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Quemando spices up Thursday's Rock & Rails stage

Residents who've been fine-tuning their Latin ballroom dance moves in Cottonwood Square will have their chance to shine when Quemando takes the stage at this week's Rock & Rails. The band is well known in the area, having performed at the Niwot Jazz Festival in June. The band has also opened for acts like Sheryl Crow at Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and Oscar De Leon. We talked to Quemando's founder, Eric Schneider, to get a preview of this week's high-energy show.

Q: Thanks for talking to me today. Can you share a bit about your passion for salsa and why you founded the band?

ES: Sure. I started the band a long time ago, probably thirteen years or so, after I had been going to school forever for music. I learned jazz off both my parents who were music teachers, and then I joined this Latin jazz group. After about a year I started getting pretty good at it and I started having my own vision of kind of how I would like it to be. That's when I started the band.

We first played at Republic of Boulder ...once a week. Then we got a call from Rumba (now Centro). People just really loved the style of music. Eventually we played at the St. Julian Hotel Happy Hour. It's one of our bigger shows to this day.

Q: That's some great hustle you displayed. Nice. And now you're at Rock & Rails this week.

ES: Yeah, we did a few years ago and I brought the this huge version of the band. I mean I think it was like thirteen people or something and we barely fit on the same stage. I mean we were like sardines so it was pretty interesting. I'm not bringing as big of a version of the band this time. We just don't fit.

Q: Well, people here are going to be ready. They've been practicing.

ES: Between playing Rock & Rails over the years mixed with doing that jazz festival, I think we've kind of gotten our own little crowd up there in Niwot. And then of course, that's just close enough to Boulder to draw our fans from there also. It's a really great show and I'm really excited. Oh...and it's always really fun when we're in the middle of a set and then all of a sudden, the train goes by - just reminds you of what a small town it is.

Q: You're not the first band to have mentioned the train.

ES: It's so nostalgic, you know. We always like it. Isn't that why they call it Rock & Rails?

Q: So, what other memories do you have of playing Rock & Rails?

ES: The second year which was really close to the railroad track and I brought the 14-piece version of the band. We wound up having a phenomenal sound technician and I just remember going out front listening to it and thinking that I can't believe how good it sounds. Quite a moment.

Q: That's a wonderful story. So, is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?

ES: Well, I'd like to mention that some of us have played with each other for twenty years now, and we've kind of turned out to be a family. And it's become a kind of a tradition which is cool. Really cool, what it's all about.

Q: Anything else?

ES: Sure, we're in the middle of recording with a 17-piece version of the band. We're just working on it, getting it published. It's going to be released here pretty soon and we're excited about it.

Q:That's great news. Congratulations – in advance. And we can't wait to see you Thursday.

ES: Thanks.


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