XUMAPAZ is appearing at the 2021 COVERS FOR COVER benefit concert. We're able to participate by sending in FOUR NEW VIDEOS, filmed in EL DEPÓSITO, our rehearsal space in Bogotá, which we pimped out during Covid in an attempt to keep playing, even if it's just a few of us at a time. We were able to finish pre-production on the next XUMAPAZ album and used our phones to film some of the process. And then we made these FOUR VIDEOS for COVERSFORCOVER which you can watch on December 10th at 7:30 p.m.


The proceeds go to a wonderful organization called GIRLFORWARD who mentor young women in the Chicago area.

Our thanks for the invite and I hope we make a lot of money for this great cause!

TIS THE SEASON (El regreso de la pelota caliente)

I love watching someone who's having a great day. Baseball gives you that opportunity. Today it's the youngster pitcher Michael Kopech. He can hardly believe it. Other days it's been Yermín Mercedes, who has had a burger named after him. You can watch a video of him trying the burger for the first time and approving. 'Tis the season.

I welcome the return of the pelota caliente a mi vida (y en mi vida laboral...    ) And I bless technology (for a change) for making it possible for me to watch the CWSox WHENEVER I WANT! The past few games have been so damn entertaining, and with my rockstar TA back in action (he's beautiful even when he Ks), I feel some relief from the strange ongoing Covid thing. Aunque desde que empezaron a cantar "God Bless America" at the park, I've felt a certain disconnect with the spectacle. It's the game I love. So play ball!

You'd be surprised how much guitar you can practice during a full-length bball game. I run songs, sets, scales... I fiddle with pegs and bridges and strings... And although I don't always put the sound up, sometimes it's nice to sink into a play-by-play in the dulcet tones of Steve and Jason, who sound like home. Still.

And then there's lunch. 


The Loveliest of Re-runs: Summer in the City

Sally and Adam warming up in Palomino (Colombia)
I could probably just repost my blog from two summers ago, when I visited my hometown of Chicago and got to play with some of the musicians I love and miss when I'm away, and also meet and play with new (to me) talent, but although I'll be hanging with many of the same, there are ALWAYS new treats in store!

I'll be hitting town on June 19 and hanging around til the end of July and already have something lined up with my buddy Adam Haus at the wonderful Ciao on July 13 and hope to add at least one date with the unstoppable Venezuelan percussionist, Pibo Márquez, also in Chicago for some dates with Charles King, and, OF COURSE, I look forward to crashing every friend's gig I can (like it or not, friends...).

So I'll keep you posted and hope to see you in Chicago this summer!


As the weather grows cold (for those of you in the Northern hemisphere, and in the Midwestern “yanqui” lizard-corner of my brain), I begin to look back nostalgically at the incredible summer filled with music, friends and family. I tend to document as best I can while in the thick of it, then write it all down later… I guess later is just a little later than usual this year, but I blame it on the whirlwind post-summer action back in Bogotá, which –as they (continue to) say in the US– is ALL GOOD!

Chicago is a music-lover’s paradise, especially in the summer when lots of it is out on the street and for free. It also happens to be my hometown and base camp for the annual summer pilgrimage. I thank family and friends for welcoming me back and keeping me busy, and my bike for continuing to carry me back and forth between all the action.


My first night back I hopped on the bike to visit my friend, singer/guitarist MERCEDES LANDAZURI at SIP (great restaurant/bar at Southport & Irving – give ‘em your business; they help keep live music alive). Thanks for letting me crash your gig! He we are with another fine guitarist and friend, AYLON SAMOUHA.



My longtime muso buddy, Venezuelan percussionist PIBO MÁRQUEZ was in town too and invited me to join his All-Star band at the Colombia Fest, an amazing gathering of Colombian (and other Latino) ex-pats with the LOUDEST sound system I have ever played with. Great time!


Pibo was also playing a few gigs with champeta star CHARLES KING and they invited me to play second guitar to the amazing FRANKLIM MONTAÑO at the Old Town School (Chicago’s finest year-round world music venue).


