Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and GOYA FOODS celebrates ROBERTO ROENA‘s more than 55 years as a Salsa artist when he returns to Lehman Center Y Su Apollo Sound on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 8pm. The performance will include special guests and original singers Sammy González, Tito Cruz, and Carlos Santos, the voices of great hits like “Tu Loco, Loco”, “Mi Desengaño”, “Lamento de Concepción”, “Cui, Cui”, “Avísale a Mi Contrario”, “Marejada Feliz”, “Pelaño”, “Regaño al Corazón”, and “Progreso”, and the legendary master timbalero Endel Dueño. Produced by Lehman Center and Leo Tizol.
This concert continues the completion of the first phase of renovations at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Concert goers will find that the lobbies have been upgraded for ADA compliance with new ramps and carpeting, and the interior of the theater will have new seating, carpeted aisles, and finished flooring as well. The $15.4 million dollar refurbishment of the Center, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019, will also include 5,400 square feet of enlarged space, with a new main entrance and a redesigned box office, plus new administration offices and restroom facilities on the first and mezzanine floors, and an elevator. The Center seats 2,278 people in the concert hall and is the largest of its kind in the borough. Funding for the project is being provided by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature, the Bronx delegation of the New York City Council, and the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Additional funding is being raised with a seat naming initiative, which allows community members to make a personal connection with one of New York City’s most important not-for-profit entertainment venues.
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 ROBERTO ROENA on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 8pm are $100*VIP, $65, $55, $50, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The Havana Café, Goya Foods and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine & hors d’oeuvres reception will start at 6:30pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Goya Foods. 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.
ROBERTO ROENA, master Latin percussionist, was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and showed talent as a mambo and cha-cha dancer at an early age. After his family moved to Santurce when Roberto was nine, he started winning dance contests which lead to a contract for weekly performances on the TV show La Taberna India. Spotted on the show by percussionist Rafael Cortijo, the then 16 year-old Roena was recruited to join Cortijo y Su Combo, where Cortijo taught him to play the bongos and to dance and play the cowbell at the same time. In May, 1962 Roena, along with six other band members, formed a new group, La Gran Combo, led by pianist Rafael Itheir, which quickly became a new sensation in Latin Music. During this time he also appeared on Kako’s 1963 classic Latin jam recording Puerto Rican All-Stars featuring Kako and 1967’s Los Mejores Músicos de Puerto Rico, directed and arranged by Ray Santos. While still part of El Gran Combo, Roena formed his own salsa orchestra, Los Megatones, in 1967 with musicians from the two combos he had played with and from the ensemble of Tito Puente, utilizing renown arrangers and composers including Mario Ortiz, Bobby Valentine and Papo Lucca. Devoting himself full time to his orchestra in 1969, he renamed it Apollo Sound in honor of the moon rocket launch, and introduced a “new” sound to salsa music that introduced elements of rock, go-go and bossa nova, featuring a line up of two trumpets, trombone and saxophone with a bongo, conga, timbales, bass and piano rhythm section and lead and chorus vocals. Apollo Sound’s first album produced hits like “Tú Loco Loco”, “El Escapulario” and “El Sordo”. The group has recorded over 20 albums, producing hits like “Traición”, “Que Se Sepa”, “Herencia Rumbero” and the Bobby Capó classic “Soñando con Puerto Rico”. In 1982, Roena participated in El Gran Combo’s reunion recording El Combo Del Ayer and again in 1983 on Aquel Gran Encuentro. He has been a member of the Fania All Stars since the early 1970s, has appeared in three of their films, and continues to record with them, including one of his signature songs “Coro Miyare”. Roberto Roena was honored by the Puerto Rican Senate in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 17, 2016, for his 60-year career as a salsa musician. His most recent album, Los Rostros de la Salsa, was released in November, 2017.
SAMMY GONZALEZ was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and started singing at age 14. He has performed with Combo Moderno, Chacón y los Batiritmicos, Tommy Olivencia and Bobby Valentin. He joined Apollo Sound in 1973 and sang on Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound 5, Apollo Sound 6 (‘74), Lucky 7 (‘76) and La 8va. Maraville (‘77). Leaving the band in 1978, Gonzalez returned to Apollo Sound in 1985 as part of a trio of singers on Afuera Y Contento which included the swinging “A Ver”.
TITO CRUZ was born in Ponce and grew up in Arecibo, Puerto Rico where he played drums as a boy. His career as a singer began when he joined the Roberto Soler Orchestra at age 13. Moving to New Jersey in 1978 to sing with the group Swing Combo, he started performing with Apollo Sound in 1972 and recorded the albums Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound 4 (‘72), Apollo Sound 5 (‘73) and Apollo Sound 6 (‘74). He left the group for a few years, returning in 1977 to sing as co-lead with Papo Sánchez on Apollo Sound 9 and El Progreso (’78), sharing lead vocals with Carlos Santos, on songs like “Lamento de Concepción”. Cruz performed and recorded with Apollo Sound until 1985 and sang on many of their popular songs including “Con los Pobres Estoy”, “Regaño al Corazón” and “Nadie Sabe”.
CARLOS SANTOS grew up in Cataño, Puerto Rico and moved to New York City as a young man where he joined the orchestra of Louie Ray in 1968. Discovered by producer Joey Pastrana the following year, he recorded the hits “Chacaboom”, “Deuda” and “Todo el Mundo”. Between 1971 and 1977, he recorded with Kako, Ray Baretto and Eddie Palmieri. Santos joined Apollo Sound in 1978 to record three albums which included hits such as “El Progreso”, “Vamos Háblame Ahora” and “Trago Amargo”.
ENDEL DUEÑO, also known as “La Enciclopedia del Timbal”, is a master percussionist that was born into a musical family in Villa Palmeras, Puerto Rico. By the age of 15, he was a part of the Orchestra of Quito Velez, and then went on to play with The Metropolitan Boys. He is famous for his work with Roberto Roena’s Apollo Sound, the Puerto Rican super band Batacumbele, Jimmy Delgado’s Master Timbaleros, and the Boricua Legends. He has also performed with the Puerto Rican All Stars, Bobby Valentin, Hilton Ruiz, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Valentin, and Vilató Orestes.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. 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 2018-2019 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by Goya Foods, New York State Council on the Arts, Con Edison, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Havana Café, and the Friends of Lehman Center.