Photo by Francisco Molina Reyes II of

Salsa Meets Jazz at the Village Gate…

One of the great shining episodes of American music history came to an abrupt end in 1993 when the Village Gate could not maintain in the ferocious Manhattan real estate market (such is the fate of so many creative venues in NYC.) . 

When exactly it started is hard to say, but in the early 60s “Symphony Sid” Torin and Jack Hooke teamed up with Art D’Lugoff’s The Village Gate for a series called “Monday Nights at the Gate” that presented straight Latin music performances.

Then in 1965 the Tico All Stars made the scene  at the Gate producing one of the greatest Latin jam sessions every recorded – and the rest, as they say, is history. With this crew, how could it fail? Israel Cachao Lopez, Ray Barretto, Johnny Pacheco, Cándido Camero, Joe Cuba, Jose “Cheo” Feliciano, and the Palmieri brothers (Charlie and Eddie.) 

Finding good info about this important but little documented series has been tricky.

Then in a recent conversation with Bobby Sanabria I discovered the marvelous web archive work of artist and photoprapher Francisco Molina Reyes II. 

You want photos? 

He’s got photos.

You want the history?

He’s got the history.

You want music?

He’s got MUSIC!


What? You haven’t clicked yet?

How about these greats together live?

Eddie Palmieri, Monto Santamaria, Tito Puente, Mario Bauza,  Paquito D’Rivera, Gracila, Ray Mantilla, Ray Barretto, James Moody, Roy Ayers, Bobby Sanabria, Hilton Ruiz, Daniel Ponce, Patato Valdes, Chico O’Farrill, Dave Valentin, Johnny Pacheo, and more. 

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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