In return, Pibo joined Xumapaz at SABOR A CAFÉ (wonderful venue run by great people), and we were joined by some incredible Chicago musicians including my brother SAMMIE TORRES on percussion, JOE SONNEFELDT on vibes, DEVIN FOSTER on upright bass, and ROY MCGRATH on sax. It was an amazing show. Definitely one of the highlights of the summer.




Our boy TOMÁS GARCÍA flew in from NYC to visit with his family and took me and Pibo out with his buddy Chicago DJ Extraordinaire MARK GRUSANE for a look at the real late nightlife (I hadn’t partied ‘til 3 am in a long time…) Even got to see Tomi in action at PUNCHHOUSE under Thalia Hall.



Of course, you can’t play all the time… sometimes you get to watch. Among the highlights this summer were outdoor shows at Millennium Park (Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade) and TIM FITZGERALD’S FULL HOUSE show at Andy’s.


In August I was back at the VERMONT JAZZ CENTER’S SUMMERCAMP in Putney, Vermont and I just gotta say… I LOVE THIS PLACE! A solid week of music and music and more music with great fellow campers of all ages and amazing teachers from all over the world. This year I was especially blown away by drum instructor FRANCISCO MELA and Colombian pianist/composer CAROLINACALVACHE, not to mention my favorite Ensemble Maestro and sax giant SCOTTMULLETT. I really recommend this camp to anyone looking for a great jazz learning experience.






On my way back to Bogotá, I stopped by Brooklyn to check out Tomi’s digs and visit with friends… and more music! We caught a DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER show at the BAM R&B Festival! Ms. Bridgewater and her band were totally inspiring and gave me a great send-off.



Thanks to everyone who made this one of the best summers ever! See you next year!!!


Yea, yea, I know: “Where have you been, Sal? Ages without a blog entry!” And, yes, I kinda got distracted again. I’ve been accused of being easily distracted. And there is some truth to that. But, like my compatriotas say: “It’s all good”. (I really hate that saying, actually. Nothing is ever “all good”. And, as far as distractions go, sometimes I get distracted feo and tumble deep inside my head and I miss the good stuff going on outside it.) But there are also times when I get wonderfully distracted. And this is one of them.

I’ve just finished singing on and co-producing a new album by Colombian vibraphonist, arranger and bandleader Jorge Emilio Fadul. Xumapaz also appears on one of the tracks (La brecha), performing Jorge’s amazing big-as-hell big band arrangement of our tune.

Xumapaz first contacted Jorge Emilio in 2007 while recording our first Colombian release "Xumapaz". Thanks to a recommendation from percussionist Luis Pacheco, who has collaborated with Jorge Emilio over the years, he agreed to record the vibes on Battle Hymn. Later that year, Jorge surprised me with an invitation to sing with his Caribbean Paradise Orchestra at the 2007 edition of Bogotá’s emblematic Jazz al Parque festival. I somehow managed to override the voice inside me screaming, “He’s either joking or trying to get in your pants! You can’t sing that stuff!” and accepted his offer on the off-chance he was serious and prepared as best I could for the first rehearsal, after which, I figured I’d know for sure. Both Jorge and his band of (24!) merry men behaved like the gentlemen they are and I was hooked. Many of you will never know the thrill of singing in front of a wall of brass and copper and goatskin and vibes, but let me assure you, it’s addictive. Thus began the adventure.

We’ve never looked back. (Actually, I’ve looked back almost the whole time, over my shoulder, for the real singer that should have this dream gig and who could probably do it way better then I could, etc. etc.). The same Caribbean Paradise Orchestra reappeared for the Teatro Libre’s 2009 Jazz Fest, sharing the bill that week with Brad Mehldau, Habana Report, Kenny Garrett and Ronald Carter, and that same year traveled to Sincelejo to record a live album in the Plaza de Majagual. On a number of occasions Jorge has invited me to perform arrangements he wrote for me with other big bands around the country. On each of these occasions I’ve had an opportunity to learn from and perform in this new musical idiom. (One of the best and most frightening experiences in a singer’s career.) So when the idea arose to record the repertoire we’d been performing live, and to add to that repertoire some new tunes, enlisting the talents of the great players who have collaborated with Jorge in recent years, I felt honored.

