Willie Colón Returns to Puerto Rico with his “Asalto Navideño”

For the first time in more than 15 years, musician/singer Willie Colón will perform pieces from his classic repertoire “Asalto navideño” at a show at the Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón on December 19, 2009. The show gets its title from the series of Christmas classics produced by the Fania label in the 70s.

Colón and the show’s musical director, Ángel “Cucco” Peña, have not yet announced the format or the artists who will participate in this holiday performance. At the moment, they have confirmed only two guests, Yomo Toro and Victoria Sanabria.

The show will focus on classics from the first “Asalto navideño” (1971) album, in which Colón sang with the late Héctor Lavoe. The last “Asalto navideño” album was recorded live in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in 1993. Since Lavoe’s death, that same year, Colón had considered that it would be “is a lack of respect and awareness” to perform his dear friend’s songs. Now, he explains that, “In these days, as Puerto Rico lives through a time of crisis, I believe that it is a good moment to contribute an event like this.”

The performance coincides with the singer’s plans to relocate to Puerto Rico after having lived most of his life in New York.

Willie Colón is well-known, not only as a musician (trombone, trumpet), but also as a singer, composer, and arranger. Born in Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents, he started performing at a young age, signing to Fania Records when he was 15 and recording his first album at 17. For many years, Colón performed with Héctor Lavoe, Rubén Blades, and other greats of the salsa/Latin music circuit such as Celia Cruz, Soledad Bravo, and Ismael Miranda. Also from an early age, Colón has been a civil rights activist since the age of 16 and is still active in politics. He has served as a member of the Latino Commission on AIDS, the United Nations Immigrant Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He was President of the Arthur Schomburg Coalition for a Better New York and was the first minority member to serve on the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

For full article (in Spanish), see http://www.elnuevodia.com/elmalonosasalta-647690.html

Photo of Willie Colón from http://radioinformaremosmexico.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/siembra-ruben-blades-y-willie-colon/

 Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe in the early years, from http://www.salsa.ch/news_view.php?idnews=395

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