The musical palate of Indianapolis will get a jolt on Sept. 28 when Orquesta Bravo! returns to Radio Radio.
“I’ve always been interested in singing, obviously, and I love to go salsa dancing,” says vocalist Stacie Sandoval of Orquesta Bravo!. “One night, I saw a band and thought, ‘I could do that!’”
Sandoval moved from Los Angeles to Indianapolis in 1998. “Yes, I know. Everyone tells me that I did it backwards. My mom moved here in 1995, and she finally convinced me to come here and finish school.”
Sandoval then began singing with Urbanos.
“I had always been toying with the idea of a salsa orchestra. I had talked to a couple of guys from Urbanos, and they were interested,” she says. “Then we started getting people.”
The 11-piece salsa orchestra, Orquesta Bravo!, was formed in 2004.
“It’s a lot of text messaging and e-mail,” Sandoval says. “Thank God for technology (laughs). Some nights it might be 10 [musicians], but no less. We like to keep it at that amount. That would be like having a swing band with one horn player.”
The all-acoustic orchestra features three percussionists, four horn players and two to three vocalists, which cover the music of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and others.
“A lot of people are surprised at how many of us are on stage,” she says. “We’re definitely not background music. The first time I went into Radio Radio, I couldn’t believe how beautiful the floor was. Besides a stage for us, the other thing our audience needs is a great dance floor.”
At 10 p.m. on Friday, the band will conduct a free salsa dance lesson before kicking off their performance at Radio Radio. Opening for the orchestra will be DJ Philipp, spinning reggaeton, meringue and bachata at 9 p.m.
Sandoval has also recently formed a jazz quartet called the Stacie Sandoval Tropical Jazztet. They’ll perform at the Jazz Kitchen on Saturday, Oct. 20.