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LOS CANTORES DE SAN JUAN - La Puerca Voladora

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Uploaded on Nov 19, 2010

Vicente Carattini (November 11, 1939-November 7, 2005), was a renowned singer and composer of Puerto Rican Christmas related songs.Carattini was born and raised in the town of Cidra, Puerto Rico where he received his primary and secondary education. One day, his father saw that young Carattini was fascinated with Puerto Rican folk music and presented him with a Puerto Rican cuatro. A cuatro is a Puerto Rican stringed instrument somewhat similar to a guitar but smaller in size. The Puerto Rican cuatro has five pairs of strings for a total of ten, and is different from the cuatro in other Latin American countries (for example, the Venezuelan cuatro actually has four strings). At the age of nine, Carattini learned how to play the cuatro by asking those in town who knew how to play the instrument to teach him. In 1950, his father gave him a better quality cuatro and a guitar. In 1956, when Carattini was 15 years old, he formed the "Trio Los Juglares", which dedicated themselves to sing boleros. The trio included the vocals of Felito Felix and performed basically in Cidra, however Felito Felix left the following year and the trio was dissolved. Carattini continued to go to school and graduated from the Jesus T. Piñero high school of Cidra. In 1958, he enrolled in the Catholic University of Ponce and after one year transferred to the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. In 1960, he earned his teacher's certificate and in 1961 his Bachelors of Science degree. He returned to his hometown and became a teacher.On one occasion Carattini heard a group called "La Tuna de Cayey" sing Puerto Rican Christmas songs and was very impressed. In Puerto Rico "Tunas" are a group of singers and musicians who sing Christmas related songs. In 1964, he spoke with a friend, Victor Cotto, who was the director of another "Tuna" and asked him if he could join. Carattini became a member of Cotto's "Tuna Taurina de Cayey" and participated in the recording of La Fabulosa Tuna Taurina. He was remained the group until 1969.[2] In 1970, he quit his low paying teachers job and became an insurance salesman. He went on to create a new "Tuna" which included 23 members and with $3,000 recorded a "demo". After the recording, they decided that they as a group had a good chance of competing against the "Tunas" already established and adopted the name "Los Cantores de San Juan". On January 1971, they recorded their first Christmas album, however they had to wait almost a year until the Christmas Holidays at the end of the year to release it. Finally, the album was released and became a big hit after being played on the radio by the then DJ Alfred D. Herger. The album included Si no me dan de beber, lloro (if you don't give me a drink I'll cry), Asomante a los cantores and Porque era Catolico. The song "Si no me dan de beber, lloro" became one of the greatest hits in Puerto Rico and is considered a Puerto Rican Christmas classic. The song has been interpreted by such singers as Danny Rivera and Marco Antonio Muñiz. Another song which became a Puerto Rican Christmas classic was Dame la mano Paloma (Give me your hand Paloma) in 1979. From then on Carattini and Los Cantores de San Juan performed sold out functions during every Christmas season up to 2005. In 2005, Carattini made his last public appearance on Asi es la Navidad, a Gilberto Santa Rosa production.

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