New Reviews


by José Calderón



Cuban vocalist and composer Jorge Sanchez “Papito,”  who began performing at age five, has released a new CD, “Sandunga" (Jsans Records), available on CD BabySanchez, who sang with the Jersey Cuban Boys, co-led Orquesta Riviera and was lead singer for the legendary José Fajardo y sus Estrellas, also sings withPapo Ortega & Cubanoson and Charanga 76.


A guitarist, bassist and percussionist, in addition, Sanchez composed “Luz Marina,” a song included in his new production as well as in the soundtrack of“Caught” (Sony Classic Movies), a motion picture featuring James Edward Olmos and Maria Conchita Alonso. His previous production is entitled "Que Pasa.”

(photo courtesy of Ken Curtis)

The “King of Latin Soul” Joe Bataan delighted patrons at The West Gate Lounge in Nyack, New York this past May 31st, singing classics like “Sad Girl” and packing the dance floor with his hot dance numbers.

Johnny Pacheco, Al Santiago and Tito Puente (Vicki Solá Collection)

Even though at this writing, here in New York we find ourselves dealing with another Polar Vortex that’s making a harsh, seemingly unending winter that much more difficult to bear, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy, healthy Spring—it is coming!  And as the season of rebirth approaches, I want to reiterate how critical it is to support our venues that feature live music, to purchase (whether in CD or MP3 format) our artists’ productions, to educate our younger generations (whether we think our efforts are taking hold or not), and to support the few noncommercial radio stations and programs that spin authentic music.  


Let's keep working together to perpetuate the music of our icons as well as that of our underrecognized veterans and up-and-coming musicians.

And finally, Andres Padua of Hard Salsa Radio and I want to thank each and every person who contributed to the success of WFDU-FM’s annual February on-air fundraiser, keeping Que Viva La Música on our noncommercial radio station’s airwaves for another year—those who answered phones, those who supplied us with premiums and food, those who helped us pitch on air, and those who pledged and donated.  And our hats are off to those who do the same work at our fellow noncommercial stations.  Our objectives are the same. Together we are stronger!   

Vicki Solá,

February 24th, 2014


P.S.  Oh, and by the way, with this issue, Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más® is one year old!  We thank our contributors, sponsors and readers!  And be sure to check out our new column, Health & Fitness Thru Dance - Jersey Style, by fitness trainer and dancer Donay Wilford!

Tommy Bonafé with late icon Charlie Palmieri (Tommy Bonafé Collection)


Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, super 2014!


In a couple of months, we’ll be celebrating the one year anniversary of

Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más®, but I don’t want to wait until then to

thank you—my  readers, colleagues, contributors and sponsorsfor your generous support in 2013.  It’s up to all of us, together, to keep this great music and culture alive.  As I always say, together we are stronger.   Let’s

work together to ensure that 2014 will be a year where live music flourishes, our musicians’ productions are supported—bought—by the listening public, we continue to educate our young people about their culture—their glorious inheritance—and we continue to lend support to the noncommercial radio stations that air this music.

Pictured above is my friend, music collector Tommy Bonafé, with the late Charlie Palmieri.  Bonafé, who has been recording in the clubs and concert halls for decades, has been writing his memoirs, which he will be sharing on the pages of this magazine in the near future.   Charlie Palmieri was a singular legend, one whose passing left a huge void.  Our Senior Photo Editor Allen Spatz suggested to me that we recognize those legends who are still living.  We've begun doing just that with our new page “Living Legends,” featuring Spatz's photos of icons who are still with us.  We will be adding to this section on an ongoing basis.

We’re also back with our usual features, including our reporting DJs Top Ten listings and album reviews by DJ José Calderón and “DJ Walter B Nice” Walter Baez.  And don’t forget to visit our Hard Salsa page, where you can click and listen to new and classic Salsa, and Boogaloo.  When changes their listings, the selections on our site change automatically.

Again, Happy New Year to you and yours, and iQue Viva La Música!

Vicki Solá,

January 2014

Tommy Bonafé (C) flanked by El Gran Combo singers Jerry Rivas (L) and Papo Rosario (R) with a domino table especially created for Rafael Ithier by former Combo Records distributor Bobby Rodriguez of Orlando, Florida. (Tommy Bonafé Collection)

Veteran music collector Tommy Bonafé  guests on Que Viva La Música (89.1 WFDU-FM & on Saturday, November 30th, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. (ET)  with his annual four-hour “Saturday After Thanksgiving” special, featuring historic vinyl tracks and reel-to-reel recordings from his own vintage archives.  Stay tuned!

Vicki Solá with the members of Gilberto Colón’s Ensalada de Pulpo, featuring Ray Bayona. The band packed the West Gate Lounge on November 2nd. (© 2013 Ana L. Alicea Photography)
Ernie Ensley, Harry Sepulveda, Tommy Bonafé and Ray Barretto. (Tommy Bonafé Collection). The late Ernie Ensley was paid tribute at Taino Towers, Sun., Sept., 29, 2013.
Awilda Santiago, Tito Rivera and their Grupo Latin Vibe, rocking New York City’s Riverbank State Park, Sept. 1, 2013. (© 2013 Ana L. Alicea Photography)

Check out classics plus rare salsa from Tommy Bonafé's reel-to-reel collection, aired this past August 31st on Que Viva La Música, hosted by Vicki Solá and Hard Salsa Radio’s Andres Padua, exclusively here:

Tommy Bonafé, pictured with part of his extensive collection of live reel-to-reel recordings, vinyls and 78s. (Tommy Bonafé Collection)
Tommy Bonafé (center), pictured with members of El Gran Combo at SeaWorld® in Orlando, Florida, 2013. (Tommy Bonafé Collection)

Coming soon to the pages of Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más®:  Veteran music collector Tommy Bonafé shares his life story plus rare photos taken with some of Latin music’s biggest stars.  He guests on Que Viva La Música on Saturday, August 31st, airing a four hour special, "Tribute to the Collectors and DJs of Salsa" featuring selections from his vintage archives.  Stay tuned!

