Cuban flutist Jose Fajardo dubbed him “the child prodigy” after discovering his skills on the instrument while touring the Windy City. Santiago went on to join the experimental jazz ensemble Kalinda. The group’s first recording “Kalinda Kaliente” was named in 1997 by the Chicago Tribune as one of the year’s ten best in the Jazz category.
Santiago’s exploration as a professional singer was a natural step in his evolution as a fully rounded musician. His sonero attributes are founded in the legacies of Ismael Rivera. Luigi Texidor, Marvin Santiago, Isaac Delgado, and “El Tiburon” Morales.. In his improvisations, he combines street-wise sense of humor with a unique approach to rhythm and swing. Santiago stands as an icon of the harmonious fusion of classic influences with the most innovative trends in tropical music.
Most recently, in 2012. Papo Santiago released his first full CD production “Infraverde” now available on itunes & Amazon.com. The song “Viva Chicago” was adopted by The Latin Street Salsa Congreso 2012 as the official theme song of 2012.
Papo is currently considered to be among Chicago’s top Salsa bands and performs often at the top venues in Chicago, including The Mayne Stage, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago Summer Dance, Navy Pier and very often during Live Salsa Sundays @ The Cubby Bear.