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Legends of Salsa 3 @ Lehman Center for the Arts
(Published: April 07, 2010)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, in association with bandleader and producer Jimmy Delgado, has assembled salsa singing sensations SULLY DIAZ, YOLANDA RIVERA, CHOCO ORTA and CITA RODRIGUEZ to celebrate the lives of three legendary vocalists of tropical music: Celia Cruz, La Lupe and Graciela. LEGENDS OF SALSA 3 ~ REMEMBERING CELIA, LUPE & GRACIELA takes place on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8pm and also features JIMMY DELGADO and the 21-piece MAMBO LEGENDS ORCHESTRA, the former All-Stars of the Tito Puente Orchestra under the direction of JOSA MADERA and JOHNNY "DANDY" RODRIGUEZ, Jr. featuring FRANKIE VÃZQUEZ, and invited guests RONNIE PUENTE and PEDRITO MARTINEZ & LOS TAMBORES BATÃ TRIO and special surprise guests, all performing hits by the celebrated singers.

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 LEGENDS OF SALSA 3 ~ REMEMBERING CELIA, LUPE & GRACIELA onApril 24, 2010 at 8pm, are: $55, $50, $45 and $40 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Mon. through Fri., 10am-5pm, Tues. 10am-7pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour 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. FREE on-site parking is available.

Sully Diaz became popular over all of Latin America in the early ‘80s with the role of Coralito on the soap opera of the same name. In the early ‘90s, she moved to Hollywood and appeared in movies and TV shows. She joined four other Latino women (Dyana Ortelli, Marilyn Ludo Vika and Lydia Nicole) in a comedy group called The Hot & Spicy Mamitas. In 2002, she portrayed Cuban singer La Lupe in the off-Broadway play "La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny" and toured Puerto Rico and Florida with her own production. Last year she appeared in the movie "Princess Protection Programme" with Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.

Yolanda Rivera, born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, began her music career in New York as a backup singer with the Willie Rosario Orchestra. In 1975 she returned to Puerto Rico to sing with Roberto y su Chana, and later La Terrifica, before gaining world-wide fame with La Sonora Pocea, with whom she performed from 1977 to 1982. Yolanda is currently collaborating with a producer in Puerto Rico to record a new CD.

Choco Orta, born in San Juan, is a highly accomplished singer, percussionist, actor, and dancer. As a sonera, her extroverted style makes the most of her sensual contralto voice, and The New York Times called her "the real thing, a strong improviser with a big, big old-fashioned voice." Choco has performed world-wide with numerous orchestras and has recorded several albums, including Reina del Sabor and Sentimiento y Sabor.

Cita Rodriguez was born in the Bronx, the daughter of the late singer and bandleader Pete "El Condea" Rodriguez. At school in Spanish Harlem, she studied flute and sang in the chorus. By age 16, she was singing and touring with her father and a year later enrolled at El Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. Back in NYC in 1991, her father formed a group with Cita and her brother singing backup, recording Generacianes in 1994. Cita formed a band in 2000 and in 2004 received a Masterae's degree from CCNY. She has performed background vocals on numerous recordings and currently tours and records with The Mambo Legends Orchestra.

The Mambo Legends Orchestra, comprised of former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra, brings to an international audience the music they have been masters of playing for over 30 years. Led by famed bongocero Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez and musically directed by conguero and arranger Jose Madera, who both spent over 25 years working with Tito Puente, the band is dedicated to keeping the ‘50s and ‘60s Palladium-era sound of the Big 3 (Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente) alive as it explores new musical concepts.

Jimmy Delgado is a renowned timbalero, bandleader and producer who began his career with Ismael Quintana's Orchestra under the musical direction of pianist Luis Cruz. He has also performed and recorded with Johnny Pacheco, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, The Fania All-Stars, Harry Belafonte, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Willie Colan, Ruben Blades and Cachao. In 2007, Delgado began promoting successful, weekly dances at Julia de Burgos in El Barrio, providing a venue for serious dancers to enjoy live music and for Salsa bands to perform and promote their CDs. In 2008 he joined forces with Lehman Center to produce the "Legends of Salsa" concert series. His first sold-out event featured such celebrated Salsa stars as Richie Ray, Bobby Cruz and Adalberto Santiago. Last year's concert paid tribute to legendary singer Ismael Quintana. And this year's event pays tribute to the women of Salsa. In 2008, after more than 25 years as a sideman, Delgado released his debut CD as a leader, Salsa con Dulzura, featuring soneros Bobby Cruz, Ismael Quintana and Adalberto Santiago, and timbaleros Orestes Vilata, Nicky Marrero and the late Mike Collazo. Jimmy currently performs with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and leads his own twelve-piece orchestra featuring singer Renzo Padilla.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Lehman Center also receives support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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