University of Northern Iowa (c. May, 1984)
Bob Washut: "So, Ed we should put together a little salsa band!"
Ed East: "Pfffft! Yeah Bob, you so funny!"
Orquesta Alto Maiz is something of a musical enigma. It is a popular Latin-jazz-dance band made up of musicians now living in the "heartland" of America.
The Latin tinged music they perform, usually found in the clubs of New York City, L.A. or Miami, has secured them a reputation as one of the hottest bands in the Midwest.
This strange mix of "salsa" and tall corn works because of the years of musical experience the band members bring to the group, and because of their love for the music.
Alto Maiz has been performing regionally and internationally since 1986 and has steadily built a strong base of Latin music fans and supporters wherever they've played.
Orquesta Alto Maiz plays a wide range of Latin musical styles, including merengue, samba, cha-cha-cha, salsa, calypso, and boleros. In addition to Latin-jazz standards by Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Ismael Miranda, Mario Bauzá, Poncho Sanchez and others, the band has produced many successful original compositions as well.
Alto Maiz has recorded much of this music, producing two cassette tapes; Puerto de Tierra (1989), Casa del Fuego (1991), and eight compact discs; Dancing in the Corn (1993), Azucar Caliente (1995), Década (1997), Live at Montreux (1999), Añejando (2001), Ritmo en Azul (2004), Veinte (2006) and Live On Fire (2008).
Regardless of age group or musical preferences, Orquesta Alto Maiz strikes a common chord with its audience. Once exposed to this vibrant, pulsating music, people find it so irresistible their feet won't keep still!
Audience participation (dancing, singing) is enthusiastically encouraged. And remember, dancing is good for you, and dancing like no one is watching is even better! Once you experience them you will never forget them, Orquesta Alto Maiz, "The Salsa Band."