Get ‘salsafied’ with opening act, Beto and the Fairlanes |

Get ‘salsafied’ with opening act, Beto and the Fairlanes

Staff Report

Over the years , Beto and the Fairlanes, who are the Summer of Jazz 2004 opening act, have created a tribe of loyal fans who continue to gather for rituals of dance, song and tropical frolic. One unifying principle that seems to draw both listeners and dancers to Beto’s concerts is the irresistible sense of fun that Beto and the Fairlanes are able to generate from the stage.

Rarely do players of this level of musicianship come together and play with such obvious enthusiasm. The band’s high-flyin’ horns and explosive percussion and Beto’s easy sense of humor take you to a celebration of musical traditions both north and south that meet naturally in the beat of their music.

Even the recordings by Beto and the Fairlanes evoke the flavor, atmosphere and inspiration of a live concert played under the stars on a tropical night for people of many cultures and backgrounds. The dance floor is filled with dancers. There’s a sense of magic in the air. And the audience is “salsafied” by the powerful music of Beto and the Fairlanes.

Beto himself is, in truth, one Robert Skiles, a native Texan from San Antonio who has degrees in music from the universities of Texas and North Texas. Before forming Beto and the Fairlanes, Robert was, and still is, a prominent jazz pianist in Austin, Texas.

On the classical side he played piano for the Austin City Ballet and the University of Texas dance department. He has also written and conducted four major works for orchestra.

So, why Beto and the Fairlanes? In his own words, Skiles explains, “Beto was a result of my bilingual roots in San Antonio, a love of jazz and classical music that came from my parents who were both accomplished artists, and a desire to write and perform highly energetic, improvised music that was both challenging to play and fun to dance to! My vision was to combine in a unique way elements of jazz and Latin music.

And the name, Beto and the Fairlanes? “It was something I just thought up as a fun name for a typical south Texas street band. In time, the name and the music stuck and here we are! What are we doing now? Well, after so many years of playing concerts and recording, we still get together for the same reason we did when we started ” simply to have fun! Sure, we still have other projects in the works, but nowadays we have about one gig a month and it’s a family party: band and fans. And it’s fun. That’s what we’re all about!”

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