La Sonora Poncena 55th Anniversary Concert
Legendary salsa band La Sonora Poncena, with special guests cuatro master Yomo Toro, salseros Tito Allen and Rafy Santana, and trumpeter Hector â€œBomberitoâ€ Zarzuela, celebrates its 55th Anniversary with a special concert at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 8pm. With over 40 albums, salsa pioneers La Sonora PonceÃ±a, led by founder Enrique â€œQuiqueâ€ Lucca and his son, piano virtuoso â€œPapoâ€ Lucca, has released such classic hits as â€œHachero paâ€™ un paloâ€ and â€œFuego en el 23.â€
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for LA SONORA PONCEÃ‘A 55th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT on Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 8pm, are: $50, $45, $40 and $35 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Mon. through Fri., 10amâ€“5pm, Tues. 10am-7pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour 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. Over 1,000 free, on-site parking spaces are available.
La Sonora PonceÃ±a was formed in Puerto Rico in 1954 by Enrique â€œQuiqueâ€ Lucca, who named the band for the famous Cuban band Sonora Matancera and his home city of Ponce, thus Sonora PonceÃ±a. By 1956 the group included pianist Vicentico Morales, with Quiqueâ€™s ten-year-old son, Enrique â€œPapoâ€ Lucca Jr., already at the piano writing arrangements. Papo recorded his first piano solo at age twelve. The bandâ€™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 Quique stepped down as musical director. Under Papoâ€™s direction, the bandâ€™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 paâ€™ 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 romÃ¡ntica became popular, they adjusted to commercial forces without deserting their trademark sound. The bandâ€™s most recent CDs are 2008â€™s Otra navidad criolla and 2009â€™s Greatest Hits.
Yomo Toro, born in Ensenada, Puerto Rico, has been one of New York Cityâ€™s most respected Latin musicians for over five decades. Playing the cuatro, a Puerto Rican 10-stringed instrument descended from the Spanish vilhuela, he arrived in New York in 1953 with his band, Los 4 Aces, playing several tours of the Caribbean before settling in the Bronx in 1956. He played with Trio Los Panchos in the early â€˜60s, recording four albums, one featuring Eydie GormÃ©. He soon joined the Fania label and the world-famous Fania All-Stars. In 1969 Toro recorded the influential salsa album Tribute to Arsenio with the Larry Harlow Orchestra. In 1970, with Willie ColÃ³n and HÃ©ctor Lavoe, he combined the new sounds of New York salsa with traditional Puerto Rican Christmas music in the classic Asalto NavideÃ±o, one of Faniaâ€™s best-selling albums of all time. Yomo Toro has played on over 150 albums, including over 20 solo albums and CDs with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, and David Byrne. Since 1994, he has performed in the Latin Legends band with Larry Harlow and Adalberto Santiago.
Tito Allen, â€œthe elegant one,â€ has been one of the most popular soneros for over thirty years, performing with the Ray Barretto Orchestra, TÃpica 73, and the Tito Puente Orchestra. As a solo artist, he is known for such hits as â€œMaldades,â€ â€œFeliz y dichoso,â€ â€œAhora y siempreâ€ and â€œUntouchable.â€
Rafy Santana, who is a featured vocalist on La Sonora PonceÃ±aâ€™s Aniversario 45 CD, leads his own band, Rafy Santana y su Orquesta Homenaje, which released 2005â€™s critically acclaimed Canto a Lavoe, a tribute to salsero HÃ©ctor Lavoe.
Hector â€œBomberitoâ€ Zarzuela has played trumpet with Conjunto ClÃ¡sico and the Fania All-Stars and has appeared on over 100 albums with such legends as Tito Puente, HÃ©ctor Lavoe, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto and Tommy Olivencia.
This concert receives support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Daily News, and the New York State Council on the Arts.