Néstor Sánchez “Maestro de Soneros¨.
Born in 1950 in New York, of Puerto Rican origin, he is considered by critics as one of the soneros with the best vocal technique.
Néstor Sánchez “El Albino Divino”.
In 1968 he began his musical career at the age of 19 in New York with the orchestra of Ray Rodriguez, Ray was the brother of the late Bobby Rodriguez, the recording was entitled “Introducing Ray Rodriguez and his Orchestra”, he was also with the Tonny Pabon Orchestra, and the Conjunto Candela.
1976 Nestor Sanchez joined the orchestra of the wonderful Jew, Larry Harlow, replacing Junior Gonzalez as lead vocalist and became a member of the Fania label stars, at that time,
Harlow was recording the album “La Raza Latina” for which Sanchez performed one song and the rest was in charge of the Panamanian Ruben Blades where he musically created the history of Nuestra Raza, from the Amerindians, the Spanish conquest, and the arrival of the black African slave.
The album, “El Albino Divino”, was one of his official presentations with the orchestra, with the Harlow Orchestra he spent almost ten years and recorded seven albums, among these: Rumbambola, Dulce aroma del éxito, Soy Latino.
1979 Harlow disbanded his orchestra, Sanchez also recorded with Tito Puente’s orchestra the song “Bonito y Sabroso” in the LP “Homenaje a Beny Moré” which won a Grammy award for Puente.
In 1984 he recorded the production Julio Castro y La Masacre, in 1990 he was released as a soloist in the romantic wave with the album Como Nunca.
In the year 2000 he was invited by the King of Bass Mr. Bobby Valentin to participate in the album La Gran Reunión, and in all the recordings where he participated as the first voice in the chorus.
This talented man, whom we consider one of the most outstanding voices in our music, and sonero of soneros, never had the recognition he truly deserved. As a tribute and vindication, the February 2017 Salsero of our page is dedicated to him in a heartfelt and sincere way.
As a singer, Néstor Sánchez loved Cuban music and considered himself an admirer of Abelardo Barroso, Beny Moré and Miguelito Cuni, and from La Isla del Encanto his favorites were Tito Rodríguez and Ismael Rivera, in whom he was most likely inspired to create his own style.
His musical career began at the age of 19 in New York in 1968 with Ray Rodríguez’s orchestra. His first recording was the same year and was entitled Introducing Ray Rodriguez and his Orchestra; the second, in 1969 and with this same orchestra, was called Delusion, these two musical works were made for Al Santiago’s label “Alegre Records”.
In 1970, Néstor Sánchez joined Tony Pabón’s orchestra with which he recorded six albums in LP format, these musical productions are: in 1970, Tony Pabon And His All-Stars and La Protesta With Tony Pabón: Free; in 1972, On The Right Track; in 1973, Introducing Néstor Sánchez; in 1974, Tony Pabón & La Protesta Featuring Néstor Sánchez – El Capitán; and in 1976, Tony Pabón Y La Nueva Protesta – Fango – Pura Salsa, Puro Disco.
After his time with La Protesta, El Albino Divino joined Conjunto Candela, with whom he produced an LP entitled Conjunto Candela.
In 1976, he joined the orchestra of “El Judío Maravilloso” Larry Harlow as lead vocalist, replacing the Puerto Rican singer Junior González. With that, he became one of the stars of the Fania label. Between 1977 and 1984 he recorded the albums La Raza Latina – A Salsa Suite, El Albino Divino, Rumbambola; Larry Harlow & Junior González – Our Latin Feeling / Nuestro Sentimiento Latino; El dulce aroma del éxito; Larry Harlow, Canta: Gary Carrión / Así Soy Yo; Larry Harlow – Yo Soy Latino and Larry Harlow / Señor Salsa, featuring the young singer Ray Pérez.
Between 1968 and 1984, Néstor Sánchez was not only part of the orchestras of Ray Rodríguez, Tony Pabón, Conjunto Candela and Larry Harlow. He also recorded with King Nando, Orchestra Colon, Los Hermanos López, Yambú, Andy Harlow, Adalberto Santiago, Charlie Palmieri, Ismael Rivera, Tito Puente, Willie Colón, El Conjunto Libre, Azuquita y Su Melao, Fania All Stars and Louie Ramírez.
Throughout the eighties, Néstor Sánchez’s career had a second stage, in which he participated in musical works as a singer and backing vocalist for other great stars of our musical firmament, such as Héctor Lavoe, Típica 73, Ray Barretto, Julio Castro y La Masacre, Rubén Blades y Seis del Solar, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda, Oscar D’ León, Celia Cruz and Bobby Valentín.
It is presumed that in his more than three decades of music he participated in some two hundred musical works, about half of which are presented in our “Discography” section, available on our web page. Her voice was also recorded in many musical works of the so-called salsa romántica.
Among the songs that the beautiful voice of our great Albino Divino left us, we highlight numbers such as: “Amor pa’ qué”, “Averigua”, “Bobo tú te quedarás”, “Bonito y sabroso”, “Compay, póngase Duro”, “Con la mayor elegancia”, “El bobito”, “El diablo viene”, “Madre”, “Mentiroso”, “Quasimodo”, “Suena La Quija”, “Va llover”, “Guaguancó para los soneros” and “Vamos a gozar”. Our great sonero also recorded some songs in English.
Finally, we repeat that the present investigative work on the musical life of the great singer, chorister, arranger and composer Néstor Sánchez, “El Albino Divino”, is a tribute to his musical legacy with which the section “El salsero del mes” of our web page www.latinastereo.com wants to remember and keep all his work in force. Néstor Sánchez will remain forever in the hearts of the salseros of the world.
On September 2, 2003, Néstor Sánchez passed away at the age of 54 at his home in Bronx County, New York, after losing a battle with lung cancer.
By: Sergio A. Rendón Ángel
Article of Interest: Raymundo “Ray” Barretto Pagan was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 29, 1929