The glacier blue eyes fixed on his turntables, the precise gesture, the swift fingers, the radiant smile: Jack El Calvo is definitely the benchmark for quality salsa DJs on the Parisian scene.
Called to mix in the four corners of France and Europe, Jack El Calvo – the aptly named – criss-crosses the Latin clubs of the globe.
Jack El Calvo is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most fervent defenders of modern and “bailable” Cuban music in France and Europe. Resident DJ in Paris, he officiates every Sunday at the (WAGG) JANE’S CLUB. Historically, he was resident DJ, among others, of mythical places like Casa 128, Montecristo Café and Diablitho Latino. He is also regularly invited to major events and International Congresses in France and abroad, but also to events related to the arrival of major Cuban music groups.
The register of this music lover is very wide, how could it be otherwise?
Brother of a famous harpsichordist and conductor of baroque music, Jack grew up and evolved in a musical environment between baroque and rock.
“I mainly listen to jazz, soul-funk, rock, world music and even classical music! ” he likes to say, it is probably this vast musical culture that makes him the favorite deejay of salsa aficionados in Paris.
“I like to find these musical influences in the Latin music that I listen to. Sometimes my quest is in vain, other times I am satisfied and it is not uncommon for me to discover real gems that I hasten to share with my audience if the piece is “bailable” he assures.
Jack El Calvo’s playground? It is undoubtedly Cuban salsa but this well-informed music lover also listens to Gilberto Santa Rosa, Hector Lavoe, Oscar d’Leon, el Canario, Puerto Rican Power, Luis Enrique, Victor Manuelle and in another style: Galé, Joe Arroyo.
Now recognized as a “timbaphile”, Jack El Calvo was among the first DJs in Paris to export.
“I am often called Pro-JACK (in reference to the anti-depressant: Prozac), because I also have to make people happy. My happiness depends on the happiness of my public. If I see that people are happy, it’s good. If they leave exhausted, but with a smile from ear to ear, it’s won. Salsa is also a therapy. People sometimes come to forget their sorrows or their daily worries.”
However, it was almost by chance that he discovered salsa.
Several years ago, professional imperatives led him to travel around Cuba. It was there that he heard for the first time on a farm in Pinar del Rio “Y que tu quieres que te den” by Adalberto Alvarez: “There was a farmer with his little post, he was passing by. I said to him: “what is this music? “He said to me:” it is the music of my country, salsa. “. I said to him: “I need this disc”. I gave him 10 dollars, he was very happy, at the time it was huge for him, and for me I was very happy to have this record; it was my first salsa record and I always have it with me in my DJ briefcase. It is a symbol of the start of my passion for this music.”
Today, Jack El Calvo would own more than 5,000 CDs! Enough to delight Latino music enthusiasts as well as Cuban salsa dancers. “The public gives me energy and I give it back. There is a real exchange. A DJ who only looks at his decks cannot function. You have to know how to look, listen to people, know how to put on this or that piece, restore energy if they are exhausted, it’s a real exchange of good energy. The audience is essential.”
Each of his performances is a real moment of urbi et orbi happiness!
Certainly Jack El Calvo masters his subject!