La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017 (EXTENDED)

La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017

“Top of the list at New York Times of must-see galleries in the Lower East Side!”


Overview:

In 1985, Eva Cockcroft, founder of Artmakers Inc., gathered together 34 “artists of conviction” to create 26 political murals on four vacant buildings overlooking the then neglected La Plaza Cultural community garden. Known as La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues, the murals addressed six political issues: gentrification, police brutality, immigration, feminism, and opposition of U.S. intervention in Central America and apartheid in South Africa. Today, the garden is thriving, the issues remain of grave concern, and only two of the murals still exist, the paint cracked and faded.


Exhibition Details:

Opening Date:
Saturday, April 8, 2017

Now Extended through July 31st 2017

Viewing Hours:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Noon to 6:00 pm
and by appointment.

Organizer:
Artmakers Inc.
For more info and media queries: Jane Weissman, ArtmakersNYC@aol.com, (212) 989-3006

Host Venue:
Loisaida Inc. Center
(646) 726-4715

710 East 9th Street, Lower East Side
New York, NY 10009 United States
+ Google Map
 
Emailinfo@loisaida.org

Past Public Programming:

April 19, 6:30-8 PM. Panel: Loisaida: Then & Now. With Chino Garcia, Maria Dominguez, Noah Jemisin, Kristin Reed, Seth Tobocman. Libertad Guerra, moderator

April 26, 6:30-8 PM. Illustrated Talk: Protest & Celebration: Community Murals of the 1970s & 1980s in Loisaida and on the Historic Lower East Side. Jane Weissman, presenter

April 30. 1 PM Gallery Talk / 2 PM Garden Visit to La Plaza Cultural at 9th & C. (Gallery remains open to 5 PM)


*SECOND ILLUSTRATED TALK, BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND*

May 11, 7:00-8:30 PM. Illustrated Talk: Protest & Celebration: Community Murals of the 1970s & 1980s in Loisaida and on the Historic Lower East Side. Jane Weissman, presenter


*May 23, 6:30-8 PM. Illustrated Talk: La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017. Jane Weissman, presenter. City Lore Gallery (56 East 1st Street). Also co-sponsored by Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation & City Lore

*May 27, 2 PM Gallery Talk / 3 PM Garden Visit to La Plaza Cultural at East 9th Street & Avenue C Unless noted, all events take place at The Loisaida Center (710 East 9th Street, NYC) Part of the 2017 Loisaida Festival Weekend Programming.


All events are co-sponsored by Artmakers Inc. and The Loisaida Center

*In conjunction with Lower East Side History Month


Media Queries: Jane Weissman, ArtmakersNYC@aol.org, 212.989.3006


Open Community Textiles Workshop

Loisaida inc. is proud to present as part of The 30th Annual Loisaida Festival, Daniela Fabrizi will be complementing with textiles and fabric; the collaborative atelier created by the 3 invited street theater artists: Daniel Polnau, Pablo Varona and Adam Ende. This collaborative atelier will be open to visitors and the community at large, all FREE.


Specific Dates by theme:

Re-plasti-cycle your Garments: July 2017 New Dates TBD (3pm-6pm)

Costumes! Banners! Flags! GIANTS!: July 2017 New Dates TBD (3pm-6pm)


Workshop description:

  1. Re-plasti-cycle your Garments

Learn how to reuse plastic and repurpose everyday plastic trash into your own hand-made fabric. We will focus at making fabric from plastic junk, crafting our own textile patterns and building handmade garments and wearable pieces that would be used by individuals at the parade.

This workshop is aimed at younger audiences, who are in the beginning of their journey on their textiles and design interests. Also participants will explore the idea of reusing, recycling and re-inventing with what they have and experiment letting their mind to be their own limit to create new beautiful and usable things.

(Recommended for Pre-teen and Teens)

  1. Costumes! Banners! Flags! GIANTS!

Fabric is one of the most versatile, used and indispensable materials that could transform any parade into a memorable experience within any community. On this workshop we will learn and apply some basic skills on textiles to make costumes, banners, flags and giants. Open to all artists interested in textiles with any experience. In collaboration with Zuleyka Alejandro.

All creations can be part of this year’s edition of the Loisaida Festival Community Parade.

