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OSCAR D'LEÓN @ Lehman Center For The Performing Arts
(Published: November 04, 2010)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts continues its spectacular 30th Anniversary Season with Venezuela-born Salsa Superstar OSCAR D'LEÓN, who makes his Lehman Center debut performing such smash hits as "Llorarás," "Detalles," "Mi bajo y yo" and "Me voy pa Cali" for one electrifying night on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8pm. Also performing will be Salsa en la Calle's WILLIE VILLEGAS in a dazzling "Tribute to Joe Cuba." The concert is produced by West Side Beat Productions in association with Latin Media Marketing.

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 OSCAR D'LEÓN Plus Salsa en la Calle's Willie Villegas in "A Tribute to Joe Cuba" on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 8pm are: $85, $75, $65 and $55 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Mon. through Fri., 10am-5pm, 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.

Oscar D'León was born Oscar Emilio León Samoza in the Parroquia Antínamo section of Caracas, Venezuela. He taught himself to play bass guitar and worked as an auto mechanic by day and bass player by night for local conjuntos. As his reputation grew as a bass player, a skilled and clever improviser and dynamic singer, he founded La Golden Star and Los Psicodélicos. In 1972, with percussionist José Rodríguez and trombone players César Monge and José Antonio Rojas, he formed La Dimensión Latina, Venezuela's leading salsa band, recording six albums between 1972 and 1976, and became known as El Sonero del Mundo (the Son Singer of the World). The band's 1975 hit "Llorarás" remains perhaps D'Leon's most famous song. In 1976 he left and organized his own two trumpet/two trombone band, La Salsa Mayor, recording the merengue standard "Juanita Morell" as a guaracha, which became a huge radio hit in Puerto Rico. In 1978 he founded La Crítica, a tribute to the legends of Cuban rumba, and for several years worked constantly, singing with both orchestras. In 1991, after three years of releasing mostly salsa romántica recordings, he joined an all-star line-up of his new label RMM's top vocalists, including José Alberto, Tony Vega and Ismael Miranda, plus Celia Cruz, for Tito Puente's The Mambo King: 100th LP. He continued recording for the RMM subsidiary label Sonero, releasing El Rey De Los Soneros (1992) and Toitico Y Tuyo (1994). 1996's Grammy-nominated release El Sonero Del Mundo was recorded in Miami with Willie Chirino. The following year's live album was recorded in New York with help from guests Arturo Sandoval, trumpeter Piro Rodriguez and vocalist India. He then returned to the studio to complete another fine set, La Formula Original. D'León marched into the new millennium with neither his creativity nor popularity showing signs of fading, and a new recording contract with Universal Latino spurred him on to record one of his finest albums in several years, Infinito (2003). Commonly known as El Leon de la Salsa (The Lion of Salsa) and El Faraón de la Salsa (The Pharaoh of Salsa), on stage D'León is an exuberant showman, with an outstanding ability to involve the audience in his extended improvisations on his many hits and Latin music classics. His most recent release is 2008's Tranquilamente: Tranquilo.

Willie Villegas, leader of Willie Villegas Y Entre Amigos, is a multi-talented artist, playing timbales as well as producing the band's albums. He also produces and hosts the New York cable TV show Salsa en la Calle. A Salsa music scene veteran, Villegas has played with such luminaries as Joe Quijano, Eddie Palmieri, Frankie Ruiz, Lalo Rodríguez, Tito Puente, José Fajardo and Paquito Guzmán and has been musical director for Joe Cuba's Sextet for several years. In collaboration with Salsa en la Calle, Villegas will perform a tribute to "The Father of Latin Boogaloo," Puerto Rican legend and Spanish Harlem native Joe Cuba (April 22, 1931 - February 15, 2009).

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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