Published On: Tue, May 24th, 2016

Boogaloo Legend Johnny Colon to play at #LoisaidaFest

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Everyone will want to dance to the music of Johnny Colón and his Orchestra (Boogaloo) at this year’s Loisaida Festival in NYC on Sunday, May 29, 2016. The son of Puerto Rican parents, born in New York City, Johnny Colón is widely recognized as a major and legendary contributor to the popular boogaloo sound of the 1960’s.

One of the things that make Johnny such a special and beloved talent is his commitment to his community. Johnny is the founder of the legendary East Harlem Music School, which trained many of your favorite artists, from singer Tito Nieves, to percussionists Jimmy Delgado and Robin Loeb, bass player Rubén Rodríguez, and, yes, even singer Marc Anthony (stay tuned for major news on the school’s comeback).


Colón’s success can be traced back to 1966, and specifically to his debut album Boogaloo Blues, which sold over 3,000,000 copies worldwide. Hoy por hoy, Boogaloo Blues continues to be an anthem for this period on Latin music history; and a model for musicians across the world.

In many ways, Boogaloo Blues captures a very important period of history for Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in the New York City. As Matthew Ramirez Warren explains, “[i]t was a time of transition in the Latin music scene in New York. There was no such thing as salsa yet, the mambo craze was over, and Puerto Ricans were coming of age in the city—the Nuyorican was emerging. As many of their peers went off to fight in Vietnam, some of New York’s younger Puerto Ricans were losing interest in Latin music and beginning to identify more with R&B hits in English than with the music of their roots.”

This moment pushed Johnny to fight harder to push his music–Latin rhythms laced with jazz and blues–into the scene. Trombone in hand, a foreign sound for Latin music at the time, Colón carved a space for himself in music history. One that continues to resonate today.

Please join us and Johnny Colón at The Loisaida Festival NYC on May 29, 2016.

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Boogaloo Legend Johnny Colon to play at #LoisaidaFest