Hostos Center Presents: ¡El Inolvidable! Tito Rodríguez

¡EL INOLVIDABLE! TITO RODRIGUEZ 
A Three-Day Retrospective
With The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by Tito Rodríguez, Jr. 
Special Guest Star Gilberto Santa Rosa

November 11, 12, 13, 2022
Box Office & Info: (718) 518-4455 | hostoscenter.org

(Bronx, NY) – Following the acclaimed tributes to Tito Puente in April 2017 and Machito in May 2019, the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture presents ¡El Inolvidable! Tito Rodriguez, a three-day retrospective of the iconic singer’s life, song and lasting influence from November 11 to 13 on the campus of Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse (at 149th Street), in the Bronx. With his elegant voice, graceful manner and impeccable style, Tito Rodríguez (1923-1973) rose to the top of Latin music leaving behind a legacy of boleros, Afro-Cuban standards, instrumentals and mambo. His impact is incalculable – influencing salsa greats from Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda to Gilberto Santa Rosa.

Under the artistic direction of the singer’s son, Tito Rodríguez, Jr., as well as consultant and Latin music historian Joe Conzo, Sr., the festival is designed for both Tito Rodríguez enthusiasts and those less familiar with his music. The weekend includes film screenings, never-before-heard recordings, a family concert, a panel discussion – and to top it all off – 2 main concerts with the Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by son Tito Rodríguez, Jr. with multi-Grammy Award winner Gilberto Santa Rosa – known to his fans as El Caballero de la Salsa (Salsa’s Gentleman). The main concerts take place on Saturday, November 12 at 8:00 PM and on Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 PM in the Main Theater. Together – live and on the stage at Hostos – they will perform 24 of the beloved singer’s legendary songs – from his mambos and cha-cha-chas to his romantic boleros and smokey torch songs. John “Dandy” Rodríguez, Jr. will take to the stage in a free family concert on Saturday, November 12 at 12:30 PM with an informative performance demonstrating the different styles of Latin music, such as the mambo, cha-cha-cha and bolero. Throughout the concert, the bandleader will perform some of Tito Rodríguez’ music and speak about the singer’s enduring legacy and importance. This family concert is appropriate for ages 4 and up. Free admission with ticket: Call (718) 518-4455.

Tickets for concerts and all events are available at www.hostoscenter.org or by calling (718) 518-4455. Hostos Box Office hours are Mon. to Fri., from 1 PM to 4 PM and two (2) hours before showtime. For press and all other enquires, please contact Felix Arocho: 718-518-4477, FArocho@hostos.cuny.edu.

FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Friday, November 11  

Music/Talk:

Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr. – 1940s & 1950s
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, 5:30 p.m.
Free Admission. Limited Seating.

Kicking off the three-day celebration on Friday, November 11 at 5:30 p.m. will be Joe Conzo, Sr., presenting “The Listening Room,” sessions that will include information, musical anecdotes and never-before-heard-recordings of Tito Rodríguez from the 1940s and 1950s. Conzo, who has lectured Latin music for Hostos Community College’s Continuing Education division for the last decade, has an unmatched collection of Tito Rodríguez live recordings. Admission is free and includes a complimentary glass of wine on Nov. 11 and coffee/tea on Nov. 13. at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos.

Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr.
Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr. – Never-Before-Heard Recordings: 1940s & 1950s

Film:

Film Rarities with Henry Medina: “Mambo Madness” & Beyond 
Repertory Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission (Tickets Required: 718-518-4455)

On Friday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Repertory Theater Latin music collector and historian Henry Medina will present highlights of Tito Rodríguez on film and television. Included is a clean copy of the 1955 short Mambo Madness along with other film segments, a pilot TV show from the mid-1960s and a 2007 special featuring a wide range of special artists and guests. Followed by a Q&A talkback. Admission is free, but tickets are required by calling (718) 518-4455.

