In Venezuela, the musical talent is undoubtedly first line and proven quality on any stage nationally and worldwide.
Specifically in the state of Lara and in the city of Barquisimeto, a great number of artists with category and hierarchy have emerged and been born, exalting our Latin rhythms.
For this edition of “Salsa Escrita”, we are honored to have as a special guest vocalist Jorge Luis Suarez, pride and bastion of Afro-Caribbean music and various genres, who, for years, demonstrates his class and professionalism.
Jorge Luis is a singer, musician and multifaceted artist; born on August 7 in the city of Maracaibo, son of parents from the city of Carora, where he spent part of his childhood in that state and began to lean towards music, having as main influence his father, who played the guitar and sang romantic music.
In the early 80’s, he moved to Barquisimeto to attend university and was discovered as a singer and player of the bass, cuatro and guitar. Welcome Jorge Luis Suarez to “Salsa Escrita”, through International Salsa Magazine, www.salsagoogle.com.
To begin this pleasant, enjoyable and long awaited meeting, because we wanted to have you as one of our interviewees and tell us about your experiences about your artistic career, which has been very successful nationally and worldwide for the pride of all who know you.
Thank you Professor Carlos Colmenárez, for inviting me to your well read and recognized salsa column, unique in the center-west of the country and in which you project Venezuelan musicians worldwide.
Jorge Luis, with which groups did you begin your journey through this wonderful art, in which you have demonstrated versatility, perseverance, discipline and quality?
Well, let me tell you that I started my musical activity professionally, being part of groups of regional renown, among them: “Las Estrellas del Momento”, “Orquesta Alegría” and then “Venezuela en Gaitas”, “Sazón Latino” and in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I became part of the staff of the orchestra “La Banda Actual”, a salsa icon in the state of Lara.
By the way Jorge, we remember your beginnings with “La Banda Actual” and it was an obligatory reference to be hired in private parties, night clubs and of course to share the stage with great artists and luminaries of the Latin-Caribbean music genre.
In which billboards did you have the joy and privilege of singing, alternating with national and international stars?
Indeed professor, with Banda Actual we performed with Héctor Lavoe, Wilfrido Vargas, Las Chicas del Can, Porfi Jiménez, Guaco, Los Melódicos, Hermanos Carruyo, Billos Caracas Boys, Orquesta La Crítica and many more, in their visits to Barquisimeto, having as locations the Domo Bolivariano, Complejo Ferial, among others.
In fact, Jorge Luis and due to your outstanding and outstanding vocal ability, the son of the maestro Billo Frómeta, Luis Frómeta, called you to join the ranks of the Billo Caracas Boys, how was that experience?
With Billo I learned to have more artistic discipline and gain experience for 4 years, recording three albums touring Latin America, the United States and Europe; precisely in the carnivals of Tenerife we starred in the Güines Record in public attendance at a bailanta, sharing the stage with Celia Cruz and Oscar D’León.
Jorge, tell us about your entrance to the orchestra of the world’s sonero Oscar D’León.
Professor Carlos, precisely because of that event in the Canary Islands, maestro Oscar called me and told me that he needed a vocalist with my characteristics to accompany him in his shows and international tours and honestly it was a difficult decision because with Billo Caracas Boys I was well established along with other Barquisimetans: Ely Méndez and Wolfang Perdomo, integrating the line of vocalists at that time, pure “guaros”.
But maestro Oscar’s offer seemed interesting to me and I finally said yes. With the Sonero del Mundo, to whom I owe a lot, because thanks to him I established myself even more as a performer and especially in salsa, taking his recommendations to the letter and of course it was an unforgettable experience, because with his orchestra we toured many countries and performed in venues such as: Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, House off Blue in Los Angeles, Orange Ball, jazz festivals in Europe, sharing with renowned artists.
Professor, I wanted to tell you that at the same time working with Oscar’s orchestra, I recorded my production “Una Tercera Persona”, in the middle of 1992, which included the hit “Niégalo Todo”, obtaining the first places in the hit parade.
In that production I was accompanied in the recording by renowned musicians such as: Luisito Quintero, Roberto Quintero, Robert Vilera, Raul Agraz, Yorman Leon and the Nicaraguan Luis Enrique.
Jorge, how many years did you stay with Oscar and why did you decide to leave his orchestra?
I was with Oscar for about four years and I decided to leave the group due to major reasons, as a result of business and commercial commitments that I had and still have in Barquisimeto.
For those who do not know, Jorge Luis is a multifaceted artist and has managed to venture as a vocalist in different musical genres, from salsa, gaitas, tropical danceable, guaracha, merengue, Venezuelan and boleros; achieving in this last aspect, being the arranger and musical producer of the trio Carora International at the end of 2014.
At the same time, he produced and performed 19 songs of Venezuelan music with arrangements by Jean Piero Gonzalez, which will be released soon.
Jorge Luis, having settled again in the musical capital of Venezuela, with whom have you recorded? Professor, in Barquisimeto I have been invited to record with the following groups: Venezuela Somos Gaita, Nikitao, Amantes de la Gaita, Venezuela en Gaitas, Unión Gaitera, Rafa y sus Diamantes, Grupo Colorama, Con Klase, Orquesta Variación, Orquesta la Mayor, Orquesta la Gran Premiere, Venezuela Rumba, La Orquesta Raza Caribe, recording with the latter 8 songs in the production that is about to be released. I was also invited to record with the Orquesta Son Colón de Maracay and with the Latin Grammy nominees, our Grupo Santoral de Barquisimeto, participating with them as a special guest in the show “El Amor se Canta”, in celebration of the Day of Love and Friendship, touring, starting at the Teatro Juares and other cities in the country, as well as private presentations.
As for current projects, what can you tell the readers of Salsa Escrita? Currently my second solo production in the salsa genre is about to be released, with arrangements by multi-instrumentalist Taylor Aranguren from Barquisimeto and myself.
We are launching the record label, precisely this June with the promotional track “No lo beses”, a song that was interpreted by Alejandro Fernandez, by the Mexican composer Jose Luis Roma.
The production is called “José Luis Suárez Covers”, which includes songs that have been hits around the world, such as: Cobarde cobarde, Escándalo, La bomba, Cuatro rosas, Darte un beso, El amor más grande del planeta, Bailando, No lo beses, among others. In this production, I am accompanied by my nephew Taylor Aranguren, the musicians: Carlos Giménez, Rómulo Paiva, Jeison Marchán, Wílner Navas, Freddy Adrián, in the master and mixes: Latín Récods Digital. Sound engineer: René Zerpa and in the general production: Jorge Luis Suárez. Jorge Luis, what are your social networks or digital platforms to interact with your followers? My contacts are, Instagram: @jorgeluissuarezoficial, Youtube: Jorge Luis Suárez Oficial, [email protected]. Jorge Luis, to finish, we want to congratulate you for your perseverance in music and wish you to continue harvesting triumphs, because you have quality and to spare.
Salsa Escrita “La Columna Salsera de Barquisimeto”, will be at your disposal to support you in your present and future projects, good luck… Thank you professor and personal friend, Carlos Colmenárez, for giving me your support in your salsa column, unique in the west of the country and thus allowing you to reach your regular readers around the world; again a thousand thanks, blessings and long live Venezuela!
Article of Interest: Gerson Aranda “La Tabla de Caracas”