On october 19, 1961 in Portoviejo, Ecuador, Marco Bermudez Brito was born. Extraordinary Musician, Percussionist, Singer, Composer.
Nobody is a prophet in his own land. At the age of 23 he traveled to the United States as a singer. And in 2004, being a member of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra (SHO), he won the Grammy in the category Best Salsa Album for the album Across 110th street.
On a day like today, October 20, Marco Bermudez was born in Portoviejo, Ecuador. He is an excellent performer, composer and studio musician in all styles of Latin music.
He was born into a family with a rich musical heritage and has resided in New York for the past thirty-four years. Marco has toured the world with Latin music greats: Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Cheo Feliciano, Oscar D’ Leon, Tito Nieves, Domingo Quiñones, Jose Alberto and all the artists on the RMM Records label.
Marco’s discography includes: RMM All Stars 10th Anniversary CD/DVD Live at the Continental Arena New Jersey; Recorded a Selena (RMM) and Tropical Tribute to the Beatles CD/DVD recorded live at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Marco is currently one of the singers of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. As a performer and composer, Bermudez has collaborated in the record productions of the SHO, writing the lyrics of the songs Son de Corazón, Regalo de Dios, Qué Bonito, La Fiesta began.
(One more year of life for this Ecuadorian performer, composer and musician who has performed in different variations of Latin music.
Experiences with Isidro Infante y La Élite, Conjunto Clásico, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Cheo Feliciano, Oscar D’León, Tito Nieves, Domingo Quiñones, José Alberto “El canario”, and Ralph Mercado’s RMM Records family in which he participated in productions such as “RMM All Stars 10th Anniversary – Live in Continental Arena of New Jersey”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, “Recorded a Selena”, and “Recorded a Selena”; the album “Recorded a Selena” (RMM) and “Tropical Tribute to the Beatles”, a CD/DVD recorded live at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
The pinnacle of his career came when he became part of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra’s line-up of singers, collaborating in different record productions and strengthening his facet as a composer through titles such as “Son de corazón”, “Qué bonito”, “Regalo de Dios” and “La fiesta empezó”.
He has also been part of The Mambo Legends project sharing microphones with Frankie Vázquez and Jorge Maldonado.His story is told to us when he was in Ecuador on vacation with his wife.
“From a very young age, I was always surrounded by music,” she says proudly. He refers to his parents, siblings and most of all to his uncle, the great singer Eduardo Brito.
Marco, at the age of 9, together with his brother Eduardo formed the duo Hermanos Bermúdez Brito, being the first to record the pasillo Romance de la tejedora manabita, lyrics by Paco del Casty and music by Filemón Macías, Marco’s uncle: “Con horma de esperanzas/y encajes de clavellina/ va tejiendo su sombrero/ la manabita más linda” (With a last of hopes/and lace of carnation/ she weaves her hat/ the prettiest manabita).
In the early eighties, brothers Mariano and Venancio Larrea invited him to join the Marfil group, from Guayaquil. That was when the group turned to salsa music, which was just becoming popular in these parts.
But his life and stage changed in 1984, when he and his brother joined the Manabita orchestra Los Profetas, which would perform in Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
With the illusion of succeeding in the north, Bermúdez stayed and formed El Combo de Nueva York, which was the staff orchestra of a chain of nightclubs in Queens.
At that time, Marco was concerned about his musical training, besides being a singer and composer, he was also a percussionist. His entry into the big leagues of salsa came when he was part of La Élite, led by maestro Isidro Infante, for 6 years.
There he achieved fame as the interpreter of the songs Santo, Militar and Montuno and for the album Tributo Tropical a Los Beatles.
He was also part of La Charanga de Johnny Almendra and Los Jóvenes del Barrio, and was one of the singers of the legendary Conjunto Clásico orchestra. “Even when there is a tour they call me because I know the repertoire and I know the routine”.
At the beginning of 2003 he made a great leap when he joined the SHO, an orchestra that besides winning the Grammy and achieving nominations for two of its albums, is considered “the best salsa orchestra in the world”, according to the Puerto Rican critic Jaime Torres Torres, who in referring to Bermúdez affirms: “He is the only recognized Ecuadorian salsa singer who dominates the difficult art of soneo and clave”.
About the renowned SHO, Bermúdez says that in reality this orchestra “is the sound of the Harlem neighborhood, where urban salsa was born.
We are inspired by masters like Tito Puente and Mario Bauza, who left us that legacy”. And although every salsa singer is mistakenly called a sonero, very few are.
The soneo is an improvisation by the singer when the percussionist solos on the drums, he explains.
The next SHO album will feature three songs by Bermúdez: Son de corazón, Regalo de Dios and La fiesta empezó. “I like to write everything, romantic, jocular, nature and rumba songs,” says Marco who is currently selecting songs for his solo album which he hopes will be released this year. It will include a recording with Las Leyendas del Mambo, Tito Puente’s legendary orchestra.
These are his plans. His dream: “to come to Ecuador as a soloist or with SHO because I have had recognition abroad, but it must be nice to be recognized in your country”. Although they say that no one is a prophet in his own land, Bermúdez, the sonero, will surely be.
At the age of 9, together with his brother Eduardo, he formed the duo Hermanos Bermúdez Brito, being the first to record the pasillo Romance de la tejedora manabita.
In the early eighties, the brothers Mariano and Venancio Larrea invited him to join the Marfil group, from Guayaquil.
In 1984, together with his brother, he joined the Manabita orchestra Los Profetas, which would perform in the United States. He stayed in New York and formed El Combo de Nueva York, which was the staff orchestra of a chain of nightclubs in Queens.
Later he was part of La Élite, led by maestro Isidro Infante, for 6 years.
He was also part of La Charanga de Johnny Almendra and Los Jóvenes del Barrio, and was one of the singers of the Conjunto Clásico orchestra.
At the beginning of 2003 he joined the “Spanish Harlem Orquestra” of Maestro Oscar Hernandez. He has collaborated, among others, with the band of “Mister Moña” Jimmy Bosch and “La Mambo Legends.