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Fania Records

Our Latin Thing Trailer

45,923 views 3 years ago
On August 26th, 1971 New York City gave birth to a sound that would change the face of Latin music forever. That evening at the renown Cheetah Nightclub, The FANIA ALL-STARS hit the stage with their unique sound that would echo across all borders and reach all countries. The music that was played that night would forever change Latin music. This film, shot all over Spanish Harlem in New York City, explores the musical celebrations of the city's Puerto Rican population. Among the many artists featured are Johnny Pacheco,
Pete 'El Conde' Rodriguez, and Ismael Miranda. Featuring mostly musical performances, this Spanish-language film has English subtitles for the few occasions when a narration is provided. One of the delights of this film is the uncensored glimpse it gives into this lively and highly musical community. This free form film classic is now fully remastered with much improved sound. Now available 40 years later and more relevant than ever.

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Fania All-Stars Play

Right from start, Fania Records and its subsidiaries exceeded everybody's expectations. The label was created in 1964. It penetrated the market so successfully and became so popular at the international level that its executives decided to broaden its talent in order to reach an even wider audience. The result? The wildly successful Fania All Stars, a group that brought together several of the label's most popular artists. This move would further solidify the label's standing in the international music scene.

The Fania All Stars' first concert, "Live at the Red Garter," was a promotional experiment designed solely to test the waters. The all-star cast included Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Ricardo Ray, and Bobby Cruz, and resulted in a live double album. The experiment couldn't have been more successful. In 1971, the band revolutionized salsa as a genre with "Fania All Stars at the Cheetah," a concert that was filmed and recorded live. In 1973, following a successful tour, the band made its first appearance at Yankee Stadium in New York. The stars performed before countless fans that had caught the fever and were swooning in the presence of consecrated performers of the genre such as Willie Colón, Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentín, Ray Barreto, and Mongo Santamaría.This concert, too, was filmed and recorded live, and set the standard in the music industry.

The All Stars were on fertile soil, and they wasted no time in reaping the benefits. In 1974, they appeared live at the Statu Hai stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire, which was the scene of the movie "Fania All Stars Live in Africa." In 1975, the band returned to Yankee Stadium, this time with such famous names as Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Justo Betancourt, Ismael Quintana, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Mirando, Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez, Bobby Cruz, and Santos Colón. One after the other, the band continued performing in concerts that were just as successful and multitudinous: "Salsa," "Live," "Best Of," "Live in Japan" (1976), and "Tribute to Tito Rodríguez," which marked Rubén Blades' first performance with the All Stars.

To properly celebrate the Fania All Stars' 20th birthday and Fania Records' 30th, the label has re-released two concerts: "Live in Africa" and "Live in Japan," which propelled a successful tour across five continents and showed the identity of a created family that has spread its social, musical, and cultural message throughout the world.

Hector Lavoe Play

A great among greats, this great artist's life was marked by a tragic destiny. Héctor Lavoe's interest in music began in his native Puerto Rico. In search of new opportunities, he traveled to New York with a suitcase full of dreams and the firm goal of landing a job in the music world.

The road ahead was not an easy one. There were many obstacles to overcome, and the price was high, as it often is for immigrants. He held down precarious day jobs for bad pay; but at night, he gave free rein to his dreams, performing in various night clubs.

Johnny Pacheco happened to hear him perform at one of those night clubs. In Lavoe he discovered a powerful voice and the easiest of manners. He was so impressed that he told Willie Colón he had found a singer for the recording of his first album, "El malo."

The combination of Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón enriched the world of salsa and set the stage for their collaboration, which lasted seven years. It also gave birth to 10 albums, full of vibrant songs that spoke the language of the street, a type of musical narrative that the public identified with, one that cemented salsa as a genre.

In 1975, Fania Records decided to launch its singers with the most hits as soloists. Thus began a new phase of Héctor Lavoe's career, just as brilliant and successful, boasting the release of many albums that are now part of his rich musical legacy.

His life was an open book, each page of which documented the tragedy and heartbreak that marked and influenced the rise and fall of his brilliant professional career. Héctor Lavoe died on June 29, 1993, at the age of 46.
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