Meet Ms. Sharon German – Boston (La Voz del Mambo’s Artist Correspondent)

Johnny: For those who may not know you, can you tell us a little about your background as a musician?

Sharon: My musical background as a muscian started when I was 8 years old, I was going into the fourth grade and my school was initiating a new program for kids interested in instrument lessons, out of all instruments one of them caught my attention, it was here when I discovered the trombone.

Soon I joined the school’s marching band and concert band. Then two years later I joined my school’s jazz band, we traveled, entered state and national competitions, and for three consecutive years we held a state champion tittle for the best middle school jazz group. When I turned 13 years old my playing abilities were expanding and I was starting to notice an immense interest for salsa music.

My brother Grey at the time was playing with one of Boston’s local salsa groups, at the time they were called “Oquestra Carribe” but they soon split up and became “Mambo Magic”. This band was lacking a trombone player so I hussled and offered to be in the group. At first the director (Carlito “El Timbalero”) was very skeptical. I mean not only was I a girl but on top of that I was 13 years old, this band was gigging late nights, bars, clubs, and sometimes they would tour but he took his chances. When he heard me play he was impressed, and the more we played the more exposure I got.

Everytime I played, it was another opportunity for someone else to hear me. In events where other bands were featured, directors would ask me how could a 13 year old play like that? It wasn’t until I reached a certain level and the entire Boston musical scene knew my name. I interacted with people and connections came into play.

Along the way I also learned to play other instruments like guitar and piano. I also did and still do back up singing. However, salsa isn’t the only genre I play. I also enjoy other styles like jazz, rythm and blues, all forms of latin, classical, marching, rock and slow jams.

Johnny: Can you name some musicians that you have performed on stage with?

Sharon: I’ve had the pleasure to perform with “El Gran Combo”, Raulin Rosendo, Grupo Niche, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Oscar D’Leon, La India, Africando, Jimmy Bosch, and Rey Ruiz. In the Jazz field I’ve had the pleaure to work with two legends Maynard Furgesson and Wynton Marsalis. Last year I played with the Boston Symphony Orquestra and traveled with the American Navy Marching Band. I’ve had the honor and privileged to interact with Johnny Pacheco, Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Johnny Polanco, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Frankie Vasquez.

Johnny: who are some of your favorite musicians?

Sharon: Honestly this is a very hard question because every artist delivers something different and special but I would have to say Johnny Pacheco, Cheo Felicano, Jimmy Bosch and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

Johnny: What is your background as a salsa dancer?

Sharon: My background as a salsa dancer started with Ruben Gonzalez and Lisa Perez, two beautiful dancers who at the time were students of April Genovese. Shortly they stopped teaching and I ran to April, I’ve been dancing with this amazing dancer for 2 years; I’ve been dancing in total for 2 1/2 years. I currently dance with the Melaza Dance Company which is ran by April herself, but previous to being a salsa dancer, for five years I was a ballerina and tap dancer.

Johnny: Who are some of your favorite dancers or dance groups?

Sharon: Similar to what I said before this is also a hard question because every dance company is different and unique in their own way, but my top three are the Eddie Torres Dance Company, Yamulee, and Karisma. My favorite dancers are April, Lisa, Amarylis, Arlet, Thomas, Frankie, Juan, and Vitico.

Johnny: As the Musician Correspondent how do you plan to contribute to La Voz del Mambo?

Sharon: My expectation is to join all the voices of mambo by incorporating some of the leaders of the community. I hope to bring an element of diversity and of course I hope my contributions could leave a positive mark. I look forward for the experience.

Johnny: Any additional comments:

Sharon: Thank You Johnny for giving me the opportunity to work for your publication and thanks to the readers and participants who make this La Voz del Mambo possible.