(Recommended for kids, adults, EVERYONE)


Artist Bio:

Daniela Fabrizi. Always inspired by the work of women and her own travels, she is a costumes and textiles lover. Based in New York, and having working experience in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, France and London, she works in all crafts related to this medium: from film, tv and theater to textile arts work with the community and her own independent projects. She enjoys the most working and sharing her craft with the community, while learning and getting inspired from them.

Contact Daniela Fabrizi at dani.fabrizi@gmail.com or call (347) 314-3555

Come Paint With Us!

COME PAINT A MURAL WITH YOUR COMMUNITY!

Painting extravaganza opened to the community. Artistic experience not necessary. Participants are not required to attend all of the sessions, only hands and creativity needed to help complete this project!

@ FIRST STREET GREEN ART PARK
EAST 1ST STREET AND HOUSTON

33 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

This event has passed, thank you to all of you that made it possible!


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Open Community Mural Painting Weekend

An endeavor hoping to pay tribute to the 30th anniversary of the twenty-six La Lucha Continua murals raised in 1983 by the community mural collective Artmakers Inc. to address six of some of the compelling political issues of the time, issues such as: gentrification, police brutality, immigration, women’s issues, and opposition to U.S. interventions in Central America and apartheid in South Africa. In contrast with much of the art being produced in the neighborhood at the time for the mainstream art market, this was created for the people, a “neighborhood-directed” effort as described in NYTimes.

The mural will be designed and painted by a small group of volunteers called upon by members from each organization; led by artist Sam Wisneski of the Thrive Collective. This collaboration represents a joint effort in calling on members from a surrounding community to speak to their own experiences, thus amplifying the voices of the community by offering up the podium, or in this case rather the paintbrush, to the people. More than a simple retelling of history, this mural can portray our present through past voices.

As the director of The Loisaida Center, Libertad Guerra posits,
“This exhibition is more than an excavation of the past or an exploration of the social, political and cultural context in which the murals were created. It is also a lens aimed at today’s Loisaida, focusing on how the neighborhood and the issues have changed, directing the eye to the future.”

Two from the original twenty-six pieces are still visible at La Plaza Cultural to this day.  Though much of the image from this piece by Susan Ortega has all but withered, the slogan “La Lucha Continúa” remains a powerful reminder to locals in the neighborhood and a reflection of our present through an historical lens.

Production for the commemorative mural coincides with the “La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017” exhibition currently on display at Loisaida Center.

La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017

La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017

“Top of the list at New York Times of must-see galleries in the Lower East Side!”


Overview:

In 1985, Eva Cockcroft, founder of Artmakers Inc., gathered together 34 “artists of conviction” to create 26 political murals on four vacant buildings overlooking the then neglected La Plaza Cultural community garden. Known as La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues, the murals addressed six political issues: gentrification, police brutality, immigration, feminism, and opposition of U.S. intervention in Central America and apartheid in South Africa. Today, the garden is thriving, the issues remain of grave concern, and only two of the murals still exist, the paint cracked and faded.


Exhibition Details:

Opening Date:
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Viewing Hours:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Noon to 6:00 pm
and by appointment.

Organizer:
Artmakers Inc.
For more info and media queries: Jane Weissman, ArtmakersNYC@aol.com, (212) 989-3006

Host Venue:
Loisaida Inc. Center
(646) 726-4715

710 East 9th Street, Lower East Side
New York, NY 10009 United States
+ Google Map
 
Emailinfo@loisaida.org

Public Programming and important dates:

April 19, 6:30-8 PM. Panel: Loisaida: Then & Now. With Chino Garcia, Maria Dominguez, Noah Jemisin, Kristin Reed, Seth Tobocman. Libertad Guerra, moderator

April 26, 6:30-8 PM. Illustrated Talk: Protest & Celebration: Community Murals of the 1970s & 1980s in Loisaida and on the Historic Lower East Side. Jane Weissman, presenter

April 30. 1 PM Gallery Talk / 2 PM Garden Visit to La Plaza Cultural at 9th & C. (Gallery remains open to 5 PM)


*SECOND ILLUSTRATED TALK, BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND*

May 11, 7:00-8:30 PM. Illustrated Talk: Protest & Celebration: Community Murals of the 1970s & 1980s in Loisaida and on the Historic Lower East Side. Jane Weissman, presenter


*May 23, 6:30-8 PM. Illustrated Talk: La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017. Jane Weissman, presenter. City Lore Gallery (56 East 1st Street). Also co-sponsored by Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation & City Lore

*May 27, 2 PM Gallery Talk / 3 PM Garden Visit to La Plaza Cultural at East 9th Street & Avenue C Unless noted, all events take place at The Loisaida Center (710 East 9th Street, NYC) Part of the 2017 Loisaida Festival Weekend Programming.


