|LINK TO HIGH RESOLUTION ARTIST PHOTOS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2019 (Bronx, NY) – The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture opens its 2019 Fall Season with “A Salute to Richie Bonilla,” the long-time Latin Music Artist Manager, with a selection of artists he managed paying tribute in a star-studded concert on Saturday, October 12th at 7:30 PM in the Main Theater. There will be performances by the Puerto Rican singer/ songwriter and former Fania All-Star Ismael Miranda, singer Joe Bataan “The King of Latin Soul,” the Grammy Winning Cuban vocalist Albita, former Tito Puente vocalist Frankie Morales, timbalero Orlando Marin, known as “the last Mambo King,” the highly energetic instrumental & vocal duo Los Hermanos Moreno, virtuoso flutist Connie Grossman and the Steven Oquendo Mambo Orchestra. Noted broadcaster Felipe Luciano will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A dance follows at 9:30 PM in the Hostos Café with DJ Brian Martínez spinning Salsa favorites.
As a teenager growing up in the Bronx, Richie Bonilla organized concerts in basements with doo-wop groups, and later young Latin artists, including a young Eddie Palmieri, at various venues including different rooms at the Hunts Point Palace. After graduating from Samuel Gompers High School, and service in the Navy, he continued to set up concerts and organize musicians. In the mid-60s, he discovered and managed the career of the Bronx group Pete Rodríguez and Su Cojunto who were pioneers in the popular Latin dance craze — the Boogaloo – of which their hit “I Like It Like That” was an anthem. Another discovery was a 16-year old Willie Colón. Over his career, Bonilla has managed nearly 100 artists including Héctor LaVoe, Ray Barretto, Ismael Rivera, Orquesta de La Luz, Eddie Santiago, and Israel “Cachao” López. In the late 60's and early 70's, Bonilla was instrumental in bringing salsa to new countries especially Panama as well as Venezuela, Curacao, Aruba, Martinique, Guadalupe, St. Thomas and St. Croix in addition to Japan and Africa. He is revered by the Latin jazz community for all that he did in caring for his longtime client, the late flutist Dave Valentin after his two strokes. At the age of 82, Bonilla is still active in setting up tours of Latin artists to Japan, China, Ecuador and Mexico, and co-producing salsa concerts for the Hostos Center. He lives with his wife of 60 years, Ellie, in Throggs Neck and they have a son and two grandsons.
Tickets for “A Salute to Richie Bonilla” are $45 and $35, ($40 and $30 for Seniors) with $5 tickets for students and are available at www.hostoscenter.org or by calling (718) 518-4455. Tickets for the after-concert dance, for concert ticket holders only, are $10. Box office window hours are Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and two hours prior to performance.
Support for Hostos Center programs is provided by the Eugenio María de Hostos Community College Foundation, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Howard Gilman Foundation, New York City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, and the Office of New York State Assemblyman José Rivera.
Ismael Miranda was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Manhattan’s East Village. He recorded his first hit single, “Rumbón Melón”, with Joey Pastrana’s Orchestra when he was 17, which led to being hired as lead singer by bandleader Larry Harlow. Over the next five years, he made seven albums with Orchestra Harlow which included many of his original compositions such as “La Revolución”, and “El Malecón” and “Lamento Cubano”. Miranda also began performing and recording with the newly-formed Fania All-Stars in 1969, and Miranda sang on 17 of their albums. In 1973, along with Frankie Rodríguez, Joe Santiago, Nicky Marrero, Nelson González and Oscar Hernández he formed his own band, the Orquesta Revelación, and released the Salsa masterpiece album Así Se Compone Un Son. Miranda has been honored with three GRAMMY nominations, 1 platinum and 8 gold albums. In 2014, Miranda released his 41st album, the Latin Grammy-nominated modern salsa production Son 45.
Born Peter Nitollano of African-American/Filipino parents, pianist / vocalist Joe Bataan, dubbed the “King of Latin-Soul,” grew up in Spanish Harlem where he ran with Puerto Rican gangs and absorbed R&B, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Rican musical inﬂuences. Self- taught on the piano, he organized his ﬁrst band in 1965, and has recorded 17 albums since 1967, when he had a hit with “Gypsy Woman” on Fania records. Joe is the originator of the New York, Latin soul style that paralleled Latin Boogaloo and anticipated disco. Joe Bataan re-launched his 49-year career with a performance at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 2012. He was inducted into this venerated institution’s list of legendary artists who are considered to be “American Treasures.”
Two-time Grammy winner and Emmy-recipient, Albita is one of the most authentic Cuban singers hailing from Havana that has been able to move the world through her music. Albita is “the reincarnation of a 1930's European chanteuse, a Berlin Cabaret singer transfused with Latin blood" says Los Angeles Times. As a young singer through her authentic roots, she made herself noticed by her dynamic contribution to the renovation of traditional Cuban music and adding a very personal style to her compositions, musical arrangements and singing. In 2004 her CD Albita Llegó that won her two Grammys in the category of Best Contemporary Tropical Album. In 2005, Albita was cast for a major role in the Broadway produced musical play “The Mambo Kings,” where she worked for six months to rave reviews. In May of 2016 she performed in the play Carmen which played in the reimagined 1950s Cuba.
