Teacher & DJ
Richie Rich - the man, the myth, Ferociously feeding on an ever deepening host of diverse
the music…the cap! A veteran of
the London salsa scene, Rich
first offered up his services as a
teacher and DJ as the world
entered the new millennium.
Teaching and dropping tunes
with his gorgeous Colombian
wife, Sandy Sonrisa, at what
was Bar Cuba in High Street
Kensington was indeed an
auspicious start to a glowing
salsa music and dance styles, Rich became an obsessive
music collector and dancer. Though feast as he might, so
tremendous was his appetite that he could never quite
manage to satisfy his gargantuan hunger.
Until one happy day. Bam! He was deliciously assaulted
and pulverised by the outrageously sweet and funky
Cuban music they call Timba and he knew he had arrived
home. This complex and ever-changing, uniquely Cuban
angle on what the rest of the world calls Salsa has been
his driving passion ever since.
Rich is an instinctive and experienced dancer, at ease
dancing and teaching all styles, though his distinctive
funky take on contemporary Cuban Casino and Rueda de
Casino, teaching them both on the 1 and in contratiempo
(Son timing), is what he’s best known for.
Rich’s two-year stint with dance troupe Cudance saw him
performing a range of Cuban popular dances at events
nationally and internationally, including Cuban Day at the
Royal Festival Hall and The Festival of Cuban Culture in
Drawing on richly eclectic careers in teaching, training and
acting enables Rich to bring a wealth of experience to his
classes. He really values clarity in his teaching - being
able to break elements down into their constituent parts
and so help his students to put them back together
again. Added to which, his indefatigable energy, humour
and desire to make sure everyone is included make for an
entertaining and extremely satisfying dance lesson.
Rich’s popularity as a Cuban DJ might be condensed into
one vital element. While he is renowned for mixing some
of the hottest, cutting edge pre-release demos into his
sets, he, unequivocally aspires to play for the dancers.
And only them. Because for him at least, the, at times,
trickily challenging work of taking people through a rich
and varied night of fantastic music while keeping them on
the beautiful Cuban dance floor is precisely what it is all
And, as his professional profile testifies, it’s an approach
which seems to work. Rich is thrilled to be called on to
participate in every major Cuban congress and
weekender around the country, combining his skills as a
DJ, teacher and, drawing on his theatrical background as
a popular Master of Ceremonies.
As well as this, Rich hosts two of the capital’s long
standing dedicated Cuban nights, La Clave Cubana in
Brixton and Cuban Rhum Jungle in the City, which he co-
hosts with Amanda R. He is resident on the decks in the
Cuban Room at London’s monthly super club, El Grande in
Vauxhall, as well as spinning regularly at Bar Salsa’s
Cuban night in the heart of the West End. Besides which,
his services are willingly required at a number of
specialist Cuban-oriented club nights in the capital, such
as Cuban Connection, the Cuban Room at Salsa Fusion
and Da Salsa Room’s Cuban Vibes. He’s also called upon
to pack his salsa bag and travel as far afield as Norwich
and Cambridge to deliver his unique blend of music and
dance to the good people there.
Being a huge aficionado of live Cuban music and having
already played at the London concerts of Azúcar Negra
and George Peguero, Rich is tickled pink to be on the
decks at top Cuban band Bamboleo’s UK Debut in London
Rich is proud to be a managing partner of london's most
exciting and innovative Salsa cooperative, London-Salsa.