A special tribute to Roberto Roena will take place this Sunday at Plaza De Los Salseros in San Juan (Puerto Rico). The concert will celebrate the inauguration of a sculpture that the city of San Juan has built in his honor.
The bandleader and bongo master, Roberto Roena, will be performing with The Apollo Sound. Plus, several Fania All Stars members like Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentin, Papo Lucca, Nicky Marrero and singers, Adalberto Santiago and Ismael Miranda will be on stage supporting this event.
Here are some pictures from the press conference that announced the event last Tuesday.
From left to right: Elias Lopez, Cheo Feliciano, Roberto Roena, Mrs. Nieves Roena & Modesto Cepeda
Junior Gonzalez, Cheo Feliciano & Julito Alvarado
Modesto Cepeda, Junior Gonzalez, Bobby Valentin, Cheo Feliciano & Mrs. Nieves Roena
Click on the album covers to listen to these releases from Roberto Roena:
We are giving away two copies of Fania All Stars At Yankee Stadium Vol. 1 and 2. For a chance to win, answer the following trivia questions before September, 12th by noon ET.
Puerto Rican singer Cheo Feliciano gained fame during the '60s as the lead vocalist with Joe Cuba's orchestra. When a severe addiction to drugs spiraled his life out control, Feliciano retreated from the limelight - and emerged triumphant in 1971, releasing the classic Cheo album on the Fania imprint Vaya. Feliciano's relationship with Fania was particularly fruitful - eventually, he decided to jump ship and launch his own label. A living salsa legend who continues touring and recording to this day, Feliciano recently took some time off his busy schedule to talk about his amazing career.
How did your association with the Fania label begin?
Before the release of the album Cheo, I had virtually retired from my career in music. I withdrew for a good three years and took stock of my life, ironing whatever needed to be ironed, and defining a new focus - both personally and professionally. Throughout this time, I received numerous invitations from musicians and label executives. When I finally decided to return, composer Tite Curet Alonso acted as my artistic godfather. He told me: "In the desk of [Fania owner] Jerry Masucci there is an envelope titled Cheo Feliciano Project. When you're ready to go, take a look and see what's in there." Inside the envelope were amazing Tite Curet Alonso compositions like "Anacaona." I was instantly captivated. In the end, the Cheo album marked a return to my music, my people and my own family.
Your collaboration with Curet Alonso, of course, is now part of salsa lore...
Tite and I lived parallel lives. We both experienced our share of happy moments - and cruel moments, too. We were alike in many different things. He would say that whenever he composed a song for me, he became Cheo Feliciano. And he was right. The songs were tailor made for me, ropa hecha a medida. He was the most important composer in my entire career. I miss him - but then again, he is missed by all.
You also had a weakness for the songs of another notable Puerto Rican composer: Bobby Capó.
[smiles] The eternal romantic, yes. I've always thought that Bobby Capó represents the other side of Cheo Feliciano. He was idiosyncratic in his lyrical talent - and a tremendous singer in his own right. When he hummed his melodies to me, I could hear my own voice singing them. A great inspiration.
You recorded so many great albums with Fania. Which one is your personal favorite?
That would be Estampas. In my opinion, it is the most complete album I ever recorded. The songs are very diverse, but all of them address a certain interest in social politics - a vision that I shared with the composers. Even the cover art, with its pictorial references to the songs in the album, is beautiful.
You are predominantly a salsa artist. But your Fania albums include nods to pop balladry and jazz.
I had the good fortune of working with arrangers who shared my eclectic taste for different musical genres. Some of them were jazz artists at heart. They just needed a signer to give them a green light, allowing them to elaborate on those tendencies.
VIDEO - Cheo Feliciano and Jorge Santana with Fania All Stars At Yankee Stadium
We have several Fania T-Shirts at a very special price, only during August.
Click here or on the image to get them.
In the CD section, we have the following releases at a special price.
Click here or on the image to go to the CD store.
The Fania – We Love To See You Dance poster is a limited edition print on 200 numerated metallic papers that will last a lifetime. Size 26x36 inches.
This unique collector piece has been created with an amazing collage of albums covers. It highlights some of the most spectacular Fania covers and represents the Tropical genres from Salsa to Boogaloo, from Latin Soul to AfroCuban and Latin Jazz.
Click on the poster image to learn more about this exclusive opportunity.