Singer Frankie Morales was raised in “El Barrio,” attended Boys and Girls Harbor School to study voice and percussion, and at the age of 14 was singing back up for Joe Bataan. Over the next few years, he would sing backup and coros for artists such as Hector LaVoe, Ismael Rivera, Ismael Miranda, Celia Cruz, Pellin Rodriguez, and Cheo Feliciano. He became the lead singer for the Lebron Brothers and recorded two albums as a solo artist — Frankie Morales: En Su Punto and Standing Out, which led to appearances with the Fania All Stars and Tito Nieves, and ultimately to his role as lead singer with Tito Puente. With Puente, Morales recorded several albums including Mambo Birdland and Masterpiece, Puente's final album and collaboration with Eddie Palmieri, which both won Grammy Awards.
Orlando Marín, known as a band leader and timbales player, was born in the Bronx. He formed his ﬁrst band, Eddie Palmieri and his Orchestra, in 1951-52 with himself as director and Eddie Palmieri as musical director. Following, he played for three years at ‘Sunnyside Garden’ in Queens, and also at the Palladium Ballroom among other venues. After his military service in Korea, he was once again a regular ﬁxture at the Palladium in addition to performing at the Bayside Manor, Hotel Taft and the Bronx’s Hunts Point Palace. In 1961, Marín released his hit charanga record “Se Te Quemó la Casa,” one of many recordings during his career as a bandleader. Still actively performing, Marín was honored in 2006 by Congressman José E. Serrano as “The Last Mambo King,” for “his continuing to provide Latin American music and his willingness to devote time to helping the less fortunate.”
Tropical band Los Hermanos Morenowas formed in New Jersey by brothers Nelson Moreno (trombone/ vocals) and Willie Moreno (percussion/ vocals),whose music topped Latin charts in the ‘90s with singles “Sopa de Pichón” and “Quimbombo.” The group achieved the title of Best International Orchestra after participating in a Colombian festival, consolidating their popularity while touring around the world.
Multi-award-winning flutist Connie Grossman, born in Sleepy Hollow, New York, has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad and has studied and performed in Cuba. Classically trained, Grossman holds a BFA in Flute Performance and a MAT in Music Education. She performs as a Latin jazz and classical soloist, and has played and recorded with many of the top groups in the Latin music scene including Yomo Toro; her own group,"Charanga Pasión"; Charanson; The Latin Jazz Coalition; Cocomama; Juan Carlos Formell; Companhia das Musicas; Conjunto Kathari; Charlie Donato Y Son Ideal and she is a featured artist with SonSublimesince 2000, appearing on their three most recent CDs.
The Steven Oquendo Mambo Orchestra was founded in 2009 by renowned Bronx educator Steven Oquendo, who as a trumpeter has toured the world with the late Celia Cruz, Destiny's Child, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri and others. The band performs weekly at Mamajuana’s Café in the Bronx in addition to performances throughout the New York area. Its members have individually performed with a wide array of artists such as Ray Santos, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Machito, Tito Rodríguez, Hector LaVoe, Benny Golson, Jon Faddis, Marc Anthony, Dave Valentín, Arturo Sandoval, Juan Luis Guerra, and a host of others.
Two-time Emmy recipient, former WNBC-TV news anchor, Felipe Luciano was born in New York City and raised in poverty in East Harlem by a single Puerto Rican mother. In 1964, at the age of sixteen, Felipe was convicted of attempted manslaughter over a gang ﬁght and sentenced to ﬁve years in prison. Upon his release, he attended Queens College and became involved in student activism during that period, and was a founder of the Young Lords Organization. After leaving his post as YLO Chairman in 1971, he produced the acclaimed radio show Latin Roots, the ﬁrst English language program in the United States to feature Latin culture which aired on WRVR. This led to a television career at WNBC. Today he is a popular guest speaker.
About the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
An integral part of Hostos Community College/ CUNY since 1982, the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, which includes two state-of- the-art theaters of 900 and 360 seats each, a black box experimental theater, and a museum-grade art gallery, is a resource for students and faculty in addition to serving the cultural needs of South Bronx residents and neighboring communities. Recognized nationally as a leader in Latin and African-based programming, the Hostos Center creates performing and visual arts forums in which the diverse cultural heritages of its audiences are celebrated and cultivated. In meeting that objective, the Center is dedicated to the development of emerging artists and the creation of new work.
What: “A Salute to Richie Bonilla” with Ismael Miranda, Joe Bataan, Albita, Frankie Morales, Orlando Marín, Los Hermanos Moreno, Connie Grossman, The Steven Oquendo Mambo Orchestra,Felipe Luciano, Master of Ceremonies
When: Saturday, October 12, 7:30 PM
Where: Main Theater
Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture
Hostos Community College
450 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
Pricing: $45 (orch), $35 (mezz) Seniors ($40, $30) ($5 for students and under 18)
Box Office: 718-518-4455
Subway/Bus: IRT Trains 2, 4, 5 and Buses BX1, BX2, BX19 to 149th Street/Grand Concourse.