Rubén Blades Returns

Submitted by ub on Sun, 04/24/2022 - 11:20

You can take the man out of Harvard, but you can never take Harvard University out of this graduate, especially Rubén Blades.

Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna will receive the prestigious Arts Medal. The Grammy-winning singer, composer, actor, and one-time Panamanian presidential candidate will be honored at Harvard University.…

The salsa maestro played a key role in the NYC music scene during the 1970s, an influential period of popularity for musical and dance styles. Blades graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1985 with a Master's degree in international law and ran for the presidency of Panama, but lost the election. Blades managed to attract 17 percent of the vote in his failed attempt to win the Panamanian presidency in 1994. In September 2004, he was appointed minister of tourism by Panamanian president Martín Torrijos for a five-year term.

On a personal note, I first met Rubén_Blades while at The Village Gate, a hub for Afro-Cuban music on Mondays. the Salsa Meets Jaz series was s gas. Later, we met up at Madison Square Garden during The National Democratic Convention, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore launched their victorious campaign. and later while at The AP, I enjoyed him and Marc Anthony on Broadway during the final performance of Paul Simon's "Cape Man"

Blades has recorded many songs and appeared in multiple films.…

The song that had the greatest impact on me is “Pablo Pueblo’. A tune about any Latino whose endless efforts to work and put food on the table and provide shelter for their family barely making ends meet. This song is the Latin American International Anthem and a classic from a Fania All-Stars member.

This song was my sanity anchor during weeks of a Latin America news tour which had me visiting Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador during the bloody civil war and working as a field producer for Tom Brokaw at NBC and Martin Bell with BBC. #QueLastima 

Kudos to Maestro Blades