By: Diana Marie
Yolanda Rivera La Sonera of Ponce
Yolanda Rivera was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on June 30, 1951, she admits to listening to Cuban music since the age of 8.
Her hometown of Ponce saw the Cuban singer Celeste Mendoza’s event that triggered in the young Yolanda her desire to sing.
Naturally, with an exceptional voice, she says she never took singing lessons. In her family everyone sang, without making it a profession.
She began her singing career in New York in 1969 as a member of Willie Rosario’s choir. Returning to Puerto Rico in 1975, she has joined the group Roberto y su Changó.
His real professional debut with the orchestra can be considered as the Terrífica. With this formation, in 1976 he recorded 33 tours: “sabor a pueblo” (int 908), where he sang the hit “mi corazón es para ti” and “Guaguancó No. 3” boleros “para que sufras” and “esta demás” on the same album “Pichie” Pérez is responsible for other pieces.
Unfortunately the episode was very brief due to disagreements within the group.
After a few months of unemployment, he had the opportunity to meet Quique Lucca-founder of the Ponceña who decided to recruit.
With them he recorded “Borinquen”, his favorite song. He stayed from 1977 to 1984, the time to record some albums and browse the scenes around the world, albums with this prestigious formation are:
“The Giant of the South” (Inca-1977-1054)
“The orchestra of my land” (1978-inca-1064);
Compilation “Energized” (1979-1072-Inca)
“New heights (1980-inca-1074)
“Unchained force” (1980-inca-1077)
“Night Raider (1981-inca-1079)
Parallel to her career, Yolanda had to take care of her family, she will stay in Florida for five years, but not stop completely with the song, indeed it is a record with the noble strength of ensemble led by Gabino Pampini.
The return home was more difficult to revive the trade. only in the 90s she integrated for 3 years the Rubby Haddock orchestra where several records, since then she has worked regularly with Luigi Texidor .
From time to time she attended the anniversaries of the Ponceña:
Sonora Ponceña 30th anniversary golden age (inca 1992);
Sonora Ponceña 45th anniversary live: history and we continue to make, (bmg / ariola 81 167) 2000 (only appears on cd).
But she never returned because Ponceña Papo Lucca the beloved joins Luigi Texidor in his career as a soloist in the interpretation of the orchestra’s old hit.
She also participated in the album “Ray Barretto 50th Anniversary Live” where she sings “Nadie se salva de la Rumba” with Adalberto Santiago for the year 2001, a song included in the production Tremendo Trio with Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto and with Adalberto Santiago, for the year 1983 distributed by Fania Record.
In February 2009, in Puerto Rico, Yolanda received the “Salsa Awards”, in recognition of her musical career.
That same year she participated once again in another event in La Ponceña, this time in the 55th anniversary of the Ponce giants.
The most recent musical production of the Dama de Ponce is a single titled “Yo no tengo marido” recorded in 2012.
Congratulations to the Lady of Salsa Yolanda Rivera