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Salsa from across the street….


A friend of mind wanted to share this article with me whereby salsa, mambo, and even the rhythm called  son was being played/formed in other parts of the southern hemisphere at the same time it was being played in Cuba, supposedly, the birthplace  of the mambo, son, and son montuno.  

 So enjoy:

 There was just as many Peruvian, Mexican, Argentinian, Dominican, Spanish/European and African-American musicians during the 1930s, 40s and 50s playing what one would describe today as "Salsa, mambo son and son montuno" and doing it simultaneously during the period when the music was supposedly being created and developed in a certain location called Cuba.

The first submission is of Mexican descent...

Pianist / Director

Born in Veracruz, Mexico (1920)

At five years of age, his parents took him to Mexico City. Two years later, they enrolled him in the Conservatory where he received a grant to study for five years in Germany. His U.S. debut was at Chicago's World Fair in 1933. In 1940, he organized his own orchestra known as Orquesta Chuy Reyes and appeared at the Hollywood Theater for two years, The Mocambo club afterwards, and the Copacabana in Chicago. He also appeared in films and would ultimately develop the rest of his career on the east coast of the United States.


Chuy Reyes and his Orchestra

1. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
Blen Blen Blen
3. La Yuca ("Dile A Catalina" by Arsenio Rodriguez)
4. Almendra
5. Negra Leono
6. A Baracoa ("A Baracoa Me Voy" by Antonio Machin)
7. La Ultima Noche
8. Mama Son De La Loma


Drummer / Director

Born in Lima, Peru (1894)

Born as Ciro Campos Playo in Lima, Peru, the name Rimac comes from the river (El Rio Rimac) which surrounds the city and was one he later adopted as his artistic surname. He was one of many Latin-American musicians who found themselves in Europe. In particular France where there was a musical community of Cuban, Mexican, Puertorican and African-American and Afro-Caribbean musicians at large.

Rimac's orchestra performed a repertoire of music including Swing, Waltzes, Blues, Tangos, and the more popular songs of the day in Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In 1937, he relocates to Germany where he records 5 Cuban musical sides featuring himself and his lovely female vocalist Juanita Rodriguez. He leaves Europe behind in 1938 and continues a long career in the United States. From 1964 to 1971, as part of a USO tour, he performs for U.S. troops who are stationed there. He retires full time and in 1973 passes away in the city of Miami, Florida.


1. Cubanacan (rumba)
2. Tabu (afro)
3. Como Tu (bolero)
4. Hindu (son)
5. Panquelero (son)



Born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico (1916)

Manuel Rivas Avila, otherwise known as "Wello," began singing in his native city and relocated to the Capital in 1934. He was then invited to become a member of the Orchestra led by the puertorican composer and bandleader, Rafael Hernandez. Simultaneously engaging in duets with female vocalist Margarita Romero. They performed on radio, cabarets and participated in many recordings with Hernandez.

Wello also managed to compose some classic hits in his day such as Llegaste Tarde, Cenizas, Quisiera Ser Golondrina, etc.

In 1936 & 1937, Wello Rivas went into the studio to record singles, backed by different orchestras. He later retires full time from the music industry and remains in
Mexico City for the rest of his life. On January 12, 1990, Wello Rivas passed away in obscurity, in much the same way he lived his life.


con Wello Rivas

"ME BESO LOCO" (Bolero)

con Wello Rivas


con Wello Rivas

"ALEGRE CONGA" (Guaracha)



Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

As all good Mayaguezanos, Efrain "Mon" Rivera was attracted to the indigenous Puertorican musical form known as the Plena. He was adept at playing various instruments, but his primary affinity was the trombone. A composer, much like his father, Rivera was responsible for recording some of the more memorable Plenas in history.

He begins his career as a vocalist in his hometown during the 1940s where he makes a name for himself singing the musical songs of Mexico. Some years later, he joins the orchestra led by William Manzano as it's primary vocalist.

