Date(s) - 12/14/2019
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and GOYA FOODS is proud to presents the return to “La Casa De La Salsa” the Legendary Son of the Bronx, WILLIE COLÓN and his ORCHESTRA for a special concert full of Christmas songs to celebrate El Espiritu de La Navidad on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at 8pm. Willie will perform his best holiday songs like “Aires de Navidad”, “La Murga de Panama”, “Esta Navidad” and “Cantemos” as well as his classics like “Gitana”, “Idilio”, “El Gran Varon” and “Juanito Alimaña”. With over 50 years of experience, renowned singer, trombonist, composer, producer, actor, director, and internationally respected community leader, Willie Colón has recorded 40 albums and sold more than 30 million records worldwide, including fifteen gold and five platinum records and eleven GRAMMY nominations.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for WILLIE COLÓN & ORCHESTRA on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at 8pm are VIP*$100, $65, $60, $55, $45, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The Havana Café, Goya Foods and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine & hors d’oeuvres reception will start at 6:30pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Goya Foods. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
WILLIE COLÓN, Bronx-born of Puerto Rican grandparents, has fused his musical talent, his passion for humanity, and his community and political activism into an extraordinary career. He formed his first band in 1964 at age 14 and made his recording debut as a bandleader on the self-produced single “Fuego en el barrio.” One of the first signings to the Fania Records label, his 1967 Fania debut, El Malo, included his first hit, the instrumental “Jazzy.” Ten albums between 1967 and 1975 were made in partnership with Puerto Rican-born Héctor Lavoe. Asalto Navideño Vol. 1 (1971) was created as a tribute to the old Jibaro Christmas music of Colón’s grandmother Antonia Pintor and featured cuatro player Yomo Toro and Lavoe on vocals. Two years later, Colón, Lavoe and Toro released a second album of Jibaro Christmas selections, Asalto Navideño Vol. 2, that also emphasized Jibaro country music with the addition of the other Latin rhythms of salsa, Guaguancó, merengue, bomba, samba and Panamanian murga. In 1974 Colón turned leadership of his band over to Lavoe to concentrate on producing and arranging. His albums over the next four years continued to be in association with other lead singers, including Rubén Blades, Mon Rivera and Celia Cruz, and his 1978 collaboration with Blades, Siembra, is the biggest-selling Salsa/Tropical album of all-time. Though he had emerged from the coro to sing lead vocals on three tracks of his GRAMMY-nominated 1975 album The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, 1979’s Solo was the first time he carried an entire album as lead singer, and this album went gold within three weeks of its release. Colón made three more solo albums before leaving Fania in the mid-’80s, including 1981’s platinum-winning Fantasmas. He has performed internationally for decades, including a 1998 reunion with Blades for Amnesty International in Caracas, Venezuela for over 140,000 people. In 2004 Colón received a Lifetime Achievement Latin GRAMMY Award, followed up by a 2005 sold-out tour of Latin America with Marc Anthony. In 2008 he released El Malo II: Prisioneros del Mambo, a mixture of contemporary sounds and Salsa dura, and in 2010 scored a hit with “Estar lejos,” a duet with Colombian music star Fonseca. Willie Colón has been a civil rights, community, political and health activist as well as Chair of the Association of Hispanic Arts, a member of the Latino Commission on AIDS, and a member of several boards of directors, including the United Nations Immigrant Foundation. In 1991 he was awarded Yale University’s CHUBB Fellowship, a political recognition he shares with such luminaries as John F. Kennedy, Moshe Dyane and Ronald Reagan. In 1995 Colón became the first minority to serve on the ASCAP National Board of Trustees and is now a member of the ASCAP Foundation. In 1997 he became a spokesperson for CARE, visiting sites in Bolivia. His involvement in the campaign to end U.S. military occupation and practice bombing at the Puerto Rican island of Vieques earned him the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award. A visiting professor and lecturer at many prestigious colleges and universities, Colón has honorary doctorates from both Trinity and Lehman Colleges. In 2008 he was named one of the 100 most influential Latinos by People en Espanol, and in 2009 he received the Latino Trendsetter Award, presented at the United Nations. In 2015 Billboard Magazine named Colón as one of the 30 most influential Latin Artists of All time. He is currently working on a large project an autobiographical book and a DVD to celebrate his half-century long musical career. Tentatively titled Barrio de Guapos (The Secret Life of Willie Colón), he has released the first single from the album, “Vida Mas Simple”, a guitar-led ballad.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts spectacular 2019-2020 Season celebrates 40 Years of Excellence in the Center’s newly renovated, 2,278 spacious seat concert hall, with a redesigned entrance, lobby, and elevator accessible balcony. Lehman Center is one of New York’s top nonprofit performing arts centers and the Bronx’s largest entertainment venue serving over 200,000 audience members each season. Eva Bornstein, who is beginning her fifteenth season as Executive Director of Lehman Center, says, “During this milestone year, Lehman Center proudly welcomes audiences and community members to the top entertainment destination in the Bronx, which is now better than ever. The improvements that have been made will help ensure the comfort and convenience of all who attend our world class performances and events. Funding for the 15.4-million-dollar renovation was in part provided by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature, the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council, and the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Additionally, we will be continuing our “Take Your Seat” fundraising campaign, which will give you a chance to be a part of Lehman’s history by purchasing a tax-deductible seat(s) in your name or a loved one.”
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2019-2020 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by Goya Foods, The New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Department, the New York State Council on the Arts, Con Edison, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Havana Café, and the Friends of Lehman Center.