All events are co-sponsored by Artmakers Inc. and The Loisaida Center

*In conjunction with Lower East Side History Month


Media Queries: Jane Weissman, ArtmakersNYC@aol.org, 212.989.3006


Nativa Remedies // MUJER Gathering

Join us Sunday, March 12th 3-5PM at Loisaida Inc. Center for our second workshop with Celeste Casillas of Nativa Remedies and other women seeking to connect with their feminine wisdom, honor their mother energy, and share sacred space.

We will discuss:

Using plant medicines to heal our bodies, balance our hormones, and ease stress and anxiety.
Connecting to the lunar calendar to understand the phases of our own cycle.
Ritualizing our life to create balance
Holistic beauty remedies

The gathering will evolve based on the interest of the group and sharing is optional.

Bring your amiga, sister, mother, a notebook and pen, a yoga mat or thick blanket.
RSVP REQUIRED CLICK HERE


Part of: Atomic Culture – 2017 Loisaida Inc. Artists in Residence

CitiCien Exhibit Artist Talk

Thursday, March 16 at 6 PM – 8 PM

Join us on Thursday March 16th for an artist talk featuring many of our participating artists.

The artists will share about themselves and their artistic practice, as well as the meaning behind the artworks they created for the CitiCien exhibit.


RSVP HERE.


SPEAKING ARTISTS:
Bonafide Rojas
Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez
Melissa Montero
Vagaond Alexander Beaumont
Yasmín Hernández
Will Rosado
Juan Sanchez
Manny Vega
Jean Oyola
Shellyne Rodriguez

Other artists in attendance:
Sofia Maldonado
Daniel Alago
Nelson Host Santiago
Leenda Bonilla
Luis Pagan
Jo-El Lopez
Nia Andino
Oliver Rios


Signed in 1917 by President Wilson, The Jones-Shafroth Act granted U.S. citizenship to anyone born in Puerto Rico on or after April 25, 1898, a complex and significant turning point for the people of Puerto Rico.

Following strict visual guidelines of size and a black-and-white only palette, the exhibit’s theme is one of visual consistency and commitment, acting as a metaphor of the unified voice and solidarity of Puerto Ricans during this critical political time. Coinciding with the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the Jones Act, CITICIEN, in an effort to nurture greater solidarity and collaboration, will feature 100 Puerto Rican artists from the island and the diaspora.

Curated by Puerto Rican artist Adrián Viajero Román, DEFEND PUERTO RICO’s CITICIEN traveling exhibition will feature 100 artworks highlighting the historical and present-day impact of the Jones Act.


About DEFEND PUERTO RICO
Defend PR is a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Recognizing the complex and dynamic landscapes that comprise Puerto Rican daily life and struggle, Defend PR seeks to deepen connections between Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora, in the hopes of nurturing greater solidarity, collaboration, and kinship.

#CITICIENPR #DEFENDPR
Visit www.defendpr.com
www.facebook.com/Defendpr / instagram.com/defendpr

 

Cover photo: “Wall of Resistance” by Leenda Bonilla + Luis Pagan
—————————————————————————————-

Future Now // Futura Ahora (Exhibition Opening)

Atomic Culture in collaboration with the Loisaida Inc. Center as part of the 2017 Art Residency Program at Loisaida. presents:


Future Now // Futura Ahora


Exhibition open from February 4 to March 18, 2017

Opening Reception: February 4th, 2017 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm


Details:

Future Now // Futura Ahora calls to attention the movement of artists reclaiming and reconfiguring their cultural disposition and narratives with society at large. Through sound, installation, literature, and visual arts each artist presents compelling possibilities for the future by embracing and reclaiming their histories, traditions, and present-day experiences.

