Formerly known as K-Banna, “Ali Montero and his Band” is making serious waves on stages all over our beloved island.

Ali was born in Venezuela in a household of 10. His father, an amazing musician himself, inspired Ali to pick up the cuatro, a small Venezuelan string instrument, at the age of four. As Ali grew up, he tried out various instruments, finally picking the guitar as his favourite.

“The guitar is one of the most versatile instruments in the world. It’s an intimate instrument with perfect curves that you must hold close to your chest like a woman,” laughs Ali.

Ali eventually became a well-established musician in Venezuela, with three popular bands, each focusing on a different genre: reggaeton, salsa and pop.

Following a friend’s recommendation, Ali decided to visit Sint Maarten.

Ali: “I fell in love with the ambience of the island as soon as I arrived. There is a lot of energy and opportunity here, which is great for a musician.”

As Ali’s departure date neared, the situation in Venezuela worsened and he decided to stay. His “big break” on the island happened rather quickly, after the owner of Ernest and Fidel hired him and his friend Alfredo to play at their restaurant for a couple of months. The duo formed K-Banna, which focused on Latin music.

Ali: “During that time, a lot of artists came to check us out. The music-community here is so warm and helpful!”

Today Ali has reinvented his band and now it’s called “Ali Montero and his Band” – a collaboration that is bringing a whole lot of Venezuelan talent to the stage, with Reinaldo Fernandez on the piano and keyboard, Simon Viloria on bass and vocals, and Yonny Torres on the drums, percussion and vocals.

Ali: “When you hear us play, you won’t believe the sound! It is crazy! All of my band members are amazing musicians and good-hearted people that are in love with good music. We can play a wide range of music, in various languages, but the heart of the band lies with Latin. When we are playing, it is like our souls and spirits are connected. I guarantee you will be blown away!”

Quickly rising in popularity, the band is now playing over five nights a week as various locations. On Saturdays, the band plays at Karakter Beach Bar & Restaurant in Simpson Bay, where it has the crowd dancing in the sand, every week. You can also spot them on a weekly basis at one of the Sonesta resorts and Divi Little Bay.

Ali: “When I am on stage, I feel most alive. It is a very spiritual experience for me. Music allows you to have a conversation without words; instead I use the six strings of my guitar.”

As advice to other musicians, Ali mentions that professionalism is a must, “You need to rehearse often, be on time, dress nicely and carry yourself correctly. We change and practice our repertoire every week, are at our venue an hour before our performance time, do not drink, and make sure to please the crowd. If I do not get a round of applause at the end of the night, it is a lost night!”

To keep performing at 100% is not the only goal of Ali. This year the musician also looks forward to producing and distributing various songs he has written and composed. The first will be a salsa song called “Deseparacion” about a man that is losing his wife. The second slated for release is “Duda”, about a man who thinks he is in an amazing relationship, yet his girlfriend is having doubts.

“I want to make music that says something. Today so many artists have success with shallow songs. I hope to find my own sound that can express deeper thoughts and emit emotion.”

When Ali isn’t on stage making people clap and dance, he loves to read a good book, watch intricate movies and spend time with his wife and two daughters. Ali is also planning a live recording session, where fans can be part of a magical performance this month.

To know more, surf to ‘Ali Montero and his Band’ on Facebook or follow @alimonteromusic on Instagram.

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