In the 1950s he joins pianist Hector Pellot, a fellow Mayaguez resident, and becomes the vocalist for Pellot's small group known as Los Ases Del Ritmo ("The Rhythm Aces"). They relocate to New York and are hired by the booking director of the Palladium Ballroom, (who was of Dominican background) to make up one of the six bands that performed year round at the ballroom. The other five bands were Machito & The Afro-Cubans, Tito Rodriguez' Mambo Devils, Tito Puente & his Picadilly Boys, Marcelino Guerra & Batamu and Paul Alicea & La Playa Sextet. Hector Pellot decides the New York climate is not his cup of tea and moves back to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Leaving his bandmates in New York City, Los Ases Del Ritmo is now under the direction of its timbalero Ramon "Moncho" Lena. During this time, Mon Rivera's star begins to rise as his legendary vocal style known as Trabalengua (created by his father) becomes the talk of the town. Mon eventually leaves Ases Del Ritmo and starts on a solo career.

In 1960, recording producer and label owner Al Santiago contracts Mon to record an LP entitled QUE GENTE AVERIGUA. This album features the very first documented recording of Eddie Palmieri's "La Perfecta" band, who are the musicians backing Mon on this session. The Piano is courtesy of both Eddie and his brother Charlie Palmieri.

As the new generation emerges in the late 60s and early 70s, Rivera is forgotten and not part of the circle of artists achieving success under the guise of what is now called "Salsa." Upon disassembling his long time orchestra, bandleader Willie Colon decides to reintroduce one of his musical heroes in Mon Rivera to this new generation of fans. In 1975, the Fania record company releases THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD ("Se Chavo El Vecindario."). Three years later, Mon Rivera suffers a heart attack and passes away on March 12, 1978. That summer, Fania records releases a posthumous album featuring unreleased tracks for the Willie Colon LP under the title MON FOREVER.

Amazingly, Mon's father is still alive today and continues to pass down the Plena and especially the verbal Trabalengua tradition to a new generation.

"A Night At The Palladium With Moncho Lena Y Los Ases Del Ritmo"
Vocals by Mon Rivera

Canallon (Son Montuno)
Al Fin Ya Vuleves

"Moncho Lena Y Los Ases Del Ritmo"
Vocals by Mon Rivera

Guaracha Y ChaChaCha (Guaracha)

"Mon Rivera Y Su Orquesta Vol. 2"

Kijis Konar (bomba)

"Mon Rivera Y Su Orquesta Vol. 3"

El Tejo (bomba)

"Que Gente Averigua"
Canta: Mon Rivera

2. Que Gente Averigua
3. Baila Mi Guaguanco
4. Plebochanga
5. Cuca
6. Como Esto Pita
7. Plechanga De Trabalengua
Lluvia Con Nieve
9.Plena En Navidad
10. En Casa De Pepe



Mexican Dance Orchestra founded in the late 1940s. Under the direction of bandleader Rogelio Zarzosa, this group was popular locally, but only managed to last just a few short years. They did manage to record one single in 1951. Shortly after it's release, the band broke up.


"Joyas Internacionales Con El Orfeon Infantil Mexicano"




One of the pioneering mexican dance bands a la Sonora Santanera. Very few today are even aware of their existence and their popularity during their hey day. One of the significant attributes of this orchestra is that by all indications, they seem to be the very first ensemble to feature Violins (as they would be featured in a Charanga setting) and brass instruments. All at the same time. It's significant because of the year they recorded (1951) which is 10 years before Ray Barretto combined violins and brass and Cuba's Charanga Reve combined the same orchestration. While New York and Cuba often receive the credit for certain innovations, the recordings prove that a band out of Mexico was the first to document such a combination.


"Los Nombres Del Ella - Musica De Baile Con La Orquesta De Ingenieria"

1. Patricia
2. Marta
3. La Boa


Violinist, Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Musical Director, Composer and Arranger

Born in Havana, Cuba (1906)

