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By Gary Wien

"I believe that if you dream and you envision yourself at Madison Square Garden you will get there," explains Albie Monterrosa. He's the driving force behind the band deSol, a group which just might make that dream come true.

The band, which has paid its dues in clubs and small bars around the East Coast, will release their single "Spin Around" nationwide on Curb Records this April. ?Curb, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, has created a plan to break deSol from coast to coast. One of the major parts of the plan is to get as much exposure for the band while the single and the new CD is hot. To do this, deSol will play before hundreds of thousands of people through the next few months. They will be part of several important festivals including River Stages in Nashville on May 1st, the Great Bamboozle at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on June 5th and a coveted spot at Bonnaroo in June alongside such artists as Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Gov't Mule, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Willie Nelson. In addition, the band will be the supporting act for the Wailers in cities like Baltimore, Winston Salem (North Carolina) and at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on April 16th.

"Everyday we're excited," says Monterrosa. "We're always smiling and stuff. It's not only the fact of popularity and getting out to the masses, it's the fact that we're in something that's working and that means something to us. Every angle is covered and that's why we're so happy about it."

The band is based in Asbury Park where many of the band members live. Albie Monterrosa is the lead singer and plays guitar. The rest of the band consists of Armando Cabrera on congas, timbales, and bongos; James Guerrero on bongos and congas; Chris Guice on bass and vocals; Andy Letke on keyboards, Tim Perry on drums, and Rich Soto on lead guitar.

Unlike the traditional sound usually associated with Asbury Park bands, deSol infuses Latin rhythms and Spanish lyrics with a rock and roll base. They have the spirit of a jam band onstage, but layer their songs with a straight-forward pop sensability. The result is something unique - rock and roll that you can actually dance to.

"I think the dance thing is a big thing," says Rich Soto. "You have cover bands that make people dance but there's very few original acts that can really get a crowd on the dance floor. And that's something we have."

At shows throughout the tri-state area, fans of all ages can be found on the dance floor when deSol is on stage. The band has played clubs in New York City, Philadelphia as well as New Jersey areas like New Brunswick, Princeton, Trenton, Point Pleasant and Asbury Park.

Monterrosa was born and raised in Queens, New York and moved to the Jersey Shore about nine years ago. He said he had a few rock and roll bands but nothing really seemed to work. He eventually got to the point where he needed a break to reevaluate his career and see where he should go next. It was out on St. John's, Virgin?Islands where it all became clear.

Albie discovered what was missing from his music from a Puerto Rican girl named Wanda that he met at St. John's. She showed him how the traditional Latin rhythms he had grown up with could be blended with rock and roll.

"I had grown up with a lot of the rhythms but I had never seen anybody play them in a rock and roll way," he said. "It was like wow, these Latin rhythms will fit, I just have to tweak a rhythm here maybe a vocal there."

Ironically, one of the first songs he blended the styles with was "Spin Around" which just happens to be the first single from the new record.

The band's major label debut will contain cuts from their independent release, Spanish Radio, as well as several new songs. The record will be released under a different name and the songs from Spanish Radio have been reworked a little.

"We have probably tried every single market," adds Armando Cabrera. "We have played with people who have no idea of Latin music and people who are very traditional. I call it a Latin-American evolution. We appeal to a lot of people. We also appeal to the people who have been in this country for a few generations; people who know Spanish is part of their background but they're being raised with pop culture. These people definitely identify to who we are.

"I think we consider every place we play a challenge," continued Cabrera. "Some people at the beginning don't know where to put us. By the end of the night they are coming up to us and saying things like you guys had something fresh, something new. And that's what we want to be. ?I think we're being successful doing that."

"We have a conscious effort to stay true to our roots," said Monterrosa. "We're rock and roll with a Latin soul. Right now, we want to stay focused on the rock and roll thing. I don't want to lose sight of that. I love mixing all the traditional stuff and all that but right now I want to stay rock because that's going to get us the masses."

The label is hiring an independent Latino "Spanglesh" market promotion team, which has the band really excited. Conquering American radio is one of their goals, but the real dream is to conquer both English speaking radio as well as the Latino market. Albie's eyes light up at the mention of playing before 100,000 fans in Brazil. For deSol, the dreams keep getting bigger because reality just keeps getting better.

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South Jersey Pops To Present Holiday Shows On Sunday & Monday
(CHERRY HILL, NJ) -- The South Jersey Pops, the area’s own non-profit orchestra, will take a world view of this magical season as it presents “Celebrate: A Global Holiday” on Sunday, December 16 in Medford. The second of its four performances during its 49th season, the program will feature holiday carols from around the globe including France, Germany, and Spain, local music to warm the hearts of Philadelphians, along with Hanukkah songs and popular and timeless holiday classics.
Experiment 34 To Hold CD Release At Asbury Lanes
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Experiment 34 will celebrate the release of their debut full-length album, "What Dying Feels Like," on Saturday, February 16 at Asbury Lanes. E34 are a hard, heavy, aggressive mix of punk, funk, rap, metal and psychedelic rock with an inventive chemistry and explosive bond to which audiences of all kinds react well. Tickets for the CD release show are $15 at the door and $12 in advanced. Admission will include a free copy of the CD. 
Daniil Trifonov performs Schumann's Piano Concerto in NJSO debut
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Daniil Trifonov, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in his NJSO debut, January 25–27, in the final program of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Winter Festival, “Music Speaks.” Music Director Xian Zhang conducts the program, which also features Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and the NJSO premiere of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. Performances take place on January 25 at 8:00pm at NJPAC in Newark, January 26 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and January 27 at 3:00pm at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.
Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center featuring three musical guest artists throughout the month of January. The series launches on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:00pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Michael Davis and the New Wonders.

Melissa Etheridge LIVE! at the State Theatre
The lobby of the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, is buzzing with activity this Friday, November 30, 2018 evening as rock music fans ready themselves for a special Holiday Show by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge!
Join The Greater South Jersey Chorus For "A Winter's Night" (Or Afternoon)
The holidays bring many special things and, for me, one of the best is the music. It sets a mood, invokes memories, soothes the soul and provides a seasonal soundtrack for my life.
An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.

Event calendar
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018


CHRIS GULLACE BAND - A BENEFIT FOR ST. JUDE @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 2:00pm

SOLAR CIRCUS / DOOBIE DECIBEL SYSTEM @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

ELEVEN ELEVEN @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 2:00pm

SUNDAY JAZZ @ Hard Rock Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 10:00am

Joy to the World: A Christmas Suite @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 4:00pm


Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

A Christmas Story @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

Seussical @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Peter pan @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 1:00pm and 5:00pm

A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

A Wonderful Life @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 5:00pm


Cocktail Hour: The Show Featuring the B-Twist Orchestra @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 6:00pm

NEW JERSEY BALLET’S NUTCRACKER WITH NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 6:00pm

The Nutcracker: The Russian National Ballet @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 3:00pm

Bolshoi Ballet: Don Quixote @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 3:00pm


Shopkins LIVE! Shop It Up! @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 11:00am

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