Asulado began as a musical duo dedicated to Latin music in general; an overdue partnership between Karen Siefken and John Stuart. We come from very different backgrounds and musical generations.
Karen, originally from Colombia, grew up listening and dancing to Merengue, Salsa, Vallentato, Cumbia and Mapale, (just to mention some) and listening to Latin, American, and European Pop/Rock. She also participated in the Ballet Nacional de Colombia, founded and run by her grandmother, Sonia Osorio. The ballet celebrates the folkloric music and dance of Colombia with performances all over the world.
Having been in the US for almost ten years, she has been showered with many different artists and styles, old and new, famous and local. Her journey is just beginning, and it is going to be a long one for sure!
John grew up in Kentucky and spent his college years in Nashville, Tennessee. He began playing guitar and singing folk music in high school and developed an interest in country and bluegrass music during his Nashville years. He has always had a broad interest in music of all forms and origins.
In the early ‘90’s, John actively pursued his real passion: Latin music. He was drawn to the music and the Latin people in New York City. He began studying traditional Afro-Cuban styles on congas, bongos, maracas, guiro... at Boys Harbor in El Barrio (East Harlem), New York. He promotes awareness and appreciation of Latin music wherever he can. He teaches Latin percussion to children in the Norwalk, CT housing projects.
Back to Asulado...
Our first conversation took us straight to traditional Latin music, and we have been exploring and sharing styles and musical flavors ever since. We have played together for over five years now...no, make that TEN YEARS now! It all started with an informal conga lesson that took us to where we are today! Prior to forming Asulado, we were part of the Levi E Band, where we brought Latin soul and beat to Levi E's own Blues.
As Asulado, we pay tribute to Latin artists, mostly contemporary, interpreting our favorite tunes. You will hear our versions of songs from a long list of artists including Bebe, Manu Chao, Shakira, Juanes, Carlos Vives, Jarabe de Palo, Andrea Echeverri and Aterciopelados, Julieta Venegas, Chichi Peralta and more, many more.
As we explore and adore this musical genre with it's multitude of styles, we have felt compelled to write our own songs as well. So, in the mix you will hear Asulado originals too. Our originals are sung in Spanish or in English, or both!
We hope you come out to enjoy this music with us. It will be different and, most importantly, lots of fun!! We will ask you to participate in the music with us: clapping clave, singing choruses. We’ll be talking about the artists we bring to you... about the instruments and patterns we play and about our journey with this wonderful music.