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Kizumba at the Lagoon Concert Series

June 26, 2014

Kizumba keyboard player Scott VanLoo speaks for the whole band when he says, 'We love Fort Collins because whenever we play here, we find that people want to participate. It's a given. We can't wait to play at the Lagoon Concert Series. It's a mellow and beautiful setting for our music.'

Wednesday, July 2
6:30-8:30 p.m.
West Lawn of Lory Student Center

Midnight and beyond

Playing salsa into the night. That’s what Kizumba does.

One of Denver’s longest performing and best known salsa bands, Kizumba is a mainstay at the La Rumba nightclub—named by CBS-Denver as “one of Denver’s best salsa clubs.” 

On Live Salsa Nights, they are there until the streets and sidewalks outside deepen to black behind a neon haze. They play as La Rumba patrons dance the merengue, the bachata, the tango, and other popular salsa styles.

The music is lively, energetic, powerful, and sensual. The dancing is characterized by tight, compact movements, intricate arm styling, staccato head movements, and swaying/popping hip action.

Salsa dancing: Being open to having fun

“Salsa dancing comes easily for people because of the crossover moves from other dance forms,” said Scott VanLoo, who has played keyboard for Kizumba  almost since its beginning. “You find the twirling techniques in both country swing and swing dancing.

Members of the Kizumba band at NewWestFest.“If you want to learn salsa, just be open to having fun. It’s about letting go and being comfortable in your body and skin and not worrying about whether you're doing it right."

Enthusiasm from Fort Collins folks

“We love Fort Collins because whenever we play here, we find that people want to participate. It’s a given," VanLoo said.

“Last year we were performing on the main stage at NewWestFest. It was about 2 or 3 in the afternoon and incredibly hot. The two professional dancers who are in the band invited people to form lines and follow their movements. Before we knew it, we had upwards of 200 people—a sea of people in front of us—dancing to our music. It’s a blast to watch that from the stage!”

Origins, complexity of salsa

What does Kizumba mean?

“Kizumba is a word that’s widely used in Brazil,” he said. “The word comes from African dialect and means ‘celebration.’ It’s our way of saying, ‘Come party with us. Come celebrate life with us.’”

What makes salsa music so infectious—that makes people want to move?

“I would say that it’s the complexity of the rhythms. In Kizumba, 10 to 12 musicians are all playing different rhythms. Those overlay each other. The dance movements add yet another rhythm."

Origins, transformations

Kizumba rocks it out.

Kizumba is known for embracing the broad spectrum of traditions that are part of salsa music, for their natural feel for the music, and for inspiring their listeners to feel the music.

"We play music from Puerto Rico, Columbia, Carnival festival music, and much more," said VanLoo. "Salsa has African, Caribbean, and Latin American origins. It has a strong influence from the African diaspora and has been transformed and melded into different cultures."

Band has multiple talents

What are your band member’s talents outside of their musicianship?

"We’re a diverse group. We have an assistant principal and someone who works for the Colorado Department of Transportation. Everybody has families and day jobs. Half of us are from Latin American countries, and the other half grew up here.

"Some of our band members are very well-known musicians from other groups—folk and blues bands. Our trumpet player is from a Dixieland band and his wife, who’ll play the saxophone at the Lagoon concert, is president of the Colorado Winds Ensemble."

The Lagoon: A mellow atmosphere

This is your first time playing at the Lagoon Concert Series at CSU. What do you look forward to?

“I really love the idea of people bringing their families, blankets, and picnics—that mellow atmosphere that’s created. The setting is going to be beautiful."


CSU’s sponsors for the evening are SoGES (School of Global Environmental Sustainability) and CSU Extension. Stop by their booths for information and SWAG. Don’t forget to register to win other great CSU prizes!

The Lagoon Concert Series is owned and hosted by Mantooth Company.

Contact: RamTrax