DJ Michael 'El Rumbero' - Biography

I was born in Berlin, Germany on December 24, 1963. I worked as a Soul-DJ in various clubs until 1989. With the advent of Techno music I decided to quit working as a DJ in clubs. Somehow what I had to play there wasn't really my kind of music. Besides, my computer science studies at the Technical University of Berlin which I began in the fall of 1989 took up all of my time. Somehow my fingers were still itching though, but a few legendary parties in old warehouses did the trick and put an end to that.

At the time I had no connection to Salsa whatsoever. The first "contact" occurred in 1992 at the very popular "Karakas" Bar (this is no misprint, strangely enough, it is spelled with a K, not with a C!). This is where the best Caipirinhas in Berlin are mixed with old Salsa classics playing in the background. At first I didn't even take particular notice of the music, it just happened to sound Spanish somehow and it matched the ambiance. Two years went by until a friend drew my attention to the fact that there was a club around the corner where they played "that music". They even dance in pairs there! Of course I had no choice but to take a peek at it. It was love at first sight. I had unconsciously been listening to that music for two years - I could even hum along to a few songs - but it wasn't until I saw people dance to it that it clicked in my head.

Encouraged by my previous consumption of Caipirinha, I immediately asked a Latin American woman for a dance. This also turned out to be my first personal Salsa-Waterloo! Of course I didn't know a single step and I had no idea how to lead - so the girl left me standing on the dance floor. I felt so deeply ashamed - yes, I'll admit it - that I took a dance lesson first thing. My dance partner happened to have some connection with the Tacheles cultural center, so the inevitable happened. For my birthday party at the Tacheles on December 23rd 1994 I played a few of the Salsa CDs which I had stocked up on by that time. It was a wild party which even the non-Salseros loved. This is how the "Baila conmigo" Party was born at the Tacheles. This also marked the beginning of my second DJ career.

After two wonderful years at the Tacheles, I was offered the opportunity to work as a DJ at the Berlin UFA-Fabrik [factory] as a summer substitute in the summer of 1996. From now on one event led to the next. I organized the first "Salsa-Mania" Party at the Green Salon at the Volksbuhne Berlin [Theater] in September 1996 ( until September 2000 ). Gradually I began getting well-known, not only in Berlin. I'm a little bit famous in Germany for my monthly reviews of new Salsa-CDs @ the internet. My WEB page brought many contacts (by that time I already had DJ jobs in Hamburg, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich, Bern, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Vienna, Prague, Potsdam, Munster, Cottbus, Erfurt ... among other places). It's my biggest challenge: To spin Salsa in other cities. Maybe we see us in your city?

In 1997 my friend Ronny approached me asking if I would work at a new Salsa Club. The Havanna Club opened in May 1997 and very quickly turned into one of the most popular hangouts of the Berlin Salsa scene. I am still in search of new possibilities for the Berlin Salsa scene. So we began in 2000 with the Salsa-Open-Air-events ( dancing Salsa outside ). This was also a hugh success. These events take place at the SODA-Club now in summertime. But also in autumn / winter the SODA - Club is still a great place to dance Salsa. Another very popular event which I'm organizing is the El Barco De La Salsa in the summertime ( see here ->> )

My concern is always to reach as many Salseras/Salseros as possible with the music I play. This is not always an easy task, especially not in Berlin. There are many people from Cuba, we also have a lot of Colombians and Peruvians as guests, others will dance to nothing else than New-York-Salsa and then of course there are those who only accept the old Fania-Salsa. All of this needs to be coordinated. This is Berlin - a big mixup! For myself I like especially the Salsa Dura of the 70's as well as the new releases of Salsa Dura ( e.g. Spanish Harlem, George Delgado ... )

Feel free to eMail me: Contact

La Salsa Nunca Se Acaba!

Yours, Michael


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