PAPO LUCCA and LA SONORA PONCEÑA With Special Guests YOLANDA RIVERA, LUIGI TEXIDOR,
and HECTOR PICHI PÉREZ with MC PACO NAVARRO.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts continues its spectacular 34th season with the return of legendary salsa pioneers PAPO LUCCA and LA SONORA PONCEÑA for their 60th Anniversary Concert with special guests YOLANDA RIVERA, LUIGI TEXIDOR, and HECTOR PICHI PÉREZ with MC PACO NAVARRO on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 8pm. For the first time at Lehman Center, Luigi Texidor, Yolanda Rivera and Hector Pichi Pérez will be reuniting with Maestro Papo Lucca and La Sonora Ponceña celebrating their 60th Anniversary Concert.
LA SONORA PONCEÑA was formed in Puerto Rico in 1954 by Enrique “Quique” Lucca, who named the band after the famous Cuban band Sonora Matancera and his home city of Ponce, thus Sonora Ponceña. Don Quique created a distinct salsa sound using a full percussion section, with only trumpets in his horn section that in turn harmonized with the piano and voices. By 1956 the group included pianist Vicentico Morales, with Quique’s ten-year-old son, Enrique “PAPO” LUCCA Jr., already at the piano writing arrangements. Papo recorded his first piano solo, “Smoke Mambo“, in 1958 at age twelve. The band’s early recordings featured various popular vocalists of the time, until Tito Gomez joined the band, staying until 1974. By 1960, the band had performed in New York, catching the attention of Fania/Inca Records owner Jerry Masucci. After studies at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Papo was an accomplished pianist and arranger, and in 1968 Don Quique stepped down as musical director. Now under Papo’s direction, the La Sonora Ponceña’s sound became a fusion of traditional Cuban and modern Latin styles. In 1969 they released their first Inca LP, with all arrangements by Papo, Hachero Pa’ Un Palo, whose hit title song established them as salsa pioneers. They recorded 30 more albums for Inca and by 1980 were a huge success. As salsa romántica became popular, they adjusted to commercial forces without deserting their trademark sound. La Sonora Ponceña has recorded over 35 albums, garnering dozens of platinum and gold releases of unforgettable music with hits such as “Fuego en El 23”, “Juana Bayona”, “Moreno Soy“, “Borinquen“ and “Suena El Piano“. The band’s most recent albums are 2011’s El Gigante del Sur and A Band and Their Music.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for The 60th Anniversay Concert of PAPO LUCCA and LA SONORA PONCEÑA on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 8pm are $100, $85, and $75 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
YOLANDA RIVERA was born in 1951 in Ponce, Puerto Rico and her family moved to New York City when she was a child. Her first break was in 1969 as a singer in Willie Rosario’s band. She returned to Puerto Rico in 1975, performing with several orchestras before joining La Sonora Ponceña in 1977. She sang on eight albums before retiring from the band in 1984 to raise her family.
LUIGI TEXIDOR (born 1940) hails from Santa Isabel, PR where he sang with local bands as a child. He joined La Sonora Ponceña in 1963 as lead vocalist for fourteen years and ten albums before moving on to Bobby Valentin’s orchestra in 1978.
HECTOR PICHI PÉREZ was born in 1960 in the Bronx, living there until he was seven when his family moved back to Puerto Rico. He began singing locally at age eleven and started studying music when he was fourteen. In 1983 he joined La Sonora Ponceña where he has been the lead vocalist for the last 30 years.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2014-2015 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.