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NY Salsa Congress Promoter
David Melendez

-by Manny Siverio 
Originally published on SalsaNewYork on 7/04

Mambo Instructor, Performer and Promoter to the New York Salsa Congress David Melendez has been around the mambo scene for quite some time.  From performing to directing several successful dance companies, to teaching and owning a night club to promoting the 2004 New York Salsa Congress. You name it, David has done it. Lets see what David has to say about this year's 2004 New York Salsa Congress.

SALSANEWYORK: Almost every major city around the world has a salsa congress
now-a-days. Why do you think it took NY so long to get one started and
what made you begin doing the NY Salsa Congress?

DAVID MELENDEZ: It took so long because of how expensive it was to do one!
This is my 4th Salsa Congress. The first two were done in the Catskills because
the cost was reasonable while in Manhattan it would have cost me an arm and a leg.
The second reason was that New York hotels do big corporate events all
the time. They didn't want our little dollars. I help from a friend who helped me get
the Hilton to agree to a long term contract. We didn't want to move around every
year to different hotels its the reason why Albert has been so successful with
his L.A. Congress. Everyone knows where the L.A. Congress is going to be held
each year and I wanted us to have that same stability. That's why I wanted a
long term contract with the hotel and they gave it to me. We got lucky when booking
the hotel cause the sales person was Latina and she got excited about our event.
Not to mention that our account history from last year's event at Roosevelt Hotel was
great. We rocked the place and got great numbers. I took a big chance but I have faith
that I can make the New York Congress something that we can all be proud of.

SNY: What's different at this year's congress from the other previous NY
Salsa Congresses and if this year is a success, what do you plan to do
for next year to make it even better?

DM: Different this year is the new hotel (the Hilton). It has more space and 
separate ballrooms for all the events. Everything is in one location unlike last 
year where we had to move to another location on Sunday night.  
Next year we would like to add even more performers and instructors to the congress 
but without adding extra time for the shows. We plan to break each show into 10-12 
groups which is about a one hour long. We also plan on doing 2 performances in the 
evening and one in the afternoon. We also want to make sure that we start on time 
and end early so people could go listen and dance to the bands. Another thing we plan 
on doing this year is to offer 38 hours of dancing while the groups are performing.
SNY: What bands will be playing at this year's congress?, from where will
people be coming from to attend this year's event? and are you planning
to have an endless amount of performances each night? If not why?

DM: The bands that I am using this year are local except for the 
Sunday night performance. I have Wayne Gorbea and Conjunto Imagine from New 
York and finally Johnny Polanco from L.A. We have performers coming from all 
over the world. New Yorkers will be well represented. As for the shows, no, I will not 
be having endless number of performers because people get tired. Each of my shows 
will last one hour and that's it! There are two evening shows per night and two afternoon 
shows. All my shows will start on time.
SNY: How was it that you ended up choosing the hotel for this year's

DM: Last year I had gotten a hotel that could hold up to 800 people not knowing 
that I was going to get 1,400 instead. Needless to say I out grew that 
hotel during our first year there. So I looked for a hotel that could grow as 
the congress grew, hence the Hilton. The Hilton has the biggest ballroom in New 
York and I have them locked in for the next four years.

SNY: How can people find out more about this year's NY Salsa Congress and
how can people contact you?

DM: They can get more info by going to www.nycsalsacongress.com and contact
me via email at DMelendez@aol.com.



















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