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Forever Freestyle 7 at Lehman Center
(Published: February 11, 2013)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records presents for the seventh year in a row - FOREVER FREESTYLE 7 - on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at 8pm. To Latino teenagers in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Freestyle, a hybrid of Hip Hop and disco, was known simply as "Our Music." This year's concert will feature Freestyle artists that made this genre a world-wide sensation, including TKA/K7, JUDY TORRES, SWEET SENSATION, GEORGE LAMOND, BRENDA K. STARR, THE COVER GIRLS, GIGGLES, SOAVE, MARIBELL, CNR OF TRILOGY, VOYCE and SHANNON. The concert will also feature DJ LUCHO and DJ 1ST CLASS, the comedian MARK VIERA and will be hosted by SPEEDY and SAL ABBATIELLO.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for FOREVER FREESTYLE 7 on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at 8pm are $60, $55 and $45 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. 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 for $5.

TKA/K7 is a Latin-influenced Spanish Harlem hip-hop group that garnered success in the early ‘90s with their hit "Come Baby Come." Other hits include "Maria" (1982), "One Way Love" (1987) and "You Are the One" (1989). Led by K7 (Louis "Kayel" Sharpe), the former lead vocalist of the Freestyle super-group TKA, TKA/K7 also features DJ Non-Stop, Prophet, Tre Duece and LOS.

Judy Torres, known as the "Queen of Freestyle," was discovered at age 18 in her hometown of the Bronx and quickly became a star with such hits as "No Reason to Cry" (1986) and "Come Into My Arms" (1987) Her second album produced the hit single "I Love You for All Seasons." Her most recent release is 2010's MP3 album Stay.

Sweet Sensation one of the biggest groups in the Freestyle genre, were a Bronx trio whose original members were Betty "Dee" LeBron and sisters Maggie and Mari Fernandez. The ladies skyrocketed to fame with their 1986 club smash "Hooked On You," which was rereleased in 1988 on their album Take It While It's Hot that also included the hits "Victim of Love," "Never Let You Go" and "Sincerely Yours." In 1989, Mari left the group and was replaced by Sheila Vega. Their 1990 album Love Child included the ballad "If Wishes Came True," which reached #1 on Billboard Hot 100.

George LaMond began singing back-up for his cousin Joey Kid in the Bronx, teaming up later as Loose Touch. His solo debut was "Bad of the Heart" (1990) which earned him a deal with Columbia. The LP Bad of the Heart yielded two more freestyle hits, "Without You" and "Look into My Eyes." LaMond also became a Latin superstar when his first Latin single "Si Tu Te Vas" quickly reached the top of the charts. And in 2008, his remix of the classic Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" became a big pop hit.

Brenda K. Starr who was discovered by Harry Belafonte, became one of the biggest names in ‘80s Freestyle music scoring a #1 hit single with her Grammy-nominated song "I Still Believe," covered later by her friend Mariah Carey. Other hits include "Pickin' Up Pieces" (1985), "Suspicion," "Over & Over" and "No Matter What," a duet with George LaMond released in 1991. Hailing from New York City, Brenda did film work before becoming a name in urban dance music and has also been repeatedly nominated for Latin Grammy awards for her Latin Tropical/Salsa pop songs.

The Cover Girls were formed by Sal Abbatiello, the Fever music promoter and owner of the famed club Disco Fever, after an extensive talent search. Both glamorous and talented, they lit up the domestic and international charts with their first single "Show Me," followed by "Because of You" and "Wishing on a Star." Other major hits include "My Heart Skips a Beat" and "We Can't Go Wrong." Originally from the Bronx, the group released four albums, selling over 3 million records, with 11 charted singles in a row on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.

Giggles‘ first hit "Love Letter" was released in 1987 and was quickly followed up by "Hot Spot" in 1989 and "What Goes Around...Comes Around" which won the New York Music Award for best dance song of the year in 1992.

Soave is best known for his smash dance classic "Crying Over You." His follow-up hits included "If You Want Me," "Don't Look Back" and "Where Did We Go Wrong?"

Maribell is best known for her 1987 hit "Roses Are Red" which was followed by "Don't Make Me Any Promises" in 1991.

CNR was one third of the legendary Bronx/Brooklyn group Trilogy who had their first underground hit "Red Hot" in 1986. They were the first Freestyle act to sign with Prism Records, and are best known for their 1987 hit single "Latin Love" which CNR wrote along with some help from rappers O.C. Rodriguez and Charlie Chase.

Voyce is a Brooklyn trio of cousins of Puerto Rican descent, Carlos Colon, Danny Madera and Miguel Cordero, whose big hit "Within My Heart" was released in 1991 by Atco Records.

Shannon is best known for her 1983 million-selling record "Let the Music Play," which re-defined the electric-funk sound that would eventually be called Freestyle music.

Mark Viera has the uncanny knack for seeing humor in even the most ordinary situations. His performances take his audience on a hilarious, heartfelt journey whether he's describing growing up in the Bronx, his relationship with his beloved grandparents, or doing one of his dead-on impressions. He regularly performs at top comedy clubs, colleges and universities and has appeared on NBC's Emmy Award winning show "30 Rock."

Lehman Center is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2012-2013 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, JPMorgan Chase, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.

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