The result is “Alegre encuentro”. Please give it a listen and let us know what you think. And, if you like it, buy a copy and tell a friend. MAKES A GREAT STOCKING STUFFER AND REALLY BREAKS THE ICE AT PARTIES! You can download singles or the whole album at www.jorgeemiliofadul.com, where you'll also find pictures, news, videos and all that good stuff. And, if you're in Bogotá, you can get your "hard" copy at Almacenes Soluciones. Thanks for listening!

¡Sí, sí, ya sé! Dónde has estado, Sallicita? ¡Hace tiempos que no escribes nada! Y, sí, como que muchas distracciones. A mí me han acusado más de una vez de ser fácilmente distraída, y es verdad. Pero como dicen mis compatriotas: “Todo bien, todo bien…” (De hecho, odio esa “It’s all good.” Nunca nada es “todo bien”. Y en cuanto a las distracciones, muchas veces me distraigo FEO y quedo dando vueltas dentro de mi propia cabeza y pierdo contacto con las cosas BUENAS que pasan afuera…) Pero a veces me distraigo RICO, y esta es una de aquellas.

Acabo de terminar de cantar y co-producir el nuevo disco del vibrafonista/arreglista colombiano, Jorge Emilio Fadul.  Y Xumapaz aparece en uno de los tracks también (La brecha), tocando el arreglo maravillosamente inmenso que hizo Jorge de nuestra canción.

Xumapaz contrató por primera vez a Jorge Emilio en 2007, cuando grabábamos nuestro primer CD hecho en Colombia "Xumapaz". Percusionista Luis Pacheco había colaborado durante años con Jorge Emilio y logró traerlo al estudio para que grabara el vibráfono en Battle Hymn. Luego Jorge me sorprendió con una invitación para cantar con su Caribbean Paradise Orchestra en Jazz al Parque (2007). No sé cómo, pero logré callar la voz en mi cabeza que gritaba “O el hombre te está tomando el pelo o te quiere “comer”… ¡tú no cantas en ese estilo!” y acepté la oferta, con la esperanza de que hablara en serio… y me preparé lo más que pude para el primer ensayo, durante el cual Jorge y su banda de (24!) hombres alegres se portaron como los caballeros que son. Y quedé enganchadísima. Muchos de Uds. jamás conocerán la emoción que causa cantar en frente de un muro eléctrico de cobres, caña, cuero, y vibráfono, pero les aseguro que es adictivo. Así empezó esta aventura.

Desde entonces, jamás hemos mirado pa’tras. (Bueno, yo sí, a cada rato, encima de mi hombro, buscando a la verdadera cantante que debía estar en mi lugar, que seguro cantaría mejor que yo, etc.) La misma orquesta reapareció para el Fesitval de Jazz del Teatro Libre en 2009, compartiendo el escenario esa semana con Brad Mehldau, Habana Report, Kenny Garrett, y Ronald Carter, y luego viajamos a Sincelejo para grabar un disco en vivo en la emblemática Plaza de Majagual. Cada rato me llama Jorge para invitarme a cantar los arreglos que me ha hecho con otras Big Band en otras partes. Y en cada una de estas ocasiones he tenido la oportunidad de aprender y gozar de este nuevo (para mí) idioma. Así que cuando surgió la idea de grabar el repertorio que veníamos presentando en vivo, y de agregarle algunos temas nuevos, en compañía de los maestros que llevan años colaborando con Jorge Emilio, me pareció un gran honor. El resultado es “Alegre encuentro”. Por favor, escúchenlo y envíen sus comentarios. Y si les gusta, CÓMPRENLO y compártalo con los amigos. ¡ES UN SUPER REGALO NAVIDEÑO! Pueden descargar las canciones, o el album entero, en (www.jorgeemiliofadul.com) donde también encontrarán fotos, noticias, videos, etc. El disco físico se puede comprar en CDBaby (link) o, en Bogotá, en Almacen Soluciones. ¡Gracias por escuchar! 


