Orquesta Espada is considered by many to be the top Salsa/Jazz band to come out of the CT region. The full orchestra is comprised of 11 members, which utilizes a wide range of original Salsa & Brazilian rhythms to create a spicy brand of music. Espada has headlined many festivals and have performed and opened for such greats as Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Claudio Roditi, Roy Ayers, and others. The band was formed in 1982 by Ray Santiago, William Fluker, Doug Long, and Ivan Santiago. Espada has remained relatively the same throughout the 28 year history. Over the years, band leader Ray Santiago has composed and arranged many compositions and recordings with co-band members W.Fluker, D.Long, M.Ocasio, K.Jensen, and lyricist Luis Roman.
Orq. Espada released their “On Orchard Beach” CD in 2000. For the next 8 years the group traveled throughout the East Coast performing at various venues, performing at shows, Bronx Music Festival, Hartford Jazz Festival and La Copa in Miami, FL. The band has also hosted a yearly Salsa Meets Jazz Festival venue and has performed with Grammy nominated Claudio Roditi, Grammy winner Dave Valentin, upcoming jazz pianist Zaccai Curtis and trumpeter Joel Gonzalez- Vierra. In 2012 the band started recording their new CD “On The Cutting Edge” released in the spring of 2013. The bands focus for 2013 and beyond is to present its fiery brand of salsa and latin jazz for the public’s dancing and listening pleasure.