2012 San Antonio Music Award Winners (Best Latin Orchestra/Best Vocalist-Ray Colao) COLAO has been described as the most fun and entertaining band in San Antonio. COLAO plays Salsa, Merengue, Jazz, Bachata, Rock, Funk, and well just about anything that makes you move and groove. Regularly featured on local morning TV shows like Great Day SA (CBS) and FOX News First (FOX), COLAO is definately a local Favorite and we are available for your event. COLAO has been serving Central TX and beyond for 6 years now and is the house band at Rosario's in San Antonio. We have a long list of refferences and a 100% satisfaction record with all of our clients. COLAO is a professional band with serious Professional musicians and is fully insured for your peace of mind. COLAO can scale down to as little as 2 musicians or be as large as 14 depending on the type of event and budget available. We hope we can gain your business.
Read Our Feature in the San Antonio Current: http://sacurrent.com/music/2012-latin-orchestra-colao-39-1.1291479
By Enrique Lopetegui
Published: March 28, 2012
San Antonians love to dance to Afro-Cuban music, but those who dance to Colao' every Friday night at Rosario's seem to enjoy it a little bit more than the rest.
While salsa itself is a danceable mix of Latin rhythms, Colao' (Puerto Rican slang for "strained," as in putting lots of ingredients through a strainer) is a lot more than just a salsa band. Led by Ray "Colao'" Rodrguez, the band isn't afraid to experiment with elements seldom used in traditional salsa bands.
"I'm Puerto Rican but I grew up in Boston, so as I learned more about stuff like jazz. I try to incorporate that into my music," said Rodrguez. "And I have such a great team of well-versed musicians that they do Latin very well, but they're just nasty when it comes to jazz."
Colao' plays several originals, but it's mostly a crowd-pleasing cover band that can brew cha cha, mambo, salsa, guaracha, son, and bachata in imaginative ways.
"We meet them half way," Rodrguez says. "We give them stuff they're familiar with but we do it our way. Hell, we even do Bruno Mars or Drake in salsa."
The orchestra always has at least seven musicians in the group, including a guitarist (Robert Garca) who also plays the son montuno piano parts on his instrument.
"We're an engaging, unique, passionate orchestra," says Rodrguez. "We put on a full show and don't hold anything back."
-Enrique Lopetegui - San Antonio Current - March 28, 2012 - http://sacurrent.com/music/2012-latin-orchestra-colao-39-1.1291479
Read Feature on Ray Colao 2012 San Antonio Music Awards Best Vocalist - http://sacurrent.com/music/2012-best-vocalist-ray-39-colao-39-39-rodriguez-colao-39-1.1291442
Ray 'Colao'' Rodrguez (Colao')
In a Latin orchestra, singing well is not enough — you need to be able to be a sonero, a master at improvising and leading a call-and-response with the chorus. Something Puerto Rican Ray "Colao'" Rodrguez does in spades.
His nasal tone is subtle enough to please the romnticos, and has enough power for those who prefer the edgier, harder NY-styled blend of salsa. Yet, Colao' is more than a salsa orchestra, and the man's Boston background allows him to deliver a key requirement for anyone who dares to sing with him: constant switches in tempo and style, stopping on a dime and starting again without notice, and an ability to switch from Afro-Cuban to urban American music as the song needs.
"The last 11 years in San Antonio have made me more than a singer," says Rodrguez, a sort of Jos Feliciano, Pete Rodrguez, and Otis Redding all rolled into one. "I feel I am now a full performer. I love music and I love performing, and I'll never give it up."
How he would sing backed by a hard rock guitarist and a heavy metal keyboardist is hard to tell. But if you want to know what the hell he does on this list, check him out every Friday at Rosario's. The dancers there were grateful enough to make him this year's best San Antonio singer.
-Enrique Lopetegui - San Antonio Current - March 28, 2012