By: Amelia “Ameliaismore” Moore
Saturday, April 19th, 2014, two days before Billboard started their Latin Music Conference in Miami, marked the day that “Boogaloo” music was revived at Tammy Hall here in New York City. UBC-TV joined forces with En La Escena to get the exclusive on the historical evening of family, friends, music and culture.
As you walked in Tammy Hall you saw a group of people well dressed, taking pictures enjoying one another. As you got closer you began to hear the stories of the Pastrana brothers and their happenings at clubs. studio sessions and tours. That’s when you realized there was more going on that just a tribute. It was a reunion of an era in latin music that’s still played by bands, dj’s and music lovers. “Boogaloo” was born from the streets of Harlem and the Bronx in the late 1960’s. Watching everyone giving each other hugs and sharing memories of the “good ol days” all that was left to say was; “Oye Como Va.”(English translation: Hey, How’s it going?”) A song that Tony Pastrana played that night with his band along with a long list of guest musicians who came out to perform in honor of the Pastrana family.
“I wanted to have an event that paid tribute to my family and the music I was raised on. We need to pay tribute to these musical icons that paved the way for an era in music that reflected the melting pot of American culture. My uncles, dedicated their life to music. It was not only what they did but who they were and they were proud of it!” explained event promoter Suzanne Cepeda Mangual of Sue Cee Entertainment. “The Pastrana Brothers, Joey and Willie passed within months of each other. When that happened I began to realize that it’s time to pay homage to these amazing innovative musicians before they pass. It’s time to recognize a generation that created a music genre that we dance to still today.” Sue continues.
Innovation is truly the right word for these humble young musicians from Harlem and the Bronx that wanted to create a sound of their own; fused with their rhythms yet influenced by the many musical genres that were popular in America during the late 60’early 70’s.
The night began with the Andres Padua from Hard Salsa Radio welcoming everyone to the event. Through out the night he would show examples of the events these musicians would perform promoted by the infamous latin promoter Hector Maisonaze, who was in the audience. Hector a promoter for almost 50 years, is one of the last of the legendary latin promoters in NYC. You can check out his interview with Lauren from En La Escena and yours truly on UBC-TV’s livestream.
However the magic began when Andres turned the stage over to Tony Pastrana and his band. “Let’s Ball” was not only Joey Pastrana’s debut album on Cotique records in 1967, it was also the theme for all the musicians that graced the stage that night. Tony played the timbales and produced the music for the evening with a zeal that eminated from his heart and worn on his face. As he played you felt every crash and fill making you want to grab a partner and get on the dance floor.
Yet Tony’s zeal was just the beginning of a night that included greats such as: Joe Bataan founder of Salsoul Records who sang and played the keyboards, Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon Jr who was MD for Hector Lavoe and worked with Tito Puente, Tito Rodruiques and Machito Orchestras. There was also Fania All-Star, Nicky Marreno who also played a set on the timbales giving Tony a second to rest. Paquito Pastor who played on Joey Pastrana’s album “Let’s Ball” tickled the piano keys for all to enjoy. Yet, it didn’t end there. You even had former Santana member Tony Francis sing as well as the Colon Brothers and Ringo Rosario. That night, Charlie Torres played bongos, Brendan Tacon played congas Mike Jake and Ray Concepcion played the keyboards and Ceasar Rivera played tres guitar. Yet, what made the night complete was to watch the next generation join in (the same as their fathers did) performing the music, living the culture while handling their business. It was wonderful to see Tim Pastrana (son of Joey Pastrana) play the congas or watching Jimmy Sabater Jr. be the director of the brass section with Marucio Smith Jr on flute and Gus Colon on horns.
As the saying goes; “All good things must come to an end.” The evening ended with Joey Pastrana’s band member (who was also wife of Willie Pastrana) Sonia Rivera, singing; “Yesterday.” Although the hey day of “Boogaloo” music may be yesterday, the memories, music and legacy of those that created the sound will continue on; due to fabulous musical days like Saturday, April 19th at Tammy Hall. Farewell Joey & Willie Pastrana you were highly favored and will never be forgotten.
In honor of the music form and the greats that contributed to the multi-cultural melting pot of American culture; UBC-TV is going to give two free tickets to the Joe Bataan Tribute being held May 24th at Tammy Halll. The first person that correctly names each person in all of the pictures in this blog and posts it in the comment section of this blog WINS!!
UBC-TV is dedicated to the untold stories of the multi-cultural market living the “urban lifestyle.” Be certain to watch the video coverage of the Pastrana Brothers Tribute by En La Escena on UBC-TV’s livestream next week. Also follow us on twitter, facebook and be certain to join Club UBC at http://www.ubctvnetwork.com to stay on top of stories and events like these.