Iznaga began studying in art at the San Alejando Academy, but switches to music mid way and commences his studies on the violin. By 1928, he was already a member of the Havana Philarmonic Orchestra, but he suffered greatly upon witnessing the discrimination against black musicians whom he worked with. For this reason alone, he decides to leave Cuba and travel to New York in 1929. He was familiar with the English language due to being employed at the Hotel Almendares (Simultaneous to his participation with the Philharmonic.) where the owners taught all its employees to speak English. Just as the musicians did in Cuba, he finds that in the United States one must alternate in interpreting musical styles in order to survive as a working musician. Among the first bands he plays with is led by Vicente Sigler. To augment his employment possibilities, he begins to learn to play the saxophone and the clarinet on his very own in 1933. By 1937 he learns, once again on his own, how to arrange music and does so for Mr. Augusto Coen, whom he was currently playing for. The following year, he forms his own orchestra which he calls LA SIBONEY where a young sonero nicknamed "Machito" is the lead vocalist. They begin to have some success on the scene, but soon run into internal probelms between Iznaga himself and his star vocalist, Machito. At one point Machito manages to take control of the orchestra, but eventually leadership of La Siboney reverts back to Iznaga. In 1943, he registers himself at the prestigious Julliard School of Music to hone his musical skills. He records numerous sides with his band, and his arrangemtns make him one of the more in demand and recognizable musicians throughout the latin musical world. In 1952, he disbands his orchestra and works as a sideman playing violin with the Charanga band led by Gilberto Valdes, at the Tropicana Club in the Bronx, NY. That same year, Valdes goes his own way to tour with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and leaves the band under the direction of Alberto Iznaga, who leads the Tropicana Club house band until 1957. He continued to work here and there until finally retiring in 1974 and relocating to the island of Puerto Rico. Never recognized for his musical contributions, Iznaga passes away on April 16, 1995 in complete obscurity.


Alberto Iznaga y su Orquesta Siboney
1-4 sung by Marcelino Guerra / 5-6 sung by Payo Flores

1. Tu Baila Con Ella (son montuno)
2. La Selva (rumba afro)
3. Ofrenda A Yemaya (rumba afro)
4. Matala (son)
5. Rumba Sinfonica
6. Ecue (afro)

1-4 sung by Johnny Gonzalez

1. La Reina Del Guaguanco (guaguanco-rumba)
2. Papa Ogun (afro-rumba)
3. El Bolitero (guaracha)
4. La Lanchita (rumba)

1-4 sung by Juan "El Boy"

1. No Me Digas (bolero)
2. Rumba Negra (mambo-guaracha)
3. Tu Peticion (guaracha-mambo)
4. Simi (afro)
5. Mam-Bo-E (mambo)



Thanks to Anthony Santiago from the Big Apple (NYC) for sharing this insight. 




And now back to the Philly home front….

  “Dancing with the stars” (AKA the more experienced (?) dancer and the lack of respect they have for you oh common man)…..  see, I’m not talking about the TV show (in which Mario Lopez should have won- in my opinion) but all those “better” dancers (yes, I refuse to use the word “pro” when referring to the more experienced dancer) who apparently believe that they “own” the dance floor.  To best understand what I am talking about, let me tell the tale of a 21st century dance experience as shared by a fellow and his girlfriend at a night club in the Philadelphia area (in the northeast to be exact.)

   Twas a Sunday night when this took place, a discussion over dancing space, alas, this tale must be told of this young man and his deed ever so bold. Twirling about his partner with ever so much glee, the dance that was shared called salsa between her and him, as he thus explained it to me. A timely mistake he dared to commit by accidentally bumping into another couple on the dance floor. Now being just a dancer having fun with his significant other and having taken just a few salsa dance lessons out of curiosity, well of course, then his “level” of dancing experience sums up to be simply on the “fun” level as I doubt very much if he plans to elevate his dancing skills so that he may go on a world wide tour. Now with a “dancing on the fun level/degree/experience comes the laughter, smiles, jokes and having a good time. Bumping into others is par the course, and saying excuse me or I’m sorry when it happens is just proper dance etiquette or for that matter, proper etiquette as the norm in everyday life.

Unfortunately for this “on the fun “level dancer little did he know that because of his level of dance experience he was being chastised, segregated, and separated from the herd of the more experienced(?) dancer for that Sunday, while spending a night out with his girl, he found out that segregation and apartheid does exist on the dance floor.

