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Audio Interview 1/29/2023


Latin soul legend Joe Bataan to conclude tour at White Eagle Hall

From doing street corner doo wop in the 1950s to releasing one of the first rap records to hit the charts in 1979, Latin soul artist Joe Bataan created a style of music that some would say paralleled Latin boogaloo and disco. His most recent tour is coming to a conclusion on Saturday, Jan. 28, at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

Bataan is no stranger to Jersey City, performing for both the Jersey City Library and the Fourth of July celebration at Liberty State Park in the mid-2000s.

Some of Bataan’s best-known works include albums such as 1972′s “Saint Latin’s Day Massacre,” which became a big hit on the salsa scene, and 1973′s “Salsoul,” which was named after a term he coined and was also his first record following his departure from Fania Records. The term would also go on to be the name of the record label he helped co-found with the Cayre brothers, Kenneth, Stanley, and Joseph.

The founding of Salsoul Records would lead to more noticeable urban dance music, and included the early New York disco hit “The Bottle,” an instrumental cover of the same song by Gil Scott-Heron’s. The song is remembered for its R&B horn arrangement and piano, which he taught himself to play before pursuing music.

Bataan was born of African American/Filipino parents and grew up in Spanish Harlem. He created his first band in 1965 before releasing his first record in 1967 with “Gypsy Woman” on Fania Records.

The show will also feature New York City DJ Vee Vee, who plays the sounds from the 1950s through the 1970s. Her collection of music emphases soul, rock ‘n’ roll, girl groups, and Latin rhythms. She shares the music she loves through her sets and her monthly radio show on WFMU.

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