Feelings and honors on National Zalsa Day

Puerto Rico was rocked again Sunday to the sound of tropical tunes after the pandemic-caused break in National Zalsa Day, which was filled with emotion and honor and attended by nearly 20,000 people.

With the colors of the Puerto Rican flag appearing on T-shirts, hats, and other accessories, the 38th edition of the island’s most important salsa festival and of great importance in the Caribbean brought together notable artists and orchestras such as La Sonora Ponceña, Willy Rosario and Victor Manuel.

The event, held at Hiram Bethorne Stadium in San Juan, began with the introduction of the Son Divas Orchestra, the first all-women group to perform at the event.

Next, the La Mulenze orchestra put on thousands of dance “cocolos”, a term known to followers of the Caribbean genre, who came from countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic to enjoy the evening

Salute to those who are no longer

Apollo Sound ignited one of the organization’s two stages, translating some of its most famous songs such as “Mi Desinganío”, which brought tears to singer Andres Valdemar Fumar as he remembers the recently deceased founder of the orchestra and legendary Puerto Rican musician Roberto Roina.

Likewise, the band invited its former singers Tito Cruz and Sammy “El Rollo” Gonzalez to present “Con los Pobres Soy” and “Cui Cui” to move the audience.

“Certainly emotions invade, right? However, we are aware that although Roberto is not with us physically, he is in spirit and accompanies us,” Fomar said at a press conference after the presentation.

After the performance of Apollo Sound, the Charlie Cruz Orchestra came, followed by La Tribo d’Abrante, which changed the salsa sound to the original bomba type.

Revenge after the pandemic

The organizers called the event “revenge”, in reference to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the 2021 edition.

“salsero de la mata” (loyal follower), 51-year-old Daniel Valentine told Efe that since he learned station Z93 would be organizing the event again, he didn’t hesitate to attend.

“I really wanted to come, I really wanted to be here,” admitted Valentine, who is attending the date with salsa for the 10th time and was particularly excited to hear Apollo Sound.

Accompanied by his wife and a bell, to follow the key to the songs being played live, the man also confirmed that “Rolo” Gonzalez is “the one who makes everyone have fun” on stage.

“When I listen to salsa music, my bad mood disappears, and my bad feelings become positive,” he emphasized.

Greetings to the future generation

The National Zalsa Day organizer, local radio station Z93, paid tribute to Puerto Rican singer Luis Vasquez, only 16 years old, who received the Future Generation award.

Vasquez, the youngest singer to take part in the event, took advantage of his offer to interpret mixtapes of some of the most important salsa artists, such as Frankie Ruiz’ “La cura”, “Qué hay de malo?” By Jerry Rivera and “I Don’t Know Tomorrow” by Luis Enrique.

Later, Puerto Rican Michael Stewart performed several songs by Puerto Rican artist Angel Canales, such as “Perico Macoña”, “Bombacaramboma” and “Lejos de ti”.

The tour of performances by Bobby Valentine’s orchestra, known as “El rey del bajo” from salsa music, continued with songs such as “Cantaré con una orchestra” and “Son son charari”.

Other artists and groups that planned to perform this long festive day are Victor Manuel, Willie Rosario, La Sonora Poncena, Andy Montañez, Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz.

The orchestra, led by Willie Rosario, Bobby Valentine, Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, will conclude the 38th National Salsa Day session with “Mi bandera,” a song dedicated to the Puerto Rican flag.

Leave a Comment