The trumpeter and director of the orchestra known as ‘The Tsunami of Salsa’ -Luis Gonzalez- delivers his new album under the title ’50 years, my music… My passion’.
With this production, Luis González takes the opportunity to celebrate five decades of musical life; during which he has been a musician of important orchestras, such as the Ray Barretto Orchestra, the Luis “Perico” Ortiz Orchestra and the Willie Rosario Orchestra, from which González left to form his own.
It should be noted that for thirteen years the trumpeter has been known as ‘the tsunami of salsa’ while becoming the director of his musical proposal, which he has kept active on local and international stages since 2009.
The launching of ’50 años, mi música… Mi pasión’ took place on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at the headquarters of the National Foundation for Popular Culture in Old San Juan. Present were Rafy Arroyo, Ricky Ramos and Jorge “Yoyo” Ocasio representing the current enrollment of the Luis González Orchestra; in addition to the ‘King of the Bass’ -Bobby Valentín- and trumpet player, director of the Juan Morel Campos Music Institute of Ponce and director of the Del Sur al Norte Orchestra, Julito Alvarado.
In ’50 años, mi música… Mi pasión’, guest musicians include trumpet players Jan Duclerc, Jesús Alonso and Julito Alvarado; pianist, arranger and music producer Pedro Bermúdez; Efraín Hernández on bass; William “Kachiro” Thompson on tumbadoras; Richard Carrasco on bongó; Gamalier González on trombone; and the voices of Pichie Pérez, Juan Bautista and Darvel García on backing vocals. On vocals, Rafy Arroyo, Ricky Ramos and Pedro Arroyo participated as guests.
Interestingly, a trend that has been emerging lately in salsa recordings also took over the tsunami. I am referring to the batá drums, which for this album were played by Anthony Carrillo and Juanchi Sánchez. The album was recorded at Rolo Recording Studio, under the direction of Luis González himself. The mixing and mastering was in charge of Vinny Urrutia.
The composers responsible for the songs chosen for this, the tsunami’s third release, include Francisco “Chalina” Alvarado, Yova Rodríguez, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Eliu de Jesús, Cucco Peña, García Guadalupe, Ricky Ramos, Pedro Arroyo and Onorio Rivera. For the musical arrangements, Tsunami counted on arrangers of the stature of Oscar Hernandez, Javier Fernandez, Luis ‘Perico’ Ortiz, Ricky Gonzalez, Roberto Perez, Isidro Infante, Julito Alvarado and Pedro Bermudez.
Currently, the orchestra better known as ‘El Tsunami de la Salsa’ counts on the musical experience of its members: Rafael “Bodo” Torres (piano), Mario Vélez (bass), Luis González (leader, fiscorno and trumpet), Ito Torres and Simón Rivera (trumpets), Jorge Echevarría (trombone), Rigo Díaz (timbal), Jorge “Yoyo” Ocasio (tumbadoras) and Wilfredo Rosario (bongo).
So, we are still in salsa. Yes, salsa lives! The efforts of this bandleader attest to that. Congratulations and may the next one come.
By Bella Martinez, ISM Correspondents, San Juan, Puerto Rico