  As he danced with his partner, he accidentally bumped into another couple and immediately upon the end of the dance apologized to both parties.  Again, while dancing he bumped into another couple while dancing as it seemed apparent that the dance floor was quite crowded. And in a third attempt to dance he once more bumped into another couple while turning his partner. Now after apologizing, the young man from the other couple noticed that this gentleman was less experience than he. So he boldly stated that perhaps he and his partner should dance away from the main dance floor as this is where the real experienced dancers like to dance and the main section is practically owed and dominated by the more experienced dancers.  So respectfully, the fellow ask that since admission was free, would not he and his partner be allowed to dance anywhere they choose no matter how less experience they had as far as dancing salsa goes. The young man quickly responded with a “we, the better dancers, own the dance floor.” And he continue to mention that he and his fellow wolf pack of dance buddies noticed that this person and his partner where less experienced and in the wrong place because of it. Needless to say, the fellow and his girl continued to dance where they pleased and ignored the stares from the “wolf pack.” 

 So, we have come to this now, separation and segregation of dance space and who belongs where. I remember the first time that I went to a Jimmy Anton’s Sunday Social with a friend back in 2002, she told me to stay away from a certain corner because that was where the more experienced dancers hung out. And of course I in my fast witty response stated “What, they’re going to beat me up if I hang there?”   So here we are in present day and the dance floor has now been blocked off into separate but equal (?) sections.

What lies next, you will have to demonstrate your dancing skill level before entering a social or night club?  21st century thinking with 19th century mentality is what we seem to have.




So you think you can dance ….me too, in my own way!

 Before the dawn of the studio taught dance lessons, back in the 20th century, you know, the age of big cars, records, cassettes, Night clubs, AM radio and boom boxes, there was such a thing as being taught how to dance salsa by a friend, cousin, brother, sister, neighbor, and even mom or dad.  And although the technical terminology as it is presented in the 21st century like cross body lead, Suzie Q, Pancake, Patty cake or whatever other words are made up to “label’ a dance move or function, did not exist back then. And yet, believe it or not, people did still learn how to dance salsa, and indeed learn quite well how to do it. For one thing, this salsa dancing thing has been going on for quite some time, and there is even footage of film from the 1970’s where people were dancing salsa back then, and “heavens to mergatroid” (1970’s terminology- thanks Quick Draw MCGraw ) they were dancing on beat, and oh my gosh, even turning their partner correctly as they saw fit.  So how did they survive back then without the dance studios and all the present day terminology? Basically the same way cars survived on leaded gasoline for like 70 years before the government decided they were polluting the air, they just did!

   Now, back then if you knew how to dance a little bit more than the girl or if you never danced with her before you politely told her that you were going to make certain moves and use certain body gestures to let her know before the move or turn was coming.  Some examples were the raising of a finger, winking of an eye, saying softly but firmly the word “now’ or more common “ahora (which means now in Spanish.)  Other body gestures or words were used to let your partner know he was going to turn you or wanted you to do a certain move or step as preparation for his next move during the dance. And if you messed up (either one of the dancing couple) then as you realized that you were dancing for the fun of it, you laughed it off  and either you asked if she would dance again with you or moved on to another young lady for the next dance. Ironically 99% of the time, the girl would say: “let’s try this again so I can get it right.” And then start the joy of another dance with you.

The moral of this subject is simply this: Just because I didn’t learn to dance the way you did doesn’t mean I can’t dance. If I gesture with my hands, my eyes, wiggle my ears or raise an elbow, and I politely tell you before hand what my body gesture inclines, and what I would like for you to do or be prepared to do before we start dancing. Am I teaching you, yes I am, how, simply put, if you never have danced with me before, then it is only polite that I take 30 seconds to explain what  I would like to do and the means to communicate with you during the dance so that you understand when to do it.

 In this age of the “I Robot salsa dancers” where this new generation has learned to dance just like Tom, Dick and Jane and then again like Tom, Dick and Jane and then once more the cycle repeats itself in what seems like a mass production of duplicates, individuality has become a thing of the past. Where once there was “I” the salsa dancer, has now seen the “I” turn into a “we” the salsa dancer.  The dance studios have taught well, churning out salsa dancers in droves over the last few years. Teaching technique, style, flare, grace and ah yes a sense of pyramid philosophy, for the more you learn, the higher up you go experience wise as a dancer. Yes, everything is offered and taught so you may dance salsa. But if your shadow and my shadow project so close to each other then our individual shadows become as one and our self identity is lost as well. So then if I dance as you dance and you as I, where do we differ? We don’t.