Film Rarities with Henry Medina - Mambo Madness and Beyond
Film Rarities with Henry Medina – Mambo Madness and Beyond

Saturday, November 12

Family Concert:

The Mambo? A Bolero? Tito Rodríguez?
John “Dandy” Rodríguez, Jr. 
Repertory Theater, 12:30 p.m.
Free Admission (Tickets Required: 718-518-4455)

Legendary percussionist John “Dandy” Rodríguez, Jr. brings his 10-piece band to the Repertory Theater on Saturday, November 12 at 12:30 p.m. for a free family concert.  He will introduce families to Latin music and the impact of Tito Rodríguez. John is one of the few remaining artists who performed and recorded with Machito, Puente and Rodríguez. For the entire family – ages 4 and up. Free Admission. Tickets required: call (718) 518-4455.

The Mambo? A Bolero? Tito Rodríguez
The Mambo? A Bolero? Tito Rodríguez

Panel Discussion:

The Legacy of Tito Rodríguez
Repertory Theater, 3:30 p.m.
Free Admission (Tickets Required: 718-518-4455)

Participants: Eguie Castrillo, moderator, Tito Rodríguez, Jr., Gilberto Santa Rosa, Joe Conzo, Sr., René López, John “Dandy” Rodríguez, Jr.

A panel discussion follows in the Repertory Theater on Sat., November 12 at 3:30 p.m. Eguie Castrillo, percussionist and Professor at Berklee College of Music, moderates this discussion of the singer’s lasting impact on Latin music. Panelists include percussionist and bandleader Tito Rodríguez, Jr., musical director of The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra; salsa singer and collector Gilberto Santa Rosa; consultant and Latin music historian, Joe Conzo, Sr.; music producer, author, and Latin Music historian René López; and percussionist / bandleader John “Dandy Rodríguez, Jr. Admission is free, but tickets are required by calling (718) 518-4455.

Panel Discussion: The Legacy of Tito Rodríguez
Panel Discussion: The Legacy of Tito Rodríguez

Main Concert:

The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by Tito Rodríguez, Jr. with Guest Gilberto Santa Rosa
Main Theater, 8:00 p.m.
Orch: $100; $85; Mezz: $65; Balcony: $45
Call for Student, Senior and Group Discounts

The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra performs two historic concerts in the Main Theater, with son, musical director and percussionist Tito Rodríguez, Jr. leading the tribute to his father’s work. Guest vocalist, Gilberto Santa Rosa, will sing 24 of the most iconic songs – from Mama Güela to Tiemblas. The concerts will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 p.m.  Orchestra seating is $100, $85; Mezzanine seating is $65; and Balcony seating is $45.  Discounts available for Students, Seniors and Groups.

The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by Tito Rodríguez, Jr. with Guest Gilberto Santa Rosa
The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by Tito Rodríguez, Jr. with Guest Gilberto Santa Rosa

Sunday, November 13

Music/Talk:

Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr. – 1960s & 1970s
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, 2:00 p.m.
Free Admission. Limited Seating.

Joe Conzo, Sr. presents another “Listening Room” on Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m. with recordings from the 1960s and early 1970s. Conzo, who has lectured Latin music for Hostos Community College’s Continuing Education division for the last decade, has an unmatched collection of Tito Rodríguez live recordings. Admission is free and includes a complimentary glass of wine on Nov. 11 and coffee/tea on Nov. 13. at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos.

Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr. - Never-Before-Heard Recordings: 1960s & 1970s
Listening Room with Joe Conzo, Sr. – Never-Before-Heard Recordings: 1960s & 1970s

Main Concert:

The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra led by Tito Rodríguez, Jr. with Guest Gilberto Santa Rosa
Main Theater, 4:00 p.m.
Orch: $100; $85; Mezz: $65; Balcony: $45
Call for Student, Senior and Group Discounts

The Tito Rodríguez Orchestra performs two historic concerts in the Main Theater, with son, musical director and percussionist Tito Rodríguez, Jr. leading the tribute to his father’s work. Guest vocalist, Gilberto Santa Rosa, will sing 24 of the most iconic songs – from Mama Güela to Tiemblas. The concerts will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 p.m.  Orchestra seating is $100, $85; Mezzanine seating is $65; and Balcony seating is $45.  Discounts available for Students, Seniors and Groups.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS AND SPEAKERS:

Tito Rodríguez

Known as El Inolvidable (The Unforgettable One), Tito Rodríguez (1923-1973) rose to the pinnacle of Latin music in the 1950s to the early 1970s, leaving behind a rich cultural and musical legacy. Born in Puerto Rico, he came to New York in the 1940s. With his elegant voice, graceful manner and impeccable style, he found great success leading his own band, becoming one of the original three Mambo Kings of the Palladium Ballroom in the 1950s and 1960s, alongside Machito and Tito Puente. His musical and cultural impact are incalculable – influencing salsa greats from Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda to Gilberto Santa Rosa – and forever living in the hearts of his fans, admirers and family.

Tito Rodríguez, Jr.

The son of the legendary Puerto Rican singer, Tito Rodríguez, Jr. is one of the leading timbaleros and bandleaders in Latin music today. His performances and recordings – in the classic tradition of his father – are stamped with his own signature sound inspired by the big bands of the past with a contemporary twist. In sustaining this musical legacy, his parents remain a source of inspiration. His performances around the world have delighted audiences at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, El Día Nacional de la Salsa, the Concord Jazz Festival, and more.

Gilberto Santa Rosa

Known as El Caballero de la Salsa (Salsa’s Gentleman), Gilberto Santa Rosa’s musical elegance and style has made him one of the most prominent figures in popular music. His countless accolades include seven Grammy Awards and the Guinness World Record Holder for the most #1 hits on Billboard’s Tropical albums chart (12 in total) – making him one of the most successful Latin music vocalists in the world. Influenced greatly by Tito Rodríguez, Santa Rosa has done much to keep the iconic singer’s musical legacy and memory alive, from collecting records, photos and musical instruments to recording an album of Tito Rodriguez’ songs.

Joe Conzo, Sr.

Historian Joe Conzo, Sr., owns an unrivaled collection of live Latin music recordings. He is the producer of many recordings by Latin artists on prestigious labels such as Sony Music and Pablo. Conzo lectures for Jazz @ Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian and other organizations, and, since 2013, has taught a continuing education course on Latin music and Latin Jazz at Hostos with a focus on Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez and Machito. A long-time Puente publicist and confidant, he penned the acclaimed book “Mambo Diablo: My Journey with Tito Puente” and produced more than 20 benefit concerts for the Tito Puente Scholarship Fund.  He also currently serves as the Director of the Tito Puente Legacy Project – an archive of Puente memorabilia based at the school. 

John “Dandy” Rodríguez, Jr.

John Rodríguez Jr. (born 1945), better known as Johnny “Dandy” Rodríguez, is an American bongo player. He was the long-time bongosero for Tito Puente, and also played with Tito Rodríguez, Ray Barretto and Alfredo de la Fe. He belonged to several popular bands of the salsa era such as Tico All-Stars, Fania All-Stars and Típica 73. He worked with Tito Rodríguez from 1965 to 1968.

ABOUT THE HOSTOS CENTER FOR ARTS & CULTURE:

The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture consists of a museum-grade art gallery, a 367-seat Repertory Theater, and a 900-seat Main Theater, presenting artists of national and international renown. It is easily accessible from Manhattan, Queens and New Jersey and is a mere 15 minutes by subway from midtown Manhattan. www.hostoscenter.org 

ABOUT HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE:

Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change, transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. Hostos serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, and a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. Hostos Community College is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university serving more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges. https://www.hostos.cuny.edu/

Source: Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture

Danilo Navas
Danilo Navas
Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, Toronto Music Report. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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