Latin America / Puerto Rico / San Juan
Roberto Roena: Staying active in any profession for 50 (fifty) years is not an easy task for anyone. But if it is a musical orchestra that half a century later continues to bring tropical music to all corners of the planet, more than a musical group, it becomes an institution.
That is the reality of the Apollo Sound orchestra and its founder, the percussionist and dancer Roberto Roena, who this summer celebrate five decades making the world dance and will celebrate it with a great concert to commemorate his career.
“We are going to do something big to celebrate 50 years. It will be in the month of June at the Center for Fine Arts, “said Roena in conversation with this medium.
“It’s going to be something really cool. We are going to sing the hits of the orchestra, we will have guests and a little bit of everything”, added the musician, who indicated that the exact date will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The Apollo Sound Orchestra was founded in July 1969 and its name derives from the launch that same month of the Apollo 11 space mission, which aimed to carry the first human being to walk on the surface of the moon.
His record catalog includes more than 20 productions and among his most notorious hits are “Tú loco loco y yo tranquil”, “El Escapulario”, “Marejada Feliz” and “El Progreso”, among many others. In the case of Rohena, the renowned 79-year-old musician from Mayagüez began his musical career much earlier, at age 16, with the distinguished group of Rafael Cortijo y su Combo.
He was also part of Rafael Ithier’s Gran Combo and appeared in the star catalog of the famous Fania record company and its All Stars, among other collaborations.
It was in the Mayagüez neighborhood of Dulces Labios where he was born, raised and took his first steps as a dancer. “Sweet Lips is my neighborhood. I have many memories of my childhood days.
From there came great musicians, such as Santitos Colón and Mon Rivera”, he pointed out.
When she was nine years old, her family moved to Santurce and when she was barely a teenager, she was already appearing on television.
He was discovered by Cortijo in one of his dance performances on the La Taberna India program and from there he became a percussionist for the renowned group. Since then, he has not stopped delighting his followers with his music.
“In these 50 years, there is no greater satisfaction than being able to continue playing,” said Roena, who last Saturday began the celebration of his 50 years in a concert at the Lehman Center of Performing Arts in New York, where he brought together several of the singers who accompanied the group in its beginnings, such as Sammy González, Tito Cruz and Carlos Santos, among others. In addition to the concert, Roena does not rule out going back to the studio to continue shaping her music for posterity.
“This does not mean the end of Roberto Roena and the Apolo Sound. We are going to continue as long as God wants”, he sentenced.
RELATED ITEMS: 50TH ANNIVERSARY, CENTER OF FINE ARTS P.R., INTERNATIONALS, ROBERTO ROENA AND HIS APOLLO SOUND
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