“El Canario”


“El Canario” performs live in The Bronx. The 36th ANNIVERSARY SEASON with a special tribute concert featuring The Showman JOSE ALBERTO “EL CANARIO” and SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO, together for the first time at Lehman Center since their joint LATIN GRAMMY® win for the Best Traditional Tropical Album Tributo A Los Compadres: Don't Cry For Me; No Quiero Llanto. The Saturday, April 15th performance begins at 8pm. With special guests, former Los Van Van singers MAYITO RIVERA and PEDRITO CALVO. Produced by Lehman Center and José Raposo.

JOSE ALBERTO “EL CANARIO” is nicknamed El Canario (The Canary) because of his exquisite voice and amazing ability to use his highly melodious whistling skills as a soloing instrument. Now celebrating his 41st year as a sonero, he is one of the most successful and respected artists on the salsa music scene with a recording history that includes 25 albums. Born in Puerto Rico, Alberto relocated to New York City in the early ‘70s and sang with several orchestras, receiving international attention in 1977 as the lead vocalist of the ground-breaking ensemble TÍPICA’73 on recordings that include Salsa Encendida (1978), Charangueando con La Típica’73 (1980) and Into the 80s (1981). After being featured as a vocalist on Louie Ramirez’ 1982 production Noche Caliente, the first album to give popular Spanish ballads an uptempo treatment, Jose Alberto became a major Latin star.

Forming his own group in 1983, he recorded three albums on the Sono Max label titled Típicamente (1984), Canta Canario (1985) and Latino Style (1986). He had an international smash-hit album in 1988 with Sueño Contigo and followed up a year later with Mis Amores, also a chart topper. In the 90s, Alberto recorded several hit recordings including Dance with Me (1991) produced by GRAMMY® winner Sergio George in the (then) new Salsa Romántica style, followed by Llegó la Hora (1992) with the worldwide hit tracks “Nada se Compara Contigo” and “Discúlpeme Señora.” In 1994 he recorded De Pueblo y Con Clase and in ’95, the album On Time, notably featuring a duet with the undisputed Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz, with whom he frequently toured. His 1997 Tributo a Machito featured guest GRAMMY winners Tito Puente and Dave Valentín. In 2011, Alberto’s album Original was nominated for a GRAMMY® award and he won a 2013 Latin GRAMMY® Award as a featured vocalist on Sergio George Presents Salsa Giants. Recent recordings include Intimamente Salsero Live (2012), Romantico y Rumbero (2014) and 2015’s Latin GRAMMY®-winning Best Traditional Tropical Album Tributo A Los Compadres: No Quiero Llanto.

SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO is a Cuban son group, deeply rooted in the traditional music from their hometown Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of son and bolero. The group was founded by Fernando Dewar in 1995 at the famous Casa de la Trov music club, with several members of his previous band Melodias de Ayer to explore the different faces of Cuban music, with an emphasis on the traditional through a fresh contemporary perspective within the format of the septet. Their eight albums have featured legendary music icons including Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Cheo Feliciano, Rubén Blades, Oscar D'Leon, Eliades Ochoa, Andy Montañez, Ismael Miranda, Aymee Nuviola, Reinaldo Creagh, Tiburón Morales, Edwin Bonilla, Jimmy Bosch, Edwin Colón Zayas, Alejandro Almenares, Luisito Quintero and more. In 2011 and 2013 the albums Vamos Pa’ La Fiesta and Oye Mi Son Santiaguero won the Cubadisco Awards and were both nominated for Latin GRAMMY®s. Their most recent album, Tributo A Los Compadres: No Quiero Llanto, a collaboration with salsa legend Jose Alberto “El Canario”, was awarded the Cubadisco Award, as well as the 2015 Latin GRAMMY® Award for Best Traditional Tropical Album. Also nominated in the 2016 American GRAMMY®’s for Best Tropical Latin Album, this unique project and collaboration received the Excellencies of Art Award back in the group’s native Cuba.

MARIO “MAYITO” RIVERA is nicknamed “El Poeta de La Rumba” for his ability to vocally interpret all forms of Cuban music in both modern and traditional styles with a colorful range that can be powerfully dynamic or tender and soft. He was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and has degrees from both the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Instituto Superior de Arte. After college, he joined the band of Cuban singer Albita Rodríguez and played bass in Grupo Moncada. From 1992 to 2011, Mayito was the characteristic voice and face of the extremely successful Cuban band, Los Van Van. He sang many of the band’s salsa hits, for which he was rewarded with a Latin GRAMMY® and two nominations. Concurrent with his work with Los Van Van, he also released several solo albums, starting with 1999’s Pa’ bachatear… Chappotín and the Grammy-nominated Llegó la Hora (2005), as well as guest appearances with salsa greats including Oscar d’Leon, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Adalberto Álvarez to name a few. Since 2012, he has been a member of Soneros de Verdad, led by Luis Frank Arias. Mayito’s latest solo album Estoy Aqui was released in 2015 on the German Termidor label.

PEDRO “PEDRITO” CALVO is a popular Cuban-born vocalist known for his charismatic and unique singing style which often includes clever wordplay and expressive rhythmic vocal sounds. Pedrito started his professional career singing with his father’s orchestra. He then sang with several Cuban orchestras including La Riviera, La Orquesta de Julio Valdés, and La Ritmo Oriental singing on hits like “Mi Socio Manolo” and “Aquí el Que Manda es Mulé”. He is most famous for his time (1974-2001) with Los Van Van, one of Cuba’s premier dance bands, where he was part of the infamous lead singing the trio of Los Van Van along with Mayito Rivera and Roberto Hernández. These three singers alternated singing the lead and backing parts on Los Van Van tracks. Some of the most notable tracks that Calvo sang the lead part on are “Que le den Candela”, “Sandunguera”, “El Negro Está Cocinando”, “Mi Chocolate” and “La Fruta”. He was very much part of the reason that Los Van Van was honored with the 1999 GRAMMY® Award for Best Salsa Performance for their album, Llegó...Van Van -- Van Van is Here. Over the years, Pedrito has also performed with the Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All Stars.

Jose Alberto and Septeto Santiaguero

Jose Alberto