The Music of Puerto Rico
I’ve been surrounded by music at an early age growing up in Puerto Rico, music played daily throughout the neighborhood, several family members were musicians and Mother would sing the ballads of her childhood in Cuba. By the age of ten I began developing an ear for rhythms, soon my surroundings began serving as instruments. There were bands in almost every neighborhood and every Sunday, two blocks from my house in Ponce, the 2nd largest band in Puerto Rico, La Sonora Ponceńa, rehearsed every Sunday.
In 1971, I went to see the Fania All-Stars in San Juan with Johnny Pacheco leading the introductions; midway through the concert a slow rain began, so everyone stopped, and began to walk off the stage. Within 10 minutes Ponce native, Hector Lavoe took the stage, soon the trumpet players came back, next the trombone players, soon followed by Barreto, Oreste and Roberto Rhoena. Before long the entire All-Stars were back on stage playing for over an hour and half. I wasn’t too much into to salsa, but after that concert I became a convert.
As a child I remember going with my family to Fiesta Patronalas, where Tito Puento and his band, Hector Lavoe or Pete Cone Rodriquez would perform in all over the island, from San Juan to Isla Verde; Humacao to Ponce to Mayagüez.
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