North America – United States – New York
Last February we actively participated in different activities in New York, promoted by different instances and always supported from the Spanish Harlem Salsa Gallery Museum and The Johnny Cruz Show.
Johnny Cruz: We were part of the Somos Puerto Rico event, together with more than 25 artists and with the collaboration of La Boom, which allowed thousands of people to work for our island: Puerto Rico. There was a lot of music, and we were accompanied by artists such as Jova Rodríguez, Arlene, Roberto Vásquez, Anissa Gatners, Fernando Berniero, Alex Bautista, Jen Carrasco and Kevin Tapia, among others.
We also had typical food for sale and many initiatives aimed at saving so many lives in need. From this event we want to continue bringing families to the United States and they can be calm until they stop shaking in the south west of Puerto Rico. You are not alone!
In addition, we are working hard on a documentary about Frank Ferrer, always thinking of immortalizing figures that have consolidated Salsa in the world as a Latin genre of world projection.
Salsa, as you know, is a typically New York musical genre, the result of the influence of great Latin jazz musicians, and the existence of a youth of Latin origin born, or resident in New York, in slums where Salsa is the best expression, spiced up by the exile produced by the Cuban Revolution and the awareness of American racial minorities.
In 1964, Johnny Pacheco, a flutist of Dominican origin, and Jerry Masucci, a young businessman, founded the Fania label, which gave the old Latin labels, a more modern sense of Caribbean music. Musicians and singers of the previous generation were reinvented, but others were incorporated as a young Willie Colon, the Palmieri brothers, Eddy and Charlie; Papo Luca, Ray Barreto, Larry Harlow. And, there were also singers who put their voice to Salsa to tell stories of the street, daily or reflexive, that were the mirror of the life of the neighborhoods: Cheo Feliciano, Adalberto de Santiago, Andy Montáñez, the Ismaeles -Miranda and Ribera-, Justo Betancourt, Héctor Lavoe or Rubén Blades.
The influence of the Cuban revolution had led composers and salsa musicians to become aware that it was necessary to compose songs that talked about what was happening in the streets from a critical perspective, giving way to a new salsa and foot reality for characters as Frank Ferrer started from folklore and protest to arrive at salsa mixing both concepts in an exemplary album: Yerbabuena. All this and much more can be enjoyed very soon.
For this month of March, Puerto Rico will organize the 1st World Salsa Collectors Meeting and of course we will be there representing New York with the Salsa Museum (SPAHA Salsa Gallery Museum). From March 7th, at least 15 organizations of this type of collector from seven countries will exhibit their collections of the Caribbean genre.
The collectors meeting will take place at the Sheraton Hotel, in Miramar, under the theme “La Salsa se baila así” and will be free admission. It will be attended by collectors from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and several cities in the United States.
That day will be the official release in LP format of the album “Mario Ortiz, 55 Aniversario”, nominated for the last edition of the Latin Grammys.
The event includes memorabilia exhibitors of legendary salsa artists such as Willie Rosario, Bobby Valentín, Roberto Roena o la Sonora Ponceña, as well as the Museo de la Salsa de Puerto Rico or the Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular.
Pieces from the Jairo Varela Museum, renowned deceased Colombian musician, whose orchestra Grupo Niche is still active and triumphing around the world will be presented. The writer Daniel Nina, will give a lecture about Salsa, and Puerto Rican dancer Tito Ortos will talk about the history of salsa dancing. We can enjoy live music with the group Cubaneo 54, and a great closing with the several times awarded Big Band of the Free School of Music of San Juan, directed by Professor Manuel García. See you there!
As always, remember that Spanish Harlem Salsa Gallery is in 1708 Lexington ave New York N.Y. 10029. Open free to the public all Thursdays & Fridays from 4 to 7 pm and Saturdays from 1 to 8 pm. Check the updates in our website: spahasalsagallery.com.
Also, The Johnny Cruz Show, the #1 Salsa Show on television on all 5 Boroughs of New York on CH67. Saturdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
Contact: Johnny Cruz. 917-747-8505. [email protected].
By Johnny Cruz Correspondent, New York City, New York
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