Orchestra Broadway's Eddy Zervigon with Vicki Solá at Side Street's Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration, June 1, 2013, Bronx, N.Y. (photo © 2013 by Roberto Vasquez)

As we no longer live in an analog world, but a fluid, digital age, I've made the editorial decision to add photos, information and feature articles on a regular and ongoing basis, to our newly expanded Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más®, no longer holding back as we wait for a bimonthly deadline to arrive.  Click on our pages above and enjoy!

Vicki Solá

June 19, 2013


Left to right: Johnny Colón & Orlando Marin at WFDU-FM, and Orlando Marin, Vicki Solá & Johnny Colón in the on air studio. (© 2013 Allen Spatz Photography)

Welcome to Volume One, Issue Two—the May/June 2013 edition of your free online salsa and Latin jazz magazine, Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más®, newly renamed because we have expanded the publication’s scope to include more.

You’ll notice new pages—Community Health Notes, which addresses some of the significant health issues unique to our community (we discuss hepatitis in this issue), plus Your R&B Soul Connection, a page we’ve added because so many of us grew up loving and listening to R&B as well as salsa (the music all comes from the same tree), and a feature article on a musical hero no longer with us who deserves much more recognition than he receives—“El Genio de la Salsa”: Remembering Louie Ramírez, contributed by Gotham Radio’s Jackie Nuñez, and Poetry Corner, featuring Gloria Fontanez’s “Enamored,” a touching tribute to nuestra música, plus coverage, by DJ Mar Y Soul, of Puerto Rico’s 30th Día Nacional de la Salsa.

Also in this issue, DJ José Calderón, Our Favorite Lady DJ Mar Y Soul, Esther Diaz “La Charangera,” Walter Baez “El Salsero Mayor Walter B Nice” and Renan Morales “DJ Rey Boricua” have decided to list their Top 10 Hot Pick.  DJ José Calderón, Tomás Peña, and DJ Mar Y Soul have also contributed Salsa CD Reviews.  And check out our Hard Salsa Radio page with its interactive features—just click to hear music by members of our music's "next generation," plus classic hard salsa and boogaloo. Whenever Hard Salsa updates its tracks, our page automatically updates.

And we feature the second installment, in a continuing series, where the legendary Orlando Marin documents his life and career as a bandleader: Orlando Marin "The Last Mambo King": The Beginning: Part Two.  Also in this issue, collector/historian “Salsero Bravo” Leo Osorio revisits vinyl by the band Latin Tempo, and I've contributed a Latin jazz review. You can also check out my column New York Buzz.... and beyond.... And, as always, we’re proud to feature Allen Spatz’s wonderful photos that capture and preserve memorable musical moments.


Please take a moment to click on our Contact Us page—we’d love to hear from you. And feel free to "Like" us and your favorite pages.

Finally, I express my deepest gratitude to each and every contributor to Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más®.  Thank you for your commitment and dedication.  Thank you for sharing your talents and for sharing my vision.  ¡Y Que Viva La Música y Que Viva Nueva York!

Vicki Solá

May, 2013


Vicki Solá and Ray Barretto (Vicki Solá Collection)


Welcome to Volume One, Issue One, this March/April 2013 edition of your free online salsa and Latin jazz magazine, Viva La Música NY Style®.

This past February marked the thirtieth anniversary of my creating, hosting and producing 89.1 WFDU-FM’s Que Viva La Música. With this magazine, I reaffirm my commitment to my community, and to the preservation and perpetuation of the music and culture that I love.

This first March/April 2013 issue features my new column New York Buzz….and beyond, plus precious historical material from an icon we're honored to have onboard as a regular contributor—someone I’ve admired for as long as I can remember: the legendary Orlando Marin. In this issue, we feature his first installment in a continuing series where he docu- ments his life and career as a bandleader: Orlando Marin "The Last Mambo King," Part One: The Beginning. Stay tuned for Part Two in our upcoming May/June issue.

Also featured are Tomas Peña’s Latin Jazz Under the Radar review of Andrea Brachfeld’s Lady of the Island, and DJ Mar y Soul’s take on The New Swing Sextet’s Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, plus a profile of Andres Padua and HardSalsa Radio, with interactive features. Click and listen to music by members of our music's "next generation," plus classic hard salsa and boogaloo. And experience a "blast from the past" as collector/historian “Salsero Bravo” Leo Osorio revisits Johnny "Bronco" Sierra’s heavy-duty 1975 Inca recording, Johnny Bronco, featuring the then unknown vocalist, Jorge Maldonado.

You can check out my WFDU-FM Top Ten Trax, and DJ Hot Pix from WFDU-FM’s Esther Diaz “La Charangera,” “Our Favorite Lady DJ” Mar y Soul, “El Salsero Mayor Walter B Nice” Walter Baez, “DJ Rey Boricua” Renan Morales, and DJ José Calderón. And feel free to "Like" us!

This issue, and every issue, is dedicated to the brilliant, much loved sonero Luisito Ayala, who left us way too soon.

I expect that this publication and our family of cultural warriors will grow and evolve, and I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, click away on the above tabs and enjoy! ¡Y Que Viva La Música y Que Viva Nueva York! 

Vicki Solá

March, 2013





























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