 Interesting thought:  a friend of mine checked out a dance lesson/workshop not that long ago just out of curiosity. After taking the “warm up” class, one of the instructors told her that she would get the best lesson out of an intermediate class. Surprised to hear this, she went on and took the class but after a bit, the instructor took notice of her exquisite footwork, which was far above the class participants, and advised her to take the advanced class. Now once in the advanced class, she not only demonstrated superior footwork, but as her partner (one of the instructors) turned her, he noticed her motion was flawless and in perfect timing.  He asked why she was at the workshop, and for that matter, was she a pro, or had she been taught before at a studio or dance school? She stated that she had no professional lessons but was in fact taught to dance by her older sister back around 1973 when she was 10 years old in their living room on 7th Street just above Norris St in North Philly. She never went out dancing much as a teenager, but never let her self forget how to dance even after college, marriage, two children and a career.

Needless to say, the dance instructor received quite a few pointers from my friend. He stated that her dancing “on 2” was best he had even seen and still didn’t understand why she went to the workshop. She stated that she learned to dance mambo for fun and was just curious to see how and why people signed up for classes as she had learned from her older sister. “So why doesn’t anybody’s family teach their relatives how to dance anymore?” She asked him, and of course he didn’t have an answer. Why did you call it dancing “on2”? “My sister called it mambo and I called it salsa and so not to fight with her over it, I just called it mambo so she’d leave me alone. The young instructor was taken on a mini ride through family history and given his own dance lesson. He told her that it was pleasure to have danced with her, and more so, given an education about life and family. He laughed as he stated that she should have charged him for teaching him some dance moves. My friend just stated, “Get connected with your family, because I’ll bet you that you’ll find an uncle or aunt somewhere out there that dances really great, we all have one.” 

 So much for placing a “level” of experience on a salsa dancer, after all, aren’t we good enough for ourselves and someone else as well, I think so.         

 To the lost treasure of individualism, of being unique and using hand gestures, body signals and etc, you are still long for.         

Still, someone out there dares to drink tap water, use a bar of soap, and dance like they want to, and not like everyone else.

 Thought to live by: Taking dance lessons is great, learning to dance by an instructor is awesome, becoming an individual once you’ve learned how to dance is an achievement in itself.  Seek individuality, be yourself, and not just like them.


Changing of the guard…..and the arsenal of weapons

 Seems like more and more local DJs are reverting back to old school salsa as the main course for their dance party / social events, while Colombian salsa is great, nothing can replace that salsa sound from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Music back then was intense, not fast, but intense and this drove the dancers to the dance floor.  I see guys playing George Guzman, Orquesta Capri, Hermanos Lopez, Brooklyn Sound, and other groups that were not part of the Fania records empire. And of course Fania icons are played in the mix as well. Don’t get me wrong, some of the newer salsa groups are pretty good , but like I said, I admire the fact that the younger DJs are reaching into the past and playing some of that killer salsa from decades ago. 


 Speaking of DJs, check out the….



The DJ has to play for more than one what you hate may be another's favorite song and EVERYTHING played here can be danced to one way or another.

BE SERIOUS! We know of NO songs played in a club that don't have some sort of BEAT!

PLEASE don't sing for the DJ. They have to put up with smoke filled rooms and dangerous decibel levels all night long...Do them a favor and DON'T give them a rendition of your favorite song.

Oh, sure ... you polled everyone in the club and, as their spokesperson, you're requesting the song.

The DJ won't. I guess that blows a hole in that theory!

Why settle for one night? Buy the album and get laid for a whole month!

The ONLY people who can get away with that statement write the DJ's paycheck!

It's a lot easier for you to go have another beer and figure out what you want to hear than it is for the DJ to recite the name of every record in the booth!

