La Sonora Ponceña

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La Sonora Ponceña
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La Sonora Ponceña
Background information
Origin Ponce, Puerto Rico
Genres Salsa
Occupations Band
Years active 1954-present
Website http://www.sonoraponcenapr.com
Members

Musical Director and Pianist: Papo Lucca
Founder and Director: Enrique "Quique" Lucca Caraballo
Singers: Edwin Rosas, Daniel Dávila, Héctor L. Pérez & Fernando L. Colón
Trumpets: Delfín Pérez, Ricky Zayas, Mario Marcucci & Alfredo del Valle
Bass: Alexander Rosa
Conga: Wilfredo López
Bongó: Domingo Gutiérrez

Timbal: Jessie Colón
Past members Singer: Tito Gómez
Notable instruments
trumpet, piano

La Sonora Ponceña is a Puerto Rican salsa band, founded in 1954 by Enrique "Quique" Lucca Caraballo. Quique's son, Papo Lucca, directs the band.[1] The band has stayed active for a remarkable amount of time, recording dozens of albums, including a 55th anniversary album. Singers included Tito Gómez.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

The history of La Sonora Ponceña is the history of Quique Lucca, born in Yauco, Puerto Rico on 12 December 1912. In 1928, when he was 16 years old, his family moves to Ponce, Puerto Rico and Quique starts to work as an auto mechanic and starts playing the guitar. In 1932 Quique meets Angélica Quiñones, the future mother of his children, Zulma, Papo y Wanda. In 1944 Quique puts together a band called "El Conjunto Internacional", including three instrumentalists: tumbadora, bongó, vocalist and Quique Lucca at the guitar and second voice. Later, Antonio "Tato" Santaella joined, playing the bongó. On 10 April 1946, Enrique Lucca Jr. ("Papo") was born; he would later become the musical director of "La Sonora". In fact, in 1951, Papo surprised his father and the other members of the "Internacional" band when, at only 5 years old, he joined a band practice and started playing the tumbadora on Tito Puente's "Ran Kan Kan".[2]

Reorganization[edit]

After the band had been inactive for a year, Quique re-established it in 1954 and renamed it "Conjunto Sonora Ponceña". His childhood friend Antonio "Tato" Santaella played bajo de cajón. On 20 April of that year the band plays at its first official dance. In 1956, Vicentivo Morales, joins the band as its first pianist. Later that year, Quique brings young Papo into the band as a pianist. In November 1957, Papo makes its official debut during a dance on the northern shore of the Island. In 1958, La Sonora Ponceña records its first 78 RPM with Avelino Muñoz as pianist. The 78 RPM contained No puede Ser on one side and Tan Linda que Era on the reverse side. Towards the end of 1958, the band goes into recording mode and includes 12-year-old Paop Lucca. The band included its first official vocalist Charlie Martínez. Later on, vocalists Felipe and Davilita would also record bolero-mambo themes such as Noche de Locura. In September 1960, the group played in New York. The group's main attraction was its 12-year-old pianist, Papo Lucca. In 1968 the group started its official recordings on 33 RPM with the song Hacheros Pa' Un Palo.[3]

Papo Lucca, playing piano with the Sonora Ponceña; his father Quique Lucca stands next to him

Retirements[edit]

In 1974, singer Humberto "Tito" Gómez leaves the band after 7 years and 6 recordings. Together with Joe Rodríguez and Mickey Ortíz, Humberto "Tito" Gómez formed La Terrífica. Likewise, in 1977 Edgardo Morales, who played the timbal leaves the band after 7 years and 7 recordings and joins El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. In 1978 singer Luis Guillermo "Luigui" Texidor leves the band after 10 years and 10 recordings to join Bobby Valentín's Orchestra. In 1982 trumpetist Humberto Godineaux leaves the band after 4 years a 6 recordings. Singer Yolanda Rivera also left the band after 7 years and 8 recordings. In 1985, singer Miguel Ortíz retires from the band after 11 years and 12 recordings. On 28 May 1986, the band losses singer Alberto "Toñito" Ledée in a car accident. In 1987, trumpetist Heriberto "Ayatollah" Santiago also retires having 7 years and 5 recordings to his credit. In July 1989, long-time bass player Antonio "Tato" Santaella retired after 21 recordings. Tato played without ever using any musical scores, and singing entirely "by ear". A year later, in 1990, another bass player Efraín "Frao" Hernández retired from the band after 10 years and 7 recordings. In 1990, bongó player Angel Hernández also retired after 14 years and 13 recordings. In 1991, tumbadora player Vicente "Pequeño Johnny" Rivera retires after 16 years with the band. He had performed on 15 of the band's recordings. In 1993, long-time trumpeter Ramón "Tony El Cordovés" Rodríguez retired after 24 recordings. This was followed by the retirement of trumpeter Freddie Del Valle, who had played with the band for 6 years and had participated in 5 recordings.[4]