During Atomic Culture’s curatorial artist residency at the Loisaida Center. They will bringing together 15 artists native to the southwest United States, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California to discuss futurism and geopolitics. Futurism is not just about technology but an act of self preservation and concern toward the creation and dismemberment of invisible borders, pillaging of natural resources, and colonization. Through decolonization and reclamation of traditions, personal culture, land and natural medicine.

Within the exhibition and workshops each artist addresses these issues blending their complex histories with a contemporary perspective creating a new trajectory.

Future Now/Futura Ahora will host multiple workshops on reclaiming use of the land and the natural remedies she provides you, discussions and screenings on chicanx futurism. The exhibition serving as a catalyst to discuss and initiate thinking and being in a time of increased tension and unknown.

Artists:

Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, Nani Chacon, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Ryan Dennison, Zeke Pena, Chico MacMurtrie, Claudia X. Valdes, Ruben Ortiz Torres, William Camargo, Rick Cortez, Lindsay Kane, Delilah Montoya, Cristobal Martinez, Scott Williams, Cultural Workers, and a SSSK Distro retrospective.

The Word Festival at Loisaida Inc.

Loisaida Inc. and Acacia Network together with Salón Literario Libroamérica, Instituto Cervantes, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña presents:

Festival de la Palabra (The Word Festival)

When?

Thursday, October 27th through Saturday, October 29th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Thursday and Friday) and 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm (Saturday)

Where?

Loisaida Inc. – 710 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009


OVERVIEW:

Festival de la Palabra (The Word Festival) is the top literary event in Puerto Rico, and the only literary festival in the world based on one single community -the Puerto Rican community- which is held in two very distinct cities: San Juan and New York, and for the first time celebrated at Loisaida Inc. in the heart of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Over 15,000 visitors attend this international encounter of writers and readers, featuring 100 prestigious authors from Puerto Rico and 20 other countries in America, Europe and Africa, all sharing their common passion for literature.


Thursday, October 27th – 6:00 PM


Venue: LOISAIDA INC. CENTER – 710 EAST CALLE 9 LOWER EAST SIDE – 6:00 PM

“LOS DE AQUÍ Y LOS DE ALLÁ” 
PANELISTAS:
• Manolo Núñez Negrón
• Tere Dávila
• Bonafide Rojas
• Urayoán Noel

Venue: INSTITUTO CERVANTES – 211 EAST 49TH STREET – 7:30 PM 

“EUROPA-AMÉRICA LATINA: VIAJES A UTOPÍA”
PANELISTAS:
• Jesús Ferrero
• Marina Perezagua
• José Manuel Fajardo
• Raúl Aguiar
• Mayra Santos-Febres


Friday, October 28th – 7:30 PM


Venue: LOISAIDA INC. CENTER – 710 EAST CALLE 9 LOWER EAST SIDE – 7:30 PM
”SAN JUAN NOIR”  (RSVP here)
INAUGURACIÓN Y PRESENTACIÓN DE LIBRO CON:
• Johnny Temple
• Mayra Santos-Febres
• Charlie Vázquez
• Wilfredo Burgos Matos
• Manuel Méndez
• Tere Dávila


Saturday, October 29th – 12:00 – 10:00 PM


Venue: LOISAIDA INC. CENTER – 710 EAST CALLE 9 LOWER EAST SIDE
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

“LOISAIDA’S MINI FEST” (RSVP here)

12:00 – 1:00 PM – CUENTACUENTOS (Storytelling)
CON:
• Tina Casanova
• José Rabelo

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – ESTACIONES ITINERANTES DE ACTIVIDADES CREATIVAS
CON:
• Zule Alejandro
• Daniela Fabrizi
• Juan Bautista

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – ESPECTACULO DE LUCES
CON:
• i Luminate


Venue: LOISAIDA INC. CENTER – 710 EAST CALLE 9 LOWER EAST SIDE
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

4:00 PM – “MEMORIA, LITERATURA Y COMUNIDAD”
PANELISTAS:
• Tina Casanova
• Charlie Vázquez
• José Rabelo
• Mariposa Fernández

4:30 PM – PROYECCIÓN DE DOCUMENTALES: “LUIS/LIZZA” Y “CLEMENTE SOTO VÉLEZ”
CON:
• Joelle González-Laguer
• Luis Felipe Díaz
• Alfredo Villanueva Collado

