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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Dance the night away with Manabi Salsa Band

Salsa Dance on the Boardwalk of...
Salsa Dance on the Boardwalk of… (Photo credit: japp1967)

Put on those dancing shoes and get ready for a good time, because Fort Collins’ first and only salsa band is about to rock the dance floor at Avogadro’s Number Saturday night. Manabi and its 12 lively members will take the stage at 9 p.m.

“This is a new market,” said Aquiles Quiroga, one of the singers and founder of the band. “I’ve created a monster.”


Quiroga said people are so excited to have a salsa band that the group cannot keep up with the demand for its music.

Peter Knudson, a band member who plays timbales — two drums made out of metal — said the environment at Avogadro’s is fun and hot because the dance floor gets so packed.

“It’s a fun audience, a very happy audience,” he said.

Quiroga, who is originally from Ecuador, formed Manabi about two years ago, gathering together an assortment of musicians with different backgrounds. He said most of the songs the band plays are in Spanish but they are starting to add some songs in English.

Dave Lunn, who plays saxophone and flute in the band, loves salsa music for its lively vibe.

“Everything is uplifting and full of energy,” Lunn said, “even the songs that are supposed to be sad.”

Lunn graduated from CSU with a degree in music. He said he wants the music to affect people positively.

“I hope they’ll come away really energized and happy and excited,” Lunn said.

Quiroga boasts that everyone on the band is full of passion for salsa music. Rachael Dhakal-Green is no exception. The band member, who sings and plays the trumpet, played salsa music in Mexico before coming to Fort Collins.


“When you play it, it just makes you feel so alive and you have to move,” she said.

According to the band’s website, Manabi wants to make Fort Collins dance with their music.

“It’s straight up salsa dancing,” Knudson said, adding that people should not be intimidated by the dancing.

Knudson said people do not have to know how to salsa dance in order to dance to their music.

“All you have to do is shake your butt,” she said.

Manabi Salsa Band will play at Avogadro’s Number at 9 p.m. Saturday night. Tickets are $8 and can be found at!product/prd3/1698644725/mar-29-manabi-salsa.

Collegian Entertainment Assistant Editor Amber Johnson can be reached at

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