What’s On interview The Kaney International Band as they prepare to play Izel, Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road. Listen to Latin American music in Dubai.

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By Chloe Henderson

With the world collectively turning their eyes towards Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, the nation’s vibrant and exotic festival flair has never been more in focus.

Now all of the colour, music and excitement of the fiesta is being brought to Dubai by Latin American performance group Kaney International Band.

What’s On sat down for a chat with group leader, Javier Peña Oliveros. about how Latin American music is taking over the globe, and why they are a show worth seeing.

Despite being made up entirely of Colombian performers, Kaney International Band boasts an encompassing Latin American sound. We’re not talking about the likes of Pitbull and Shakira here; the band strips back to the roots of the region’s music and culture, offering a dizzying range of styles from Bolero to the modern Tropipop and Latin Jazz.

“The most popular genres are Salsa, Merengue and Bachata,” Oliveros tells us, claiming they are most well known in Dubai.  “Salsa was born in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Merengue is a very contagious rhythm that makes you move your feet right away. Bachata is a new rhythm created from a mixture of ancient rhythms.”

If you’re struggling to work out which one you think you’d like best, Oliveros has some advice: “Enjoy a romantic dinner with smooth Latin songs like bolero, ballads and little bachatas. But if you want ‘fiesta’ full of Latin fever, dance and a night full of energy, 10.00pm is when the party gets started.”

“Our music is infectious,” he claims, pointing out that Kaney International Band focuses on dance as well as music. “You can’t help but dance even if you don’t want to.”

Oliveros also believes that the world is becoming more and more receptive to the Latin American musical scene.

“Latin American music is becoming more appreciated, the beat and the energy are so recognisable that it forces people to get up on their feet.”

Language is no barrier either when it comes to enjoying a good live performance.  “Music is a universal language.” Oliveros explains. “I’ve been playing grand piano and guitar in China and although I don’t know how to speak mandarin, I could touch their hearts playing my own music; that is what I love most about my job.”

“Through my international travels, I found that not only in Dubai, but also all over, Latin American music is always appreciated.”

Since their formation as a 16-piece band in 2011, Kaney International Band has performed in countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Spain, Brazil and China. Oliveros believes their success is down to their close-knit relationships with one another and passion for their art. “We really love and respect what we are doing and we show it every second we spend on stage,” he adds.

“I think another strength is that I write all of our own arrangements, making us stand out from the rest. We are always changing our repertoire and dance show to surprise people every time they come to see us.”

IZEL, Floor seven, Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. 9.00pm to 3.00am June 20. Tel: (04) 4447111 dubai.izel.com