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Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents Papo Lucca y La Sonora Ponceña

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LEHMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS presents Papo Lucca y La Sonora Ponceña; a national treasure from Puerto Rico!

On Saturday, May 14th, 2022, at 8 pm, Papo Lucca y La Sonora Ponceña will realize their long-awaited reunion with their fans in the Bronx. Also, they will be joined by the incredibly talented vocalist Yolanda Rivera, and the Cuban singer (formerly of Los Van Van) Mario “Mayito” Rivera.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on Lehman College/CUNY campus at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for PAPO LUCCA y LA SONORA PONCEÑA on Saturday, May 14th, 2022, at 8 pm ($100, $65, $60, $55, $45) can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10 am–5 pm, and at 4 pm on the day of the concert), or online at https://www.lehmancenter.org/sonora-poncena

Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. It is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 SAFETY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York,staff, audiences, and artists safe, proof of vaccination will be required to attend performances at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. 

LA SONORA PONCEÑA was formed in 1954 in Ponce, Puerto Rico by Enrique “Quique” Lucca, who named the band after the famous Cuban band Sonora Matancera and his home city of Ponce, thus Sonora Ponceña, and Antonio Santaella. They are hailed as one of New York’s longest-running salsa bands. Don Quique created a distinct salsa sound using an entire percussion section, with only trumpets in his horn section that harmonized with the piano and vocals. 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. By 1960, the band had performed in New York, catching the attention of Fania/Inca Records owner Jerry Masucci. Since 1968, they have been directed by Enrique “Papo” Lucca Jr. In 1969, they released their first Inca LP, with all arrangements by Papo, Hachero Pa’ Un Palo. Their hit title song established them as salsa pioneers. La Sonora Ponceña recorded 29 more albums for Inca, including eight that featured singer Yolanda Rivera and 1979’s album La Ceiba that featured Cuban singer Celia Cruz. For their 1980 release, New Heights, they began to make albums in English and 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 the 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.” They have been praised for their consistency and superb contributions to salsa music and featured many of the most talented musicians and singers in the world of salsa in their roster

YOLANDA RIVERA was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and moved to New York City as a child. Her first break was in 1969 as a singer in Willie Rosario’s band. She returned to Puerto Rico in 1975, performing with several orchestras, including Joe Rodriguez’s orchestra La Terrifica, which whom she recorded the album Sabor a Pueblo. Her big break came when she joined La Sonora Ponceña in 1977 and recorded eight albums with the band over the next seven years. The song “Borinquen,” a musical tribute to Yolanda’s native Puerto Rico from the 1980 album Unchained Force, made her a star. Yolanda Rivera is considered one of the most famous leading singers of La Sonora Ponceña, with songs like “Rumba en el Patio” and “Madrugada.”

MARIO “MAYITO” RIVERA is nicknamed “El Poeta de la Rumba” for his ability to vocally interpret all forms of Cuban music in modern and traditional styles with a colorful range of powerfully dynamic or tender and soft. He was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and has degrees from both the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Instituto Superior de Arte. After college, he joined the band of Cuban singer Albita Rodríguez and played bass in Grupo Moncada. From 1992 to 2011, Mayito was the distinctive voice and face of the highly successful Cuban band, Los Van Van.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, by public funds through the SVOG Grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration implemented by Senator Charles Schumer and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2022 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by The New York City Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Spring Bank, Con Edison, and the Friends of Lehman Center.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief 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. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

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