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TONY VEGA - Tribute to "Mr. Afinque" WILLIE ROSARIO With Humberto Ramírez and Victoria Sanabria
(Published: April 08, 2013)

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 27th, 2013 at 8pm.
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. Tickets for TONY VEGA on Saturday, April 27th, 2013 at 8pm are $50, $45 and $30 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.

TONY VEGA started his musical career at the tender age of ten, 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). Going solo in 1988, Tony's first release Yo Me Quedo, which was co-produced by Humberto Ramirez, rose to the #5 spot on the 1989 Billboard Tropical/Salsa chart. In 1992, after the release of his next two hit albums Lo Mio Es Amor and Uno Mismo, Vega was awarded Puerto Rico's Agüeybaná de Oro Award for Best Orchestra of the Year. 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. With charts lent by Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, Rosario formed his first band in 1958 and recorded his first album El Bravo Soy Yo four years later with vocalist Frankie Figueroa. During the 1960's Rosario recorded several albums and had his first big hit "La Cuesta De La Fama" in 1969 which marked the debut of his trademark four-trumpet with baritone sax frontline that he created with Bobby Valentin. His orchestra has been called a "school" for many musicians during their formative years, including vocalists like Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tony Vega, and musicians like Humberto Ramirez and Jimmy Morales. Among his best-known compositions are "Mi Amigo el Payaso," "El Revendon," "Lluvia" (Rain) and "Cuando No Hay Cariño" (When There's No Love). In 1987, Rosario received a Grammy nomination for his song "Nueva Cosecha" (New Harvest) and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002.

HUMBERTO RAMÍREZ‘s first professional gig was playing flugelhorn in 1977 at the age of 14, for his father's band in his native Puerto Rico. A wide-ranging Latin jazz trumpeter and composer, Ramírez has also produced and arranged for some of the biggest names in Latin dance, including Tony Vega, Johnny Rivera and Brenda K. Starr. In 1982, Ramírez began playing trumpet and doing arrangements with salsa legend Wille Rosario's orchestra. After Rosario's 1986 Grammy nomination, Ramírez began working as a producer, arranger and composer for tropical music artists Willie Colón, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Marc Anthony, Rubén Blades, Tito Nieves, Victor Manuelle, Luis Enrique and Jose Feliciano. His production work has resulted in twelve gold and six platinum records, three Grammy nominations and the 2001 Grammy Award for singer Olga Tañón's album Olga Viva, Viva Olga.

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", and she is equally at home singing bolero and salsa as well as her trademark tropical music. Victoria has performed as a guest artist on fifteen albums and has released five solo records, the latest being Boleros II (2012). The recording of her sold-out El Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A Ferré concert Trayectoria (Trajectory) is scheduled to be released in November 2013.

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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