To say that the core fans of the “Festival Chim Pum Callao” in Peru miss having “Salsa Dura” in their festival lineup this year is putting it softly. There is a controversy brewing up because of the lack of “Salsa Dura” artists in this year’s lineup, which is the 17th edition of the “Festival Chim Pum Callao”.
The headliner this year is Marc Anthony, the king of pop-Salsa. Some fans, particularly the ladies, are loving the visit of Marc Anthony to Peru. The “Festival Chim Pum Callao” has traditionally catered the “Salsa Dura” fans that go to see their Salsa idols of today and yesteryear. There’s a group trying to convince festival organizers to bring the Fania All Stars to the event.
Although all Salsa music fans recognize Marc Anthony as a lead figure in Salsa music, the core “Salseros” want to see artists like El Gran Combo, Sonora Ponceña, Cano Estremera (who is adored in Peru), Oscar D’Leon, Raphy Leavitt, and many others. Luis “Perico” Ortiz and Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz are some of the fan favorites here.
With the decline of Salsa events for several years in traditional strongholds as New York and Puerto Rico, Peru has become a refuge for “Salsa Dura” artists. Peru has always embraced Salsa music, but didn’t have as much access to these artists in the past.
What the protesters argue is that that “Salsa Dura” is what has distinguished the “Festival Chim Pum Callao”, and not having exponents of this type of Salsa music goes against the essence of the festival.
There is not much they can do this year. Some are trying to form an informal boycott, but the truth is Marc Anthony will draw a big crowd that will likely fill the Estadio Miguel Grau on August 17th, when the festival takes place. However, I do hope the organizers take note that Peruvians want their Salsa Dura back!