Internationalization[edit]

In 1993, the band played at the Magno Orchestra Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia. The band was awarded the “Congo de Oro” award, given to the best international band. And in October 1994, Sonora Ponceña celebrated its 40th anniversary with a festival at Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The band would later also play at the Madison Square Garden to bring its celebration to the United States. In 1995, the band did a reunion recording with Luis Guillermo "Luigi" Texidor and Yolanda Rivera who had retired 19 and 14 years earlier, respectively. That same year, they sang in Paris, France, and at the Desfile de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Parade) in Zaragoza, Spain. In 1996 the band plays for the first time in Mexico at the Boca del Río, Veracruz, Mexico, carnival.[5]

Anniversary concerts[edit]

In 2000, Sonora Ponceña celebrated its 45th anniversary at the Tito Puente Amphitheater at the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan, Puerto Rico and at the Teatro La Perla in Ponce. They also played in Caracas, Venezuela as part of this 45th anniversary celebration. In the years following 2000, La Sonora Ponceña participated in a large number of events throughout Puerto Rico, including Fiestas Patronales, private parties, graduation parties, and corporate Christmas and holiday parties. In the following years, the band also made presentations in Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Washington, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Jersey, Panamá, Perú, England, Switzerland and Italy.[6]

For its 50th year anniversary (2004), the band played at Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The 12,000 spectators made the show a complete sellout on its presentation day, February 21. The show was broadcast via radio and television.[7]

Accolades[edit]

  • During its 50th anniversaery show at Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, the band was officially recognized by the Legislature of Puerto Rico for its musical contributions.
  • The 23rd “Día Nacional de la Salsa”, celebrated in Carolina, Puerto Rico on 16 March 2004, was dedicated to Don Quique, Papo and la Sonora Ponceña.
  • In Ponce there is a street, in Urb. Estancias del Golf, named after Quique Lucca.
  • The 2003 "Feria de Turismo", celebrated at Complejo Turístico “La Guancha” in Ponce was dedicated to Don Quique, Papo and la Sonora Ponceña.

Discography[edit]

  • Hacheros Pa’ Un Palo (1968)
  • Fuego en El 23 (1969) - the El 23 of the title track, originally performed by Arsenio Rodríguez
  • Algo de Locura (1971)
  • Navidad Criolla (1971)
  • De Puerto Rico A New York (1972)
  • Sonora Ponceña (1972)
  • Sabor Sureño (1974)
  • Tiene Pimienta (1975)
  • Conquista Musical (1976)
  • El Gigante del Sur (1977)
  • La Orquesta de mi Tierra (1978)
  • Explorando (1978)
  • La Ceiba, with Celia Cruz (1979)
  • New Heights (1980)
  • Unchained Force (1980)
  • Night Rider (1981)
  • Determination (1982)
  • Future (1984)
  • Jubilee (1985)
  • Back To Work (1987)
  • On The Right Track (1988)
  • In To The 90s (1990)
  • Merry Christmas (1991)
  • Guerreando (1992)
  • Birthday Party (1993)
  • Apretando (1995)
  • On Target (1998)
  • 45 Aniversario (2001)
  • Back To The Road (2004)
  • 50 Aniversario, En Vivo (2007)
  • Otra Navidad Criolla (2008)
  • 55 Aniversario (2010)
  • Trayectoria + Consistencia = Sonora Ponceña (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Classic and Future Latin Sounds Along With Glimpses of the Past", New York Times, Sep. 12, 2005.
  2. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  3. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  4. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  5. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  6. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  7. ^ Biografía de La Sonora Ponceña. Buena Musica. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

External links[edit]