Tribute to ‘Mr. Afinque’

From left, Willie Rosario, Victoria Sanabria and Humberto Ramirez.
Photo courtesy of Lehman Center for the Performing Arts

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts celebrates salsa sensation Tony Vega’s Aniversario Tribute honoring his special guest Willie Rosario who will join Tony Vega’s orchestra along with musical director Humberto Ramírez on trumpet and vocalist Victoria Sanabria on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

The show is being produced by Lehman Center and Jose Raposo. Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. 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. Low-cost on-site parking available.

Tony Vega started his musical career at age 10, playing congas for a kids’ band called “La Preferida” in his native country of Puerto Rico. The following year (1968) his family moved to New York City, where he played congas and sang for various Latin rock bands through high school. His professional career began in 1978 when he joined Raphy Leavitt’s salsa band “La Selecta” and was the vocalist on the hit songs “Cosquillita,” “Shelia Taina” and “El Picaflor.” From 1980 to 1986, Vega sang with Willie Rosario’s band and recorded six albums, including the Grammy nominated album La Nueva Cosecha (The New Harvest). Moving back to Puerto Rico in 1986, he joined Eddie Palmieri’s band and sang on Palmieri’s 1988 Grammy Award winning album La Verdad (The Truth). Now internationally recognized for his classy vocal style and fresh, swinging salsa music, he has subsequently had six additional albums and nine singles make it into the Billboard top ten charts.

Willie Rosario (aka “Mr. Afinque”) was born Frenando Luis Rosario Marin in Coano, Puerto Rico in 1930, and studied guitar, saxophone, drums and music theory as a child. When Rosario’s family moved to Spanish Harlem in 1946, Willie began to play conga with various orchestras, including those led by Noro Morales, Johnny Segui, and Aldemaro Romero.

Victoria Sanabria, known as the “Queen of the Trova Jibara” started singing professionally in her native Puerto Rico in 1983, when she was only seven years old. Sanabria’s spectacular vocal style has been said to carry “the whole essence of Puerto Rican country song.

Tony Vega.
Photo courtesy of Lehman Center for the Performing Arts

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