Latin Band Leaders Reunite At Lehman

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[Entertainment: Music]

Nine-time Grammy Award winner maestro Eddie Palmieri, a salsa master for over four decades will be joined by his orchestra, alongside special guest, the celebrated conguero Giovanni Hidalgo for an historic reunion at Lehman College for the Performing Arts on Saturday, October 11th at 8:00 p.m.  Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY.

Known as “The Sun of Latin Music,” Palmieri is set to enchant the Lehman crowd with his musical brilliance as he plays his old favorites, favorites like his 1975 namesake album The Sun of Latin Music which still delights his fans and for which he won his first Grammy Award for Best Latin Album. Fans are expecting to hear some of Palmieri’s classics like “Azucar pa’ ti”, “Muñeca,” “Café” and “Si hecho pa’ lante.”

The son of the great Jose’ “Mañengue” Hidalgo, who especially handcrafted the congas that Giovanni Hidalgo began playing at age five, was born into a family of musicians.  Giovanni Hidalgo is now known as one of the greatest Puerto Rican percussionist to grace Latin Jazz.  What makes this performance so special is that Hidalgo played with Eddie Palmieri in New York for years.  After forging a life long friendship with Dizzy Gillespie, Hidalgo began touring in 1988 with Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. He also toured extensively with Tito Puente and performed with Carlos Santana and Paquito D’Rivera. 

So it’s a great moment to once again reunite these two exceptional Latin Jazz artists upon the stage of Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, a venue that serves a large minority community of African Americans and Latinos.  There is no doubt these two Latin giants will garner a lot of excitement, sizzle, and spice while setting the stage on fire.                                                               

Also part of the playbill includes The Latin Giants of Jazz (formerly known as the Tito Puente Orchestra).  Tito Puento was well known, especially in New York, as one of the giants of Latin swing.  The Latin Giants of Jazz Orchestra is led by Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez and Jose Madera, both whom played for Tito for three decades.  The Latin Giants of Jazz was formed by alumni of the Tito Puente Orchestra in 2000 after Puente’s passing.  Last year the Latin Giants released an album entitled “Trip to Mamboland.”   

Salsa music has a long history.  It began as a dance in the Spanish Courts where it made its way to the Caribbean, Haiti, Bolivia, and Cuba, whereby it was called the contradanza.  It eventually came to New York wherein the Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants added percussions and Afro-Latino poly-rhythms and tempo.  Eventually, Izzy Sanabria, the Master of Ceremonies of the Fania All-Stars, coined the music Salsa due to its use of percussion, fast paced beat, and hot and spicy flavor.  The mambo and son is also similar to the dance and music of Salsa.  In fact, the terms Latin jazz and salsa are sometimes used interchangeably.  Salsa is basically Cuban in stylistic origin.  Although, its a Puerto Rican hybrid fused with African beats and other Latin styles mixed with R&B, rock, jazz and pop.

Fans are also familiar with band leader Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez, the son of respected Latin musician, Johnny Rodriguez, who performed with Tito Rodriguez and the extraordinary Ray Barretto and Tipica as a teenager  before beginning his 27-year stint playing bongos in Tito Puente’s band.  Musical director José Madera, born in NYC to José “Pin” Madera, was the first arranger for the Machito Orchestra.  He started playing timbales with Machito as a teenager and was Tito Puente’s conguero for 30 years.  Madera was the Tito Puente Orchestra’s musical director for ten years, as well as staff arranger at Fania Records since the 1970s, and he has performed on over 100 recordings by Latin, pop, R&B and jazz artists.  

These giants of Latin Music are all part of the lineup that fans can expect to see on Saturday, October 11th.

Free attended parking is available for those driving to the concert which is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.  For those coming by train, Lehman Center is accessible via the D train and #4 line.  Get off at the Bedford Park Blvd. stop. Tickets for Eddie Palmieri in Concert are being sold for $50, $45, $40, and $35.  Callers can call the Lehman Center Box Office at 718-960-8833 (Mon. through Fri., 10AM–5PM, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour online access at  

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