Arthur Hanlon & Friends Encanto Del Caribe Album.
Last week, during a private viewing of the Encanto Del Caribe special, I had the chance to meet the chart-topping pianist/composer/arranger/Emmy-nominated, Arthur Hanlon. Today (August 21st), the deluxe CD/DVD set goes on sale which features Arthur performing alongside big names like Marc Anthony, Natalia Jiménez, and Laura Pausini.
Hanlon is considered to be the most recognizable name in Latin instrumental música today and the only pianist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Charts. Also, get this: Arthur Hanlon is about as gringo as they come. Born in Detroit to Irish American parents, Arthur earned his master’s degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music during the day and played Latin clubs in the evening exploring the music of Grupo Niche, Willie Colón, and Oscar D’León.
“I kinda became a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. With Bach, Mozart, Beethoven during the day and at night doing jam sessions in Latin. That experience completely changed my life and the direction of my career.” ~Arthur Hanlon
Being a gringa in the mundo latino, I love love love coming across other people with parallel journeys. During our quick chat, Arthur and I shared with each other how our seemingly traditional American upbringings took a dramatic shift in course once we came across the Latin culture. While his music transcends language, Arthur did teach himself Spanish with a little help from the chicas he would try and ask out on dates (He once asked a girl what her plans were for el zapato, instead of el sabado). I wonder if he learned to dance salsa like Las Gringas did?!
After connecting as fellow gringos, I’m even more excited to continue following the career of Arthur Hanlon, and I hope to be able to see him perform live in the very near future. The new album, “Encanto del Caribe” on Univeral Music Latino, is a treat, even to those without the classically-trained ear, and I highly recommend that you check out the set which is in stores now!