CELIA CRUZ

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and Goya Foods present the New York debut of CELIA CRUZ – The Musical!, a new and original musical experience that celebrates the story of the multi-Grammy Award winning “Queen of Salsa” on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 at 8pm.

The dynamic two-hour multi-media show features Celia’s signature style and biggest musical hits such as “Quimbara,” “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” “Tu Voz,” “Bemba Colorá,” and “La Vida Es un Carnaval” performed live by the international singing star Lucrecia with the support of an orchestra, dancers and actors.

During the show, Lucrecia makes 18 costume changes, wearing dresses and wigs copied from Celia’s original show wardrobe. See the beautiful spirit of Celia Cruz on stage once again! Her life, her music, her legend. A new original theatrical experience that puts Celia’s music front and center while tracing her life and times.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Blvd., West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for CELIA CRUZ – The Musical! on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 at 8 pm can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10 am–5 pm, and beginning at 4 pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org.

Lucrecia was born in the same Havana, Cuba neighborhood as the famous vocalist Celia Cruz, and began studying piano and singing at the age of seven at the Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba. Shortly after completing her education, she joined La Orquesta Anacaona, the iconic Cuban all-female group, playing keyboards and singing. As the lead vocalist, keyboardist and arranger for the group, she toured internationally in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Leaving the orchestra in 1993, she settled in Barcelona, Spain to form her own group as well as to become a film and television actress. Her 2010 release Álbum de Cuba was earned a Latin Grammy nomination. This year she was recognized as the Best Latin American Children’s Movie Actress and Best Children’s Music Singer at the Premios Latino 2019 Awards. After first appearing with Celia Cruz at a 1998 performance event in Marbella, Spain, they became lifelong friends until Celia’s passing. “My admiration, respect and love for Celia runs very deep,” Lucrecia says. “They call her the queen of salsa, but she was always the guarachera de Cuba. It was always about her Cuba, and taking it with her around the world.”

Celia Cruz was born in Havana, Cuba and was drawn to music from an early age. She studied voice, music theory and piano at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music and rose to fame as a singer of guarachas, earning the nickname “La Guarachera de Cuba”. After singing with Las Mulatas Del Fuego, she was invited to join the popular orchestra La Sonora Matancera as lead vocalist where she mastered a wide variety of additional musical styles including rumba, son and bolero.

Headlining at Havana’s most popular cabarets including the Tropicana, Sans Souci, Bamboo, and Topeka, Celia also recorded many albums with the orchestra starting with Canta Celia Cruz in 1956. At the time of the 1959 Communist takeover of Cuba, La Sonora Matancera was touring in Mexico, and the band decided to relocate to New York City, rather than return to Cuba. Celia became an American citizen in 1961 and joined the Tito Puente Orchestra, becoming a dynamic focus for the band with her flamboyant attire, crowd engagement and unfaltering vocals.

In the 1970’s she reinvented herself by singing in the 1973 Latin opera Hommy (a version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy) and by recording updated Latin classics for Johnny Pacheco’s Vaya label. Emerging as a vibrant singer within New York City’s salsa scene, she collaborated with Pacheco on a series of albums beginning with 1974’s Celia y Johnny with its dynamic single “Quimbara”, and Celia also featured prominently in the salsa supergroup Fania All Stars.

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