Johnny Cruz bring us great news from New York! 

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By Johnny Cruz.

In this edition I would like to tell you about the memorable career of my good friend Nicky Marrero, whom I esteem and consider to be one of the best timbaleros in the world and who has been an inspiration to many artists of different generations, even today. Also, Nicky is about to turn years this month.

Born in the New York Bronx, the great percussionist and timpani teacher Nicholas Marrero, known to all as Nicky Marrero, of Puerto Rican roots, came to the world on June 17, 1950 and grew up among musical instruments such as the maracas, güiros, and the guitars through his family. His born talent led him to start studying the drums, but he was seduced by the sounds and influence of Tito Puente and Willie Bobo. His musical debut was with Orquesta Caribe. There has been speculation about his first recording at age 15 with Willie Colón’s band, but that recording was not released. His first published recordings, in which he participated as timpani player, were the albums El Malo and The Hustler, by Willie Colón, recorded in 1968 for the Fania Records label in LP format. He was invited to participate in a single titled Descarga de Dos Pianos with Charlie Palmieri and Louie Ramírez. In 1968, Nicky Marrero worked with Eddie Palmieri’s band; That same year, he took part in the recording of the Champagne album, released by the Tico Records label. He has participated with maestro Eduardo Palmieri in fifteen albums between 1968 and 2018, most of them very successful. In fact, with albums The Sun of Latin Music and Unfinished Masterpiece, they won the Latin Grammy Award. Nicky Marrero is one of the best timbaleros in the history of Latin music; in 1973, he replaced Orestes Vilato in the Fania All Stars of Pacheco and Masucci, with which he made tours, presentations and concerts playing the timpani in many countries of the world. Nicky Marrero’s gigantic musical career has allowed him to participate in the most important Fania recordings; there are around 25 musical productions in which the imprint of his timpani, his bongo and his bell with La Fania All Stars has been registered. Not only Latin music and Latin Jazz have had the participation of the Bronx timbalero, other musical genres such as Jazz, Rock, Funk, Soul, World, Country, Stage & Screen; have also had the participation of the portentous timbalero. The most important groups of Latin music, as well as the greatest musicians and singers of Salsa, have had the participation of this prodigious musician.

With great emotion, I congratulate and greet my friend Richard Román for the 25th Anniversary of Radio Salsa Superior, I wish him and his team many successes to continue his work in the world of music. The celebration will be virtual, given the circumstances, but stay tuned because many surprises come. The marvelous Salsa Superior team transmits day by day from Miami at salsasuperior.com/radio.

I want to congratulate my great friend Rafael Ithier and all the musicians of the Gran Combo on their 58th anniversary. Keep reaping successes and being part of the salsa tradition of those who love this genre. For many more years dancing to the rhythm of the Gran Combo of Puerto Rico.

I also want to highly recommend Eddie Montalvo’s new CD: Señor Tambó. The great percussionist of the Stars of Fania and Six of the Solar delights us with a production that has ten songs in collaboration with prominent salsa exponents of the old and new school. A tribute to Rubén Blades with the participation of the Gaitanes. The musical production was in charge of Pedro Bermúdez and also has the musical arrangements of Carlos Torres and Chino Núñez. The production is available on all digital platforms and in traditional CD and Vinyl formats.

Last but not least, It is an honor for me to invite you to tune in to my new Fm / Internet radio station on Live365.com: Salsagallery. Great music, artist interviews and much more made with love for you all. There is the link: https://live365.com/station/a77973

For now, it will not be possible to open to the public the Spanish Harlem Salsa Gallery in 1708 Lexington ave New York N.Y. 10029, but you can see the entire exhibition with more than 200 articles through our social media. Check the updates in our website: spahasalsagallery.com.

At the Spanish Harlem Salsa Gallery Museum we are happy to affirm that New York City is preparing to resume its activities little by little. We hope to have more news and soon as we can return to normality.

Remember not to leave your homes unless necessary, stay safe and stay home until the authorities tell us to. Health is first.

Contact: Johnny Cruz. 917-747-8505. timbalerojc@gmail.com.