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Chilled salsa: Low-key Latin dance party great for movers and groovers • Brooklyn Paper

Chilled salsa: Low-key Latin dance party great for movers and groovers

Bonny Ronley and Eric Johnson shake it out on the dance floor at Sycamore Bar and Flowershop in Ditmas Park during the “!Mambo!” event.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

At this salsa party, you can dance if you want to — or you can just sip a drink and enjoy the tunes from the bar.

!Mambo! in Ditmas Park is the city’s most laid back dance party, where Eric Banta, the founder of local record company Names You Can Trust, spins the best Latin beats from his collection of salsa, cumbia, bachata, calypso, and tropical roots music — and no one judges you if you don’t know the moves.

“I would classify this as more in the range of casual,” said Banta, who spins once a month at the Cortelyou Road bar Sycamore under the DJ moniker E’s E. “People are dancing and it often gets more bodies moving, but it’s not just a strictly dance floor thing. You can also just chill out and listen to the music.”

Legend holds that Banta showed up one day at the hybrid bar and flower shop bearing nothing but a crate of records and convinced Justin Israelson, the hot spot’s owner, to let him DJ.

Banta says the hip joint is perfect for his Caribbean vinyl music sessions.

“What’s cool about the spot is that you never really have to take request,” said Banta, who has been releasing since 2007. “On these nights we come with a specific sound and people are receptive to it.”

!Mambo! at Sycamore Bar and Flowershop [1118 Cortelyou Rd. between Westminster Road and East 11th Street in Ditmas Park (347) 240–5850, www.sycamorebrooklyn.com] Sept. 8, 10 pm.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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