All the legendary local vets are out on the town for this post-Christmas week of festivities, so of course it’s only appropriate for Bio Ritmo to join the fun. If you don’t know about this RVA salsa ensemble, I would have to figure you just blew into town last week–they’ve been a strong, consistent presence on the local scene for damn near three decades now. Since their landmark appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series a few years ago, they’ve been keeping a low profile as a band, but from bassist Eddie Prendergast’s steady gig leading The Mikrowaves to conga player Coco Barez’s recent solo release, El Laberinto del Coco, the group’s individual members have been staying very busy.
However, they have been spurred back into action recently by the disaster that has befallen Puerto Rico over the past several months, in the wake of Hurricane Maria and the US government’s less than ideal efforts at relief. Multiple band members have close family in Puerto Rico, so the ongoing struggle to rebuild the island has hit very close to home for the band. It’s for this reason that their appearance Thursday night at The Hof is a benefit for Puerto Rico, specifically for the PRIMA Fund, which helps out musicians and artists affected by the storm. The proceeds from the door price at this show, as well as a percentage of the bar sales, will go directly to the PRIMA Fund, and while the minimum donation charge is $15, Bio Ritmo is encouraging those with additional cash to donate whatever in excess of the door price they can. Think how good it will feel to dance your ass off to the energetic salsa sounds of Bio Ritmo, knowing that you’ve also helped bring relief to Puerto Ricans who can’t go to shows at all because there’s still no electricity in huge parts of their island. That’s what Christmas is really all about.