The story of an artist
Gilberto Santa Rosa, known as “El Caballero de la salsa”, was born in 1962 in Puerto Rico.
The singer has excelled at performing romantic ballads, boleros, and salsa. His first steps in music were at a very young age. Before reaching adolescence he was already forming youth groups within the tropical genre. For about two years, he was part of the band La Grande, from the hand of greats of the genre.
Elías Lopés, famous Puerto Rican trumpet player, became his teacher and tutor. At the age of 14 he traveled to New York to take his first steps in the musical field and his father entrusted him to Lopés. Santa Rosa is very pleased to have received his teachings.
“The greatest legacy for me was discipline, knowledge of the work you are doing and the challenges; He gave me musical challenges that developed the talent I had at that time, “said the salsa singer.
Gilberto participated in the “Homenaje a Eddie Palmieri” with the Puerto Rico All Star, a great opportunity for his career that was on the rise. In addition, he was in the ranks of the Willie Rosario orchestra.
In 1986, he got his first opportunity as a soloist. Combo Records allowed him to record four albums; giving it a further boost in the salsa genre. Good Vibrations (1986), Keeping Cool! (1987), De Amor y Salsa (1988) and Salsa en Movimiento (1989) were his first record works.
In 1990, he had the opportunity to change record labels. On this occasion, CBS today is known worldwide as Sony Discos. Company with which he has recorded approximately 24 albums and continues to this day.
Sony Discos trusted him and saw him succeed through the years. Punto de vista, the first production made with the label, received a gold and platinum record. The Man and His Music was quite a special production. It was held in 1995 and reflected a presentation held at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Acting is another of the roles that he has developed with great skill. In 1990, he participated in “La pareja dispareja” with Rafo Muñiz and Luis Vigoreaux, Jr.
In the 2000s he was in other theatrical pieces. He starred in the revival of “La verdadera historia de Pedro Navaja”, a musical that demanded a lot from him on a professional level; and with Cuban comedian Alexis Valdés in the play “Atrácame más”.
“Returning to the theater, this time to comedy, fills me with great enthusiasm and even more so to be able to share the stage with one of the greats of comedy in the United States and Latin America. The truth is that “Atrácame más” takes me out of my comfort zone which is music and challenges me professionally. I’m really enjoying this story and I hope people enjoy it a lot more ”, commented Gilberto Santa Rosa, about “Atrácame más”.
Santa Rosa is one of the artists who broke paradigms in the United States and in the rest of the world. From the beginning, the Latin public did not hesitate to follow his career and, of course, attend his meetings. He also had the opportunity to travel to Japan. He presented himself as a worthy representative of his country and surprised the audience by performing “De cara al viento” in Japanese. A feat that surprised critics due to the difficulty of the language. In addition, it was his beginning in the international market, until today he is acclaimed incessantly.
Gilberto had great acceptance and a box office record in his presentations at the First President Festival in the Dominican Republic, the Lincoln Center in New York with Andy Montañez; at the Anayansi Theater in Panama and at the Universal Studios Amphitheater in Hollywood with Olga Tañón. The accompaniment by the Symphony Orchestra ended up catapulting him among his followers. They considered it an unprecedented presentation and brimming with talent. It was presented under this format in the United States and broke box office records at the Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas, Venezuela.
It was one of his most popular albums. The album marked the singer’s career as it was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award, for Best Salsa Album, in its first installment. “Que alguien me diga”, original Omar Alfanno, Panamanian composer positioned him for several weeks on the Billboard. The production featured 13 songs with a total of 55 minutes in length.
The album had great renown in the Central American market, giving it a gold record for sales. In addition, he was chosen by the National Foundation for Popular Culture among the most outstanding of the year 1999.
Gilberto, continued to count successes and praise the work of the greats in the industry. He made several tributes such as the concert “Viva Rodríguez” in tribute to Tito Rodríguez; Tribute that the Orquesta Estrellas de la Fania, to Don Tite Curet Alonso and La Guarachera, Celia Cruz, in New York.
40 … y contando, it was released in 2019. It was a live album, with which he commemorated his 40-year career. The idea was born from his concert at the Coliseo José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 40… y contando it ranked second in sales of Tropical Albums in the United States and first in sales in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rican celebrated his 2020 birthday with the launch of a new collectible album.
In this work, he had sixteen collaborations, bringing together “colegas” known to the audience. The first single is “La Familia”, a duet with the singer Tito Nieves, a Puerto Rican recognized within the genre as well as: Tito Rojas, Luisito Carrion, Pirulo, Nino Segarra, Choco Orta, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Isaac Delgado and Juan Jose Hernandez.
The arrangements are attributed to Ocana Sordi, (El Guateque De Chombo), James Hernandez (La Fonda De Bienvenido), Jose Madera (Bailadores), Rene Gonzalez (Estoy como nunca), Dino Nugent (Apaga la luz), Ricky Gonzalez (Vamos A Bailar El Son, Eque Tumba), Manolito Rodriguez (Medley Boleros), Marty Sheller (Ban Ban Quere, Caminalo), Ramon Sanchez (Que se sepa), Javier Fernández (Masacote, Tremendo Coco), Louis García (Por la Calle Del Medio , Isidro Infante (El Mejor Sonero, Mario Ague, Sonerito),
Singing with Tito Nieves was a pleasure for him because they share a friendship relationship:
“Tito and I have a friendship that transcends the stage and the day to day. He is my dear brother. His sense of humor is incredible. With him everything is very easy. In fact, it only took 45 minutes for us to have the song ready”, said the salsa singer.
Santa Rosa wanted this album to be a very special tribute to his companions of so many years. He looked for the numbers to fit in some way with the relationship with each colleague.
The 58-year-old singer is a winner of a Grammy and five Latin Grammys. He is in his best moment and it appeared that “Colegas” could have a continuation.
“These things excite me and motivate me to do a second part, because other “colegas” were left out,” he said.
Will it be the beginning of your new musical project? We’ll see!
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