SF gears up for Salsa Congress


Workshops, live music with popular artists and performances by world salsa champions start Friday at Oakland Marriott City Center, but the kickoff party is at San Francisco's Cafe Cocomo club today.

"People are coming from 12 different countries. Everyone meets up tomorrow night to connect with old friends and just hang out," salsa congress spokeswoman Marie Gunter said Wednesday.

Gunter said she expects up to 10,000 people to attend the salsa congress over the course of four days. Daily tickets can cost up to $100, which includes workshops in the morning as well as afternoon and evening performances by well-known dancers.

"There's nothing like the San Francisco congress. We are sort of the elite of congresses," she said.

She said attendees will be able to watch world champions including Oliver Pineda from the TV series "Dancing with the Stars."

Jazz artist Eddie Palmieri, a nine-time Grammy winner, is one of the main attractions this year and he his scheduled to perform on Saturday night. A full-day ticket on Saturday is $100 and a ticket for just the evening, which can last until 4 a.m., costs $45.

"It's a jam-packed event. We won't turn anyone away," Gunter said. "If you're working, you should sneak out and come at least for a little bit."

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