It's NOT advisable to say this when the dance floor is packed (but some people do anyway) ! HOWEVER, even if there is only ONE person on the floor, it STILL contradicts the statement!

If your going leave after he plays it, why shouldn't he wait till the very last song so you stay all night!


Special Note:

A nightclub D.J. gets very little respect. They are expected to play everything for everybody. It is impossible to satisfy all to the people all of the time, yet club jocks are expected to do just that. If a radio jock tells his listeners a song is a hit, the majority of the people think it must be "because they said so on the radio." However, 80% of the time, that same song was being played in a club long before the radio DISCOVERED the NEW song. So, give the D.J. a break! The next time you request a song, stop and THINK before you speak.

And above all, if the DJ has one hand on the mixer, one hand on a TURNTABLE - wearing headphones, Don’t bug him or her!




Carlos “Tabaco”   Quintana



Carlos "Tabaco" Quintana nacido el 15 de septiembre de 1943 (Caracas, Venezuela) y fallecido el 30 de mayo de 1995 (Caracas, Venezuela). Ex integrante del "Sexteto Juventud", fundador del orquesta "Tabaco y sus Metales".

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La única biografía disponible sobre Carlos "Tabaco" Quintana es el artículo de Lil Rodríguez que fue tomado en foros (Foro Jazz Mestizo, mayo 2004; Herencia Latina [1], nov. 2004) :

Había nacido el 15 de septiembre de 1943 y se empezó a formar como músico en las esquinas de San José, (...). La juventud lo llevó de la mano con la salsa brava callejera, la de la rebelión de los trombones de Palmieri y Mon Rivera y del sonido castinglés del sexteto de Joe Cuba. (...)

Y era tan largo que comenzaron a llamarlo "tabaquito", un tabaquito que esperaba que se terminara el día para encontrarse con el sabor musical lejos de la faena de limpiabotas y pregonero.

Nunca olvidó que salía como disparado hacia el 23 de Enero para escuchar los ensayos de un grupo que se estaba formando ahí. Corrían los años y corrían los ensayos mientras tabaquito iba conociendo uno a uno a los integrantes de esa agrupación hasta que en 1963, con veinte años encima, ya su amigo Elio Pacheco lo recomendó a Olinto Medina, el líder de esa banda. Olinto se disponía a ensayar "Guasancó" y el cantante no le llegó al tono. La recomendación de Elio surtió efecto y "Tabaco" hizo lo suyo, muy bien. Así el Sexteto Juventud tuvo nueva voz y algo más, porque Carlos Quintana se pudo pasear por todos los instrumentos de la agrupación.

(...)Poseía un timbre vocal casi mágico. Su voz se parecía asombrosamente a la de Ismael Rivera y ya sabemos lo que eso significaba en momentos en que Maelo era la referencia obligada desde las filas del Combo de Rafael Cortijo.

Con Quintana el Sexteto Juventud tuvo momentos de verdadera gloria porque si bien reflejaba la influencia de Joe Cuba crearon un estilo que sigue sin copia.


Además del arte vocal, Tabaco era un buen compositor, con buena vibra y reciprocidad en el pueblo. Todos los meses de septiembre iba a tocarle a los presos, en el día de Las Mercedes. Sentía lo que sentía un cautivo y por ello compuso "La Cárcel" (Qué malo es estar/ estar entre rejas/ y qué soledad/ qué soledad se siente...).

Junto a este tema dio a conocer "Mi calvario", pieza que se convirtió en todo un clásico. (Quisiera saber/ cuál fue la causa/ de nuestro olvido...).

Y así, entre grabación y toques, Tabaco, en el Sexteto Juventud, vio llegar a José Natividad Martínez, Naty, el flautista y amigo. Naty le vendió la idea de los metales a Quintana y éste, comprando, surgió de pronto con "Tabaco y sus metales" y grabó el tema de Pablo Álvarez "Una sola bandera" que fue un éxito de buenas dimensiones.

También grabaría "Agua de mayo" y su homenaje a los rumberos, "Tuntuneco".

En mayo de 1984 publicamos una entrevista muy rica con Tabaco en el Feriado de El Nacional. Casi enseguida llamaron para localizarlo. Lo invitaban al festival de Managua 84.

