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Banco Popular Special 2023: Five reasons to see the salsa team with flavor and evolution

If you are one of the thousands of people who annually tune in to the special of popular Bank from Puerto Rico, know that this time you have to have your hips and legs in optimal condition, because What he promises is good dancing.

“Sauce, flavor and evolution” It is a tasty production, both in its music and artistic selection as well as in the visual resources. It is the first time, in the 31-year history of the special, that it is dedicated specifically to a musical genre and the Cinetrix team, chaired by Euskady Burgos, together with the directors Julio César Torres, Juanky Álvarez and Luis Amed Irizarry in the music (Pasillo Sonoro), set the key very well. Arrangers José David Pérez, Antonio Caraballo, Tiffany Román Louk, Josué Deprat and Diego Centeno also take credit for this.

“As is tradition, this production is a gift to our community in and outside of Puerto Rico. We want to continue strengthening education, culture and, above all, the interest in knowing more about what has shaped who we are today as a people. This special has been passed down through generations and carries a message of the importance of family unity and of continuing to promote music as a uniting entity in Puerto Rico. Our traditions are reflected in many of these visuals, but above all our joy as a genuinely musical people,” María Cristina González, executive vice president of the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs group, said at a press conference this morning.

But what makes the special so complete? Below are five observed reasons why the Sunday, December 3, at 8:00 pmyou should tune in to one of the main local television channels, or access the portal, so you can enjoy singing, dancing and perhaps even rediscovering the history of salsa.

1. Talents

The selection of mature and young voices is fabulous. There is a representation of youth and experience, showing the evolution to which the title alludes. New faces, like Willie Otero, Zayra Pola, Luis Vázquez, Jota Ruiz, Fabiola Méndez and Merariare harmoniously mixed with others with extensive experience, such as Oscar D’León, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Luis EnriqueWillie Colón, Aymée Nuviola, José Alberto “El Canario”, Choco Orta, India and Domingo Quiñones, thus bringing together the diversity of sounds and styles that coexist in the same genre. Respect between generations is even perceived.

Combinations like Domingo Quiñones and Rafa Pabón; Pirulo and Aymée Nuviola; Jeremy Bosh, India and Oscar D’Leónare one of those banquets that are only served once.

India and Oscar D’ León. (Supplied)

2. Music

The musical journey directed by Luis Amed Irizarry in a historical journey through a selection of themes representative of each stage and movement within the genre. Professor Elmer González’s contextualized narration allows for greater knowledge about the relevance of particular figures, groups and songs in the development of salsa.

Titles like “Awareness”The wheel”“Cúcala”“Acángana”Sowing”Fire in the 23″ andIt was worth it”are part of the repertoire of the special, which will have a compact disc version with some additional songs and voices.

From start to finish, the music invites you to dance, to applaud, to the enjoyment that this rhythm provokes regardless of the country where it is heard.

3. Sauce

The Banco Popular special has dedicated editions to groups or composers, but it is the first time they have brought to the screen an audiovisual story about a specific musical genre, in this case the dip.

The piece is a source of documentation on the origin of this style; from the streets of New York to the Caribbean, and there, to the rest of the world. Rafael Cortijo, Ismael Rivera, Héctor Lavoe, The FaniaCelia Cruz, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Roberto Roena, The Great Combo of Puerto RicoFrankie Ruiz, Lalo Rodríguez and Gilberto Santa Rosa, among many others, have their space as pillars of the genre.

Gilberto Santa Rosa is also part of this special.
Gilberto Santa Rosa is also part of this special. (Supplied)

4. Visuals

Another great value of this edition is the synchronicity between the selection of themes and the visuals that tell the story. Old footage that surely very few have seen, like a rehearsal of La Sonora Ponceña in a marquee, and other current ones, such as the meeting of Norberto Velez and Michael Stuart with the cuatrista Fabiola Méndez at a party in the countryside, which inject visual appeal into the musical richness.

The adoption of salsa in different parts of the world is also illustrated with images that situate the public according to how this music is manifested in the country in question.

5. Curiosities

There are a couple of revelations and curiosities in this special. Rafa Pabónfor example, puts his flow to salsa in an interpretation that was tailor-made for him.

Comedian Otilio Warrington “Biscuit” has two cameos: one, ringing the bell while his friend Gilberto Santa Rosa makes a medley who moves anyone’s feet, and the other with his character “Cuca Gómez” in conversation with Héctor Lavoe.

The salsero Willie Colon intervenes on several occasions throughout the narrative, however, he does not participate in the interpretation of Sowing. The theme was left in the voices of Jeremy Bosh, India and Oscar D’León, one of the exquisite interpretations of this special.

As in previous years, the proceeds from the special will be directed to musical programs for children and young people supported by the Banco Popular Foundation.

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