¡QUÉ DELICIA JAZZ AL PARQUE! Y qué orgullo pertenecer a una escena musical tan variada y tan repleta de talento. Una vez más, gocé en el Parque del Country con el ambiente relajado, el espacio abierto pero acogedor, los grupos venidos de lejos, pero sobre todo con ver la calidad de músicos y propuestas musicales nacionales. Y luego de viajar a EEUU este verano y gozar también de varios festivales, sin hablar de música en la calle y en los bares, siento que Colombia no tiene nada que envidiar al resto del mundo. Felicitaciones a todos los que se presentaron... me dieron envidia - de la buena - y ganas de seguir creando con mi banda, con mis amigos, con mis compañeros en la música. Va un enlace al concierto en la Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia para acordarnos de lo rico que es tocar!!!   XUMAPAZ EN VIVO EN LA BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL

ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR JAZZ AL PARQUE! And how proud I am to be part of such a vibrant and varied music scene here in Colombia. I had a great time in the festival's relaxed, open atmosphere in Parque del Country, enjoying groups come from afar and, especially, the amazing Colombian musicians. And after a summer in the US, hearing music at festivals, on the street, and in bars, I gotta say Colombia can feel very proud and totally on a par with musicians around the world. Congratulations to everyone who played this year... I was TOTALLY JEALOUS (I want another turn!!!) and inspired to keep making music with my band, with my buddies, and with others on this incredible scene. Here's a link to our concert at the National Library, just to remember how great it is to play music!!! XUMAPAZ AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY.


IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK! Some of you might have heard... I broke my foot in early February and spent the better part of the last three months with my leg up... nice and quiet. And while I like a rest as much as the next guy, this one went on for a lot longer than I was expecting. It is, therefore, with GREAT JOY that I announce the upcoming XUMAPAZ gig as part of the COLORES DE LA MUSICA Festival. The show is at Café Libro de la 93 (Bogotá). Can't wait to see you all again!  Look ma, NO CRUTCHES! - Sally

¡QUÉ BUENO ESTAR DE REGRESO! Como algunos sabrán, me fracturé el pié en febrero y llevo tres meses con la pata estirada... tranquilita, tranquilita. Y aunque a mi me gusta un descansito tanto como a cualquiera, este se alargó mucho más de lo esperado. Es, por lo tanto, con una ALEGRÍA ENORME que anuncio el próximo concierto de XUMAPAZ como parte del Festival Los Colores de la Música.  Tocaremos en Café Libro de la 93 y me muero por verlos a todos nuevamente! ¡¡¡SIN MULETAS!!!! - Sally


The year is off to a wild start - lots of good stuff, especially a GREAT ARTICLE by one of my favorite Colombian authors and music critics, Sandro Romero Rey. His blog entries are published in the country's No. 1 literary mag "MALPENSANTE" and this one asks the question: "Why do some foreigners fall so deeply in love with Colombia?" I don't believe we really got to the bottom of that question in the interview, even though it lasted for well over an hour, but the text reveals lots of little details I'd forgotten about my happily checkered music career and made me realize how, without actually being aware of it, this long musical haul of mine has touched the lives and sensibilities of many people I really respect. So thanks to Malpensante and, especially, to Dr. (and not just of rock) Romero Rey, the biggest Stones fan I have ever known and possessor of more music trivia than I'll ever be able to retain, for putting it all down in writing.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Arrancó el año de manera bien agitada - con muchas cosas buenas, sobre todo un ARTÍCULO MARAVILLOSO escrito por uno de los autores/críticos de música que más respeto, Sandro Romero Rey. Su blog se publica en la gran revista literaria MALPENSANTE y en esta entrada, dedicada a Sally Station y Xumapaz, hace la pregunta: ¿Por qué hay extranjeros que se enamoran tanto de Colombia? No creo que llegamos a contestar a fondo la pregunta durante la larga entrevista que me hizo (hablé, como de costumbre, demasiado y duró más de una hora), pero el texto revela muchos detallitos que se me habían olvidado sobre mi felizmente accidentada carrera musical y me hizo caer en cuenta de cómo, sin darme cuenta, este viaje mío, largo y sonoro, ha tocado la fibra y las sensibilidades de muchas de las personas que más quiero y respeto. Gracias entonces al MALPENSANTE y, sobre todo, al doctor (y no solamente del rock) Romero Rey, el fan más grande de los Stones que yo conozco y poseedor de más trivialidades musicales que yo jamás sería capaz de retener, por haberlo puesto por escrito.   ¡FELIZ AÑO!


