Apr 04

Gilberto Santa Rosa History

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Santa Rosa birth name: Gilberto Santa Rosa Cortés was born in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.Here he received his primary and secondary education and became interested in music. He took part in his first concert while a teenager and in 1976, he made his recording debut as a backup singer with the Mario Ortiz Orchestra; soon afterwards he was recruited by La Grande Orchestra, where he became the lead singer. He remained with the orchestra for two years, during which time he met Elias Lopez who helped to mold and polish him as a singer

 

During the 1980s, he recorded "Homenaje a Eddie Palmieri" (Tribute to Eddie Palmieri) with the Puerto Rican All Stars. He also recorded with various orchestras, amongst them the Tommy Olivencia Orchestra, and the Willie Rosario orchestra. Santa Rosa developed a unique style of "soneo" (improvisation) in salsa that permitted him to be successful in both the "tropical" and "romantic" styles of the music.[2] In 1986, Santa Rosa formed his own band and signed with Combo Records; a string of hits followed, such as "Good Vibrations", "De Amor y Salsa" (Of Love and Salsa), "Punto de Vista" (Point of View), "Vivir Sin Ella" (Living without Her) and "Perspectiva". Santa Rosa was also the first singer of tropical salsa to carry out a concert at the Carnegie Hall Theater, in New York City, where he performed as the opening number, his unique version of the salsa tune, "Represento" (I Represent), composed by Lou Briel. This event was recorded live at the hall, and later released as an album.[3] A highlight of the night was the four-minute unscripted addition he made to his song "Perdoname" (Forgive Me), which solidified his improvisational talent. This live version became such a sensation thereafter that Santa Rosa had to memorize his own improvised lines for future concerts, and Perdoname became the closing song to his shows. In 1990, Santa Rosa joined the all star "La Puertoriqueña" project which included Andy Montañez; in the same year he was awarded the Billboard Lo Nuestro Award for Best Male Singer. He also participated in the play "La Pareja Dispareja" (The Odd Couple) alongside Luis Vigoreaux and Rafo Muñiz. In 1995, Santa Rosa traveled to Japan as Puerto Rico's Good Will Ambassador, where he sang "De Cara al Viento" (Facing the Wind) in Japanese. In 1996, the greatest hits album "Caballero de la Salsa, Vol 2" was released and he also participated in the First "Festival Presidente" in the Dominican Republic (a Latin music festival sponsored by local Presidente beer). In 1997, he sang with Andy Montañez in New York Citys Lincoln Center and later that year, with Olga Tañon at the Universal Studios Amphitheater in Hollywood, California.[2]

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