Delgado--Original Man, Original Music

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[Entertainment: Music]

In the new millennium Jimmy Delgado is following his heart.

He is doing so via his current CD entitled "Salsa con Dulzura," which features his percussion mastery as well as 3 other timbaleros: Orestes Vilato, Nicky Marrero and Mike Collazo. He also includes the talent of 3 soneros: Bobby Cruz, Ismael Quintana and Adalberto Santiago.

His new CD is sure to thrill his fan base since it is unique in its style. A master timbalero, Delgado is also opening his heart by paying tribute to one of Latin music’s greatest vocalist, Ismael Quintana, the original vocalist for Eddie Palmieri for many years. The tribute will take place at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, in the Bronx, as part of his second Legends of Salsa contribution.

The first was entitled Legends of Salsa 1 and featured Latin-All Stars. On Saturday, April 25, at 8:00 p.m., Lehman Center will feature the second in this series - Legends of Salsa 2: A Tribute to Ismael Quintana.

A genius of his art form, Jimmy Delgado, has made his mark on Latin music. He won a Gold Record for his memorable Timbal solo on Kurtis Blow's Hip-Hop classic "These Are The Breaks." He has performed with artists, musicians and bandleaders such as Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Richie Ray, Bobby Cruz, Israel Lopez, Cachao, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz, Pete Rodriquez, Hector LaVoe, Ismael Miranda, Johnny Rodriguez, Johnny Colon, the Fania All-Stars, Eddie Santiago, Tito Puente, La India, and Jerry and Andy Gonzales, et al.

The innovative Delgado is taking this opportunity to look back and give thanks to those musicians that influenced his life. Artists such as Tony Vega, Lalo Rodriguez, Hector Tricoche, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Orestes Vilato and Johnny "Dandy" Rodrigues, who have performed with both Delgado and Quintana, now feel deeply honored to pay tribute to vocalist Ismael Quintana, well known for hits like "Muneca," "Adoracion," "Mi Debilidad," and Puerto Rico," et al. The tribute is expected to draw Latin music affioniados throughout the five boroughs, Westchester County, and elsewhere.

The folkloric music of his parents and grandparent’s native homeland of Puerto Rico drew Delgado as a child. "My grandmother used to play it and later I listened to the faster beats my cousin played as part of the boogaloo era. I thought it was great to hear Latin rhythms done to English lyrics. Once I heard the congas and timbales, I was hooked and drawn to this exciting music form," remarked the Timbalero.

Delgado attended the Johnny Colon East Harlem Music School where he perfected his percussion skills. He later became an instructor at the East Harlem Music School and then taught at other public schools until 1998, when he was chosen by Harry Belafonte to play in his band. "I worked with Belafonte for 5 or 6 years. It was different. While Harry had an eclectic music playbill, he often played Caribbean and jazz music which required me to use more than one percussionist instrument," chuckled Jimmy.

"Harry reminded me of band leader Ray Barretto. Like Ray, Harry was creative and liked to experiment. I really enjoyed playing with and learning from both men because they wanted their musicians to be the best they could be."

"When I decided to do my CD, at first I shopped around to see if there was any interest but couldn’t find a backer, so I decided to fund it myself. It was my first time as arecord producer so I wanted it to be different. I didn’t want it to sound like the standard salsa dance records. I put my all into it and feel I was very innovative in putting this recording together. I think my listeners will be pleased because I really don’t think there is anything else out there like it," said Jimmy proudly.

Delgado’s stint with the theater included playing percussions for the show "La Lupe" as well as performing in a production starring Kevin Kline, Blair Underwood and Ruben Santiago Hudson.

Jimmy is the originator of the show Master Timbaleros featuring the legendary Orestes Vilato, Nicky Marrero and Miguel Collazo. He was also a part of Fania Records, as was Quintana. After signing with Fania Records, Quintana appeared at Yankee Stadium in 1973. That event was later made into a movie. While with the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra, Quintana recorded 13 albums. "I know Ismael to be a gentleman. He was always honest with me and I feel privileged to have had him as a mentor. I feel he made me a better Timbalero as a result," stated Jimmy who has performed with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

"Presently Quintana is semi-retired and lives in Denver, Colorado, but he will be up front and center at the tribute in the Bronx for our salute to him," explained Jimmy. "The tribute is to honor Ismael’s musical contribution, so we will be performing many of the songs he sang while with the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra. Since Quintana had a singing career outside of the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra, we will also perform his songs recorded as a solo artist. However, Quintana is not just a singer. He is also a composer and produced his own records at one time under the Fania All-Stars," said the band leader. "Therefore on April 25th at Lehman College for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, we intend to thank Ismael Quintana for all the years of great music. Quintana deserves it and so do all his fans," said Delgado enthusiastically.

Those interested in purchasing tickets for the Legends of Salsa 2 – A Tribute to Ismael Quintana on Saturday, April 25th, can call the box office at 718-960-8833 or get info via

Drivers can access Lehman Center for the Performing Arts off the Saw Mill River Parkway and Major Deegan Expressway. Parking is free. Both the #4 and D trains stop at the Bedford Park Blvd. station.

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