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Goya Foods and Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents LA SONORA PONCEÑA

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Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and GOYA FOODS is proud to present the long-awaited return of LA SONORA PONCEÑA featuring the piano virtuosity of PAPO LUCCA on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 at 8 pm. La Sonora Ponceña has been entertaining audiences with their legendary old-school salsa for over six decades. Produced by Lehman Center and Leo Tizol.

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 of LA SONORA PONCEÑA on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 at 8pm are $100*VIP, $65, $55, and $50 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Thursday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The HAVANA CAFÉ, Havana Club Rum and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine, beer, Havana Club Rum & hors d’oeuvres reception will start at 6:30 pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. At the reception meet other patrons and the staff of Lehman Center. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Havana Club Puerto Rican Rum. 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.

LA SONORA PONCEÑA was formed in Puerto Rico in 1954 by Enrique “Quique” Lucca, who named the band after the famous Cuban band Sonora Matancera and his home city of Ponce, thus Sonora Ponceña. Don Quique created a distinct salsa sound using a full percussion section, with only trumpets in his horn section that in turn harmonized with the piano and voices. By 1956 the group included pianist Vicentico Morales, with Quique’s ten-year-old son, Enrique “PAPO” LUCCA Jr., already at the piano writing arrangements. Papo recorded his first piano solo, “Smoke Mambo“, in 1958 at age twelve. By 1960, the band had performed in New York, catching the attention of Fania/Inca Records owner Jerry Masucci. The band’s early recordings featured various popular vocalists of the time, until Humberto “Tito” Gomez joined the band in 1967, and Luis Guillermo “Luigui” Texidor joined the following year. After studies at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Papo was an accomplished pianist and arranger, and in 1968 Don Quique stepped down as musical director. Now under Papo’s direction, the La Sonora Ponceña’s sound became a fusion of traditional Cuban and modern Latin styles. In 1969 they released their first Inca LP, with all arrangements by Papo, Hachero Pa’ Un Palo, whose hit title song established them as salsa pioneers. That album was a hit in New York, as well as their second release, Fuego en el 23 (1969). La Sonora Ponceña recorded 29 more albums for Inca, including 8 that featured singer Yolanda Rivera, 1979’s album La Ceiba that featured Cuban singer Celia Cruz, and by 1980 were a huge success. For their 1980 release New Heights, they began to make albums in English and to include Latin jazz themes, establishing the international character of the band. As salsa romántica became popular, they adjusted to commercial forces without deserting their trademark sound. In 1993, the band was awarded the Congo de Oro for best international band. La Sonora Ponceña has recorded over 35 albums, garnering dozens of platinum and gold releases of unforgettable music with hits such as “Fuego en El 23”, “30 Anos”, “Juana Bayona”, “Moreno Soy“, “Borinquen“ and “Suena El Piano“. During the celebration of the band’s 50th Anniversary, the 23rd Día Nacional de la Salsa, celebrated in Carolina, Puerto Rico, was dedicated to Don Quique, Papo Lucca, and La Sonora Ponceña. Distinguished by their legendary combination of guaracha, salsa, and Latin Jazz, more than a hundred musicians have played in the band over the years. La Sonora Ponceña’s most recent albums are 2011’s El Gigante del Sur and A Band and Their Music, and 10 Para Los 100, which was released in 2012 to celebrate Don Quique’s 100th birthday!

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 Winter/Spring Season is made possible by Goya Foods, Con Edison, TD Bank, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the friends of Lehman Center.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.

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