Salsa Train Orquestra formed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2016. The band was formed by Carlos Clinton (Keyboards/Band-Leader) who started playing music as a child in New York City. Carlos’s first instrument was the trombone. Soon after, he decided that he wanted to learn percussion. Carlos learned to play the Congas, Bongos, and other percussion instruments. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1960’s, Carlos listened to some of the greats of Salsa music including Willie Colon, Ray Barretto, LeBron Brothers, and the Fania All-Stars, as well as other music from Puerto Rico and Cuba. Carlos believed the rhythm and instrumentation that these bands had was amazing! Carlos played in bands in New York, Puerto Rico, and in Western Massachusetts.
Carlos met George (Pito) Ocasio, Baby Bass and Salsa Train Orquestra Musical Director, while playing in several groups in Western Massachusetts. In 2016, Carlos approached George and asked if he could assist with his piano skills and to try to build a Latin band, which was the beginning of what would become the Salsa Train Orquestra. Frank Amaro soon joined the team on Timbales who also has performed in several bands throughout the years in Western Massachusetts. Together Carlos, George, and Frank started Salsa Train Orquestra in George’s professional recording space in his basement in Springfield. The band has since slowly developed and came together, growing to what it is today!
The Salsa Train Orquestra specializes in New York style salsa and Latin Jazz music. All arrangements are written by well-known Trumpet Player and Musical Arranger, Tommy Villariny from Puerto Rico. Tommy is a graduate from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and with his help, he has assisted the Salsa Train Orquestra find its identity as a band that plays New York Style Salsa and Latin Jazz for listeners and dancers alike that want to enjoy great music.