The childhood of José ‘Cheo’ Feliciano was poor but happy. His parents were Prudencio, a carpenter, and Crecensia, a homemaker. Cheo inherited from them a taste for the irresistible seduction of music....MORE >
Because of his eccentric vision, jarring aesthetic choices and a weakness for overwhelming sonic excess, Eddie Palmieri fits the definition of idiosyncratic genius better than any other artist in the landscape of Afro-Caribbean music.
The history of the Fania All Stars, Fania Records' flagship supergroup comprising of the label's bandleaders, top sidemen and vocalists, represents the rise and promulgation of salsa as a marketing tag for Latin music....MORE >
Héctor Lavoe was just seven years old when he skipped trombone class at the Juan Morel Music Academy and flew off to the Portugués River, where he skinny-dipped with his friends from the modest Machuelitos neighborhood of his hometown.
It was the evening of Sunday, February 15, 2009, when I was informed of the passing of Joe “Sonny” Cuba. Ironically, I had been working on these very liner notes at the time and had been speaking with him on a regular basis, seeking his input in preparation of this album....MORE >
Born in the Dominican Republic in 1935, Johnny Pacheco grew up mesmerized by the songs of Arcaño y sus Maravillas, Arsenio Rodríguez and Orquesta Aragón that he would listen to on Cuban radio....MORE >
Raymond Barretto Pagan was born to Puerto Rican parents in New York on April 29, 1929. When he was barely four years old, his father decided to leave home and return to Puerto Rico. His mother settled in the South Bronx and raised her three children by herself....MORE >
This collection of classic tracks recorded by Rubén Blades for the Fania label includes some of the most exhilarating anthems in the history of salsa. Songs like "Pablo Pueblo," "Tiburón" and the legendary "Pedro Navaja" are as fun and danceable as Afro-Caribbean music can be....MORE >
It was in Old San Juan’s Bombonera restaurant in 1977 when I spotted the traditional straw hat and signature daisheke on the man sitting at the counter. C. Curet Alonso was holding a notepad and tape recorder when I sat beside him....MORE >