Oficial Poster!
OH MY GOD! This is great news! I just got a letter from the Santa Fe de Antioquia Film Festival announcing that "ADIVINANZA", the animated video I put together with my collages (and lots of help from Ma. Paulina Ponce, Diego Forero, Susana Carrié and Pedro Ramos, to name just a few) has been selected for this year's festival. The video will screen in the Caja de Pandora section of one of my favorite events of the year. Every evening as the sun goes down, people set up chairs or lounge on the ground in the squares of this tiny jewel of an old colonial town in the mountains of Colombia to watch movies OUTDOORS! It's nice and warm and there's free popcorn! It doesn't get much better than this.  Hey... maybe we can get a gig out of it too! Watch the video in the comfort of your own home here!

¡AY DIOS MIO! ¡ Qué buena noticia ! Me acaba de llegar una carta del Festival de Cine de Santa Fe de Antioquia anunciando que "ADIVINANZA", el video animado que hice con mis collages (y bastante ayuda de Ma. Paulina Ponce, Diego Forero, Susana Carrié y Pedro Ramos, entre muchos otros) fue seleccionado para el FestiCine este año. El video se proyectará en la sección Caja de Pandora en uno de los eventos culturales que MAS me gusta.  Cada noche al caer el sol, la gente saca sus sillas de la casa o se sienta en el suelo para ver cine AFUERA en las placitas de esta joyita colonial en las montañas de Colombia. Hace calorcito... hay crispetas... ¡Nada mejor que esto! Oye, ahora que lo pienso, quizás podremos tocar...  ¡Sigue este enlace para ver el video en el confort de tu propia casa!


I love any excuse to get out of town... especially when it means seeking warmer climes. But a road trip with my band is the best! We left Bogotá this morning in "La nubecita" - Alejo's solid, white SUV-kinda-like-car (I'm not sure what you call them these days... "crossover" maybe?), packed to the gills with instruments and backpacks and a gaggle of ready and willing Xumapaces. Our 9-hour road trip, went off without a hitch and was even pretty enjoyable, complete with a decent roadside plate of beans and rice and FOUR DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF M&Ms  (ever try the "mint" ones?)  Those of you in and around Medellín, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow at CasaTeatro El Poblado in Medellín! Everybody else - what are you waiting for to book us in your town? WE'RE SO MOBILE!!!

Cualquier pretexto para salir de la ciudad... sobre todo para un clima más calientico. Pero un viajecito con mis compañeros de banda ¡ES LO MÁXIMO! Salimos de Bogotá esta mañana en "La nubecita" - el carrazo blanco y sólido de Alejito - con instrumentos, morrales, y varios Xumapacitos armados con buena energía y mucho talento. Llegamos en 9 horas luego de un viaje realmente fácil y agradable, incluyendo el plato de frijoles con arroz que me comí en un paradero de Doradal y los CUATRO SABORES DIFERENTES DE M&Ms que descubrimos en el camino (¿ya conocen los de menta?) Para los que viven en Medellín o cerquita, queremos verlos mañana en CasaTeatro El Poblado. Y los demás... ¿qué esperan para contratarnos por ahí? SOMOS TAN MÓBILES!!!