Cano Estremera

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Carlos Enrique Estremera Colón (born 2 September 1958) is a Puerto Rican Salsa singer[1] who is a native of San Juan. Estremera, who is an albino, is nicknamed -and billed- as "El Cano" ("The Light-Colored Haired One"), a word which is commonly used in Puerto Rico to refer to people of light complexion. He is arguably the most famous albino in the Caribbean country, and as such, has raised public awareness of the condition's traits and limitations (such as limited vision, which Estremera openly acknowledges, even in the occasional song).

Cano Estremera developed his talent as a singer while residing in Residencial Las Casas,[citation needed] a public housing complex in the area of Santurce, not far from Trastalleres, where Daniel Santos, Andy Montañez and Ossie Ocasio were raised. As Héctor Lavoe did before him, Estremera acknowledges Puerto Rican jíbaro country singers as a strong influence. He developed a reputation for being a fast and clever improviser, in the same vein as Marvin Santiago, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Oscar D'León and other salsa singers who could improvise dozens of soneos (improvisations within a call–response format) on the spot. Later in his life Estremera would use the title "Dueño del soneo" ("Owner of the Soneo") as a marketing concept, emphasizing his prowess as an on-the-spot improviser.

In 1978, Estremera joined Bobby Valentín, among other replacements to Valentin's band -namely Santiago and former Sonora Ponceña singer Luiggi Texidor. Estremera recorded six albums before stating his own band in 1984. He was the lead singer on many of the best selling hits by Valentín's band, particularly the band's best seller ever, "La boda de ella" ("Her Wedding"), written by Roberto Angleró.

Estremera began touring all over the United States by 1989.[citation needed] He enjoyed wild success in Puerto Rico as well as in Brazil and Peru, among other places. His best known hit as a solo artist is "El Toro" ("The Bull"), a humorous take on infidelity (and, in one line, about his low vision).

Estremera has participated in "soneo" battles with other salsa singers, most famously with Domingo Quiñones. He has also faced two incidents where he has been blacklisted from venues in Puerto Rico for using profanity onstage. As a result, he often polls audiences before addressing specific subjects onstage.

A 2003 CD release celebrated his twenty years in the music industry.

Health Problems[edit]

It was announced on 25 September 2018, that Estremera was battling pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that is common among albino people.[2] A benefit concert in his honor has been planned. On 2 November 2018 Mr Estremera underwent a dual lung transplant operation at a Philadelphia Hospital . As of January 2019 Mr Estremera is in the recovering stages from this procedure .


  • Puerto Rican Masters, La Historia de la Salsa (2003)
  • Opera Ecuajey Vol. 1 (2002)
  • Sonora Ponceña 45 Años (1999)
  • Diferente (1999)
  • Encuentro Histórico (1998)
  • Punto y Aparte (1996)
  • Cambio de Sentido (1994)
  • Éxitos del Dueño del Soneo (1991)
  • Dueño del Soneo, Vol.2 (1990)
  • Dueño del Soneo, Vol.1 (1989)
  • Salvaje '88 (1988)
  • El Niño de Oro (1986)

With Bobby Valentín

  • En Acción (1984)
  • Brujería (1983)
  • Presenta a el Cano Estremera (1982)
  • Siempre en Forma (1981)
  • El Gato (1980)
  • La Espinita (1979)
  • La Boda de Ella (1978)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (1995). The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music. (Threepenny Opera – Z.Z. Top). 6. Guinness Pub. p. 4293. ISBN 978-0-85112-662-3. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  2. ^ Marrero-Rodríguez, Rosalina (25 September 2018). "Delicado el estado de salud de Cano Estremera". Primera Hora (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 March 2019.