LPT started as a passion project in 2013 when members of several local Jacksonville, Florida bands decided to get together and play the music they grew up listening to. Once they tapped into the musical chemistry among the crew, they realized that playing salsa music was a way to share the diversity of the area with a new, young audience. Still, it would another two years before the band would play its first live show.
Then, in June 2015, LPT made its debut in a small coffee shop in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville. The space was just big enough to hold the then septet. The show was a hit from the downbeat, with the standing-room-only crowd requesting the next date immediately. The band set up a monthly standing Thursday night gig in the back room of Rain Dogs in Five Points and played there until the room no longer held the crowds that showed up. Some astute, early fans started posting about strategic places to stand and dance during an LPT show because the room go so packed and so hot.
LPT eventually grew to a full ten-piece orchestra and, while still able to squeeze into the tight stage at Rain Dogs, bigger stages came calling and continue to do so today. With some of Northeast Florida’s most talented musicians in the melee now, LPT has not stopped making every show an unforgettable experience for all who attend. Post-show social media lights up with first-hand accolade as soon as the last note rings out. LPT says that the energy from the audience has been a motivator from the first show.
LPT is now growing out of the borders of Jacksonville; the energetic performance has made its way to St. Augustine and Gainesville, as of late, and inquiries from further and further away are starting to surface. While moving a ten-piece around is not the simplest of tasks, LPT understands and accepts that they are becoming the new ambassadors of Salsa music in the Southeast, using the music to bridge gaps between cultures. Dancing and joy has no owner and LPT is well-poised to reinforce that freedom, love and inclusion is at the heart of Salsa music and in the hearts of all that enjoy the shows.
As for what the name LPT stands for, well, it remains a bit of a mystery. Some members say it is simply three letters that stand side by side. Others offer more surreptitious and hilarious definitions. Regardless of what the name stands for, the group will continue to stand up for Salsa music and the roots of the Afro-Cuban sound.
Milan Algood – Timbales, Vocals Jonah Pierre – Bongo & Bell
Josué Cruz – Lead Vocals Stan Piper – Bass
Angel Garcia – Keys, Vocals Juan Rollan – Tenor Sax, Vocals
Mike Emmert – Baritone Sax JP Salvat – Congas
Bryant Patterson – Trombone Steve Strawley – Trumpet