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Tabaco 1982

Fue la primera vez que salió del país por aire. Se presentó al lado de 30.000 personas junto al Son 14, Amaury Pérez, Pupi Legarreta y Tania Libertad, entre otros. A su regreso me contó que los cubanos estaban asombrados porque pensaban que en Venezuela sólo existía Oscar D’ León, y que casi se desmaya cuando Daniel Ortega se le acercó para pedirle un autógrafo, y que tocó el cielo cuando Adalberto Álvarez y el Son 14 subieron con él a la tarima para cantar "Una sola bandera".

Sus sueños. Tenía dos: Grabar un disco en homenaje a Ismael Rivera, y hacer otro con boleros. Una vez en Macuto cantó junto a Ismael Rivera y para los dos fue una experiencia tremenda. En Guarenas, la musical y brava, concretamente en "Menca de Leoni" fue cocinando el sueño. Ayudado por Naty, comenzó a grabar el de Maelo en un disco que el sello Sonográfica no se ocupó de difundir después. No lo pudo concluir pues el cáncer se lo llevó al hospital donde también estaba hospitalizado Joe Ruiz. Ese disco lo concluyó vocalmente Ángel Flores. Tampoco pudo hacer el disco de boleros, él, quien tanto admiraba a Cheo Feliciano y a Tito Rodríguez.

Cuenta Naty que en más de una noche logró sacar a Tabaco del hospital para adelantar el álbum homenaje a Maelo. Sabía que Tabaco quería hacerlo, y complació al amigo, quien además, buscando alivio espiritual a su dolor físico, se fue a Los Teques, donde lo sorprendió la muerte el 30 de mayo de 1995"

- Carla Flores  "Musica del mundo 2004" Universidad de Peru

Su discografía :




Sello y ref.





Tabaco y su Sexteto


Tronco e’ baile

Cordis LPCS-4008





Tabaco y su Sexteto

Années 70

Mi Pueblo, Mi Burrito, Nostalgia

La Discoteca 102-20052





Tabaco y su Sexteto





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LAD 30013





Tabaco y sus Metales



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Tabaco y sus Metales 1978



TH 1227





Tabaco y sus Metales



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Ni poco ni demasiado




TH 1237





Tabaco y sus Metales





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TH 1257





Tabaco y sus Metales


Tabaco y sus Metales 1981

TH 102-07248





Tabaco y sus Metales



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Tabaco 1982


TH AM 2202





Tabaco y su Orquesta



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Cosa Linda


TH 102-07346





Tabaco y sus Metales



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Homenaje a los Bravos - Tabaco y sus Metales



TH 102-07375





Tabaco y sus Metales



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El Timbalero - Tabaco y sus Metales



TH 102-07428





Tabaco y su Grupo Futuro



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Tabaco y su grupo futuro






From:  Grandism <>
Date:  04 Dec 2006, 04:36:10 PM
Subject:  Thanks for the Music Notes

Hello Mr. Ortiz,
Thanks so much for your quarterly music notes. I've always enjoyed reading them and I always learn something new.
I have a question for you in regards to your most recent note:   What are the "non-scene" salsa clubs in Philadelphia? Where can a someone just dance?
To be honest, I haven't been out dancing in more than 6 months. I've been to a couple of Congresses, but not out to places like Brazil's, NXNW, Samba's, The Atrium or Alfies. These places are always crowded with professionals and people who want to be professionals. If you are not like minded, you won't dance.
Most of the classes aren't about teaching students new steps. The instructors are interested in "training" dancers. I'm not interested whatsoever in becoming a trained professional or dancing salsa as a sport but because most of the dancers take these classes, they aren't interested just dancing and socializing. Most people come out to practice or perform the routine they learned in class.
The reason I started trying to dance salsa is because I love the music and I wasn't interested in the rigid rules and snobbery of ballroom dance. It seems like the ballroom dance influence has taken over the Philly "salsa scene". I want to dance but I don't care to be a part of the madness.
Any help you can offer would be appreciated.
Thank you.



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Revised; April 10, 2005