On Sunday, February 5, 2023, at about 5:00 p.m. Puerto Rican time, the curtain of the Coca Cola Music Hall rose to give way to a radiant Domingo Quiñones.
El más que canta’ arrived ready to share his voice and his usual nostalgic smile with the audience.
The 45th anniversary party began, the melodic style of the saxophone in charge of Jorge Baez. A minute after the orchestra played the first notes, Domingo let out a loud war cry that sounded like: “Puerto Rico”. Immediately, the first two songs were played: Chica romántica & Poeta y guerrero.
After a brief greeting in which Domingo thanked his fans for their support, the most emblematic songs of his career were heard, such as: Tú cómo estás, Soy, Enséñame, El progreso, Busco un amor, Falco de valor, Salsumba, Cuando se necesitan más, Fuera de control, Río abajo, Deseo salvaje y Devórame otra vez, A que no te atreves, Se necesita un milagro, Pasarás al libro del recuerdo, Lo reconozco y No voy a dejarte ir.
Keeping the rhythmic base going, Charlie Padilla was in charge of the tumbadoras, in perfect sync with Javier Oquendo on the bongos and Pablo Padín on the timbales. It was clear that Domingo was backed by a luxurious orchestra, under the musical direction of pianist, music producer, arranger, composer, singer and dancer: Carlos García. Ricardo Lugo accompanied with his impeccable bass playing. Ramón Sánchez complemented the perfection of the stage behind the keyboard.
The wind section was formed by Ángel Hernández and Jesús Alonso on trumpets, and Eliut Cintrón and Víctor Vázquez on trombones. In the choirs, the vocal forcefulness and precision of Jorge Yadiel, Nahyra Pérez and David Carrero was heard.
About an hour into the celebration, Domingo decided to do a conga solo, what a surprise we were in for! The conga solo was very well done.
An hour and a half into the concert, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Luisito Carrión and Carlos García sang with Domingo Quiñones the song En el mismo barco, composed by Domingo in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The arrangement of the song allowed the wind instrumentalists to have their way with the big spoon before giving way to a very heavy rumba in the percussive corner.
A moment of great emotion was the one that gave way to the song Río abajo, with the accompaniment of Luis ‘Perico’ Ortiz in his impeccable trumpet solos, in addition to accompanying Domingo in the chorus.
This intervention made clear the affection that Domingo and Perico have for each other. It must be because when Domingo decided to pursue his dream as a soloist, he was part of ‘Perico’s’ orchestra.
For this celebration, our Domingo Quiñones gave way to a repertoire that summarized very well those 45 years of career. More than singing, Domingo interpreted with that emotionality of his best times. The audience vibrated with his performance. His histrionic ability, his interpretative quality and the charisma with which he captures the audience’s attention, kept them captive for hours.
Photo credits: Félix Guayciba
Bella Martínez Writer, researcher of Afro-Caribbean music and author of Un conguero para la historia, Las memorias de Jimmie Morales.