Colombian salsa band Guayacan Orquestra is making a permanent move to Madrid due to excessive negative tabloid coverage, the group’s director and founder Alexis Lozano announced in an interview with Spanish online magazine El Poder de tu Musica Wednesday.
Problems for the group began after last year’s Fair of Cali music festival, where Lozano publically complained of the poor treatment and underrepresentation of domestic musical groups, compared to that of foreign acts.
The issue was triggered by the Cali mayor’s hiring of large numbers of foreign acts, particularly Puerto Rican and Cuban artists, at the protest of local groups. This was compounded by several allegations that the mayor’s staff mistreated local musicians.
The conflict boiled over when Lozano took to the stage and said, “Here in Cali there is no Puerto Rican or Cuban that is better than me or Guayacan. Let them come and have the power of the people that I have,” words which enraged acts from the two countries where salsa music has it’s cultural roots, and drawing a backlash from the media.
While Lozano has now decided to escape the media spotlight at home, he reassured fans that the group will play anywhere they are contracted in Colombia, saying “we are a group of the people and we have no problem with going to festivals and parties in our country. The music of Guayacan is for the people.”