A twelve-piece salsa orchestra based in New York and started in 2005 by percussionists Julián Silva and José Vázquez-Cofresí, La Excelencia operates as a collective, with members of Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Colombian, Argentine, Ecuadorean, Japanese and Anglo descent. They play salsa dura, hard-core, danceable urban music with a social conscience, and a focus on brass and percussion. Dressed in sneakers and street clothes, they perform songs about immigration, discrimination and poverty. Their debut disc, Salsa Con Conciencia (2006), was an independent release. The band's subsequent disc, Mi Tumbao Social (2009), also self-produced, was enthusiastically received by the critics and led to a world tour, with the group playing to sold-out houses in 16 countries.