5:30 PM – “CARIBE: ARCHIPIÉLAGO DE SUEÑOS”
PANELISTAS:
• Raúl Aguiar
• Carlos Fonseca
• Manolo Núñez Negrón
• Mayra Santos-Febres

7:00 PM – PRESENTACIÓN DE LIBRO “YO SOY IRIS CHACÓN”
CON:
• Iris Chacón

8:00 PM – CIERRE POÉTICO


Sponsored by: Southwest Airlines © and the New York Public Library

Garbagia Island

Loisaida’s First Summer Program 2016: Garbaggia Island

July 11th, 2016 – July 30th, 2016
at The Loisaida Inc. Center

Workshop Dates:

  1. Saturday, July 16th 2016 – 6:00 pm
    at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden
    Bimbo Rivas Art Workshop
    Plus original footage from Charas and Bimbo Rivas
    by filmmaker Hector Quintana
  2. Tuesday, July 19th 2016 – 4:00 pm
    at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden
    Carmen Pabon Art Workshop
  3. Thursday, July 21th 2016 – 4:00 pm
    at Loisaida Inc. Center
    Silvia Rivera Art Workshop
  4. Saturday, July 23th 2016 – 4:00 pm
    at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden
    Puppet Workshop!
  5. Tuesday, July 26th 2016 – 4:00 pm
    at Loisaida Inc. Center
    Theater games for the whole family
  6. Thursday, July 28th 2016 – 4:00 pm
    at La Plaza Cultural Community Center
    Recycling Art Workshop
  7. Garbagia Island – Pirate Fashion Show and Performance
    La Plaza Cultural Community Garden
    Saturday/July 30, 2016. (Sunday, 31st if rained out Saturday)
    6:00pm

    __

  8. Concept:
    “Garbagia Island” is a dystopian representation of the Island of Puerto Rico and it’s current economical and political situation. The story goes along the lines of pirates arriving to an island full of trash, and discovering magical creatures made out of garbage. What it seemed to be a simple pile of waste becomes a fantastical tale for the pirates to appreciate. The pirates who are already filled with music and celebration unify forces with the creatures and people living in the island. The moral of the story is creating consciousness and renaming waste into resource and emphasizing people’s creativity as a tool for recovering gradually from the crisis. We will use historical LES “nuyorican” and LES characters like Carmen Pabón, Jorge Brandon, Bimbo Rivas, Pedro Pietri, Sylvia Rivera, Petra Santiago, Chino García, Silvia Rivera, Adam Purple as inspiration.Currently the island of Puerto Rico is facing a huge colonial consequence. The people are finally noticing the impotence and fragility of our economy and political situation. It’s very important now to point out to the solutions, more than the problems or flaws. Similar to the self-help spirit of the early residents/founders of the Loisaida neighborhood, the project will emphasize the history of pirates around the Caribbean and their challenging attitude towards how we re-define either/or dichotomies such as: garbage/ treasure, waste/resource, empty lot/green haven, fiscal crisis/ sustainable opportunity, forced migration & displacement/ community building. This way we use our creative thinking into problem solution and acquire a more optimist view of our situation.

    Description:
    The summer program will be developed in two weeks during July, creating an open platform for the community to participate in an integration and creative process. We will have open workshops five days a week, for the community and will have arranged visits from summer camps around the Lower East Side. They will all take place between Loisaida Inc.Center and La Plaza Cultural. During the workshops we want to educate the community about re-purposing waste into materials. They can be a tool for developing kids motor skills and adults perspectives and creativity. All the efforts will be directed into the final activity, it will take place at La Plaza Cultural. The activity will be compound of a fashion and creature show. We will have a live pirate band, a pirate host and a DJ. This activity will be a community celebration for the outcome of the workshops and will be open for the public. After the activity we will do a symbolic peregrination to Carmen Pabón re-opend garden as a showing of our support and admiration for Carmen Pabón’s legacy. We want to stand out community awareness of current legal garden’s risk and motivate people to take action in democratic process.

    Outcome of the Summer Program:
    The Summer Program will be composed of a two-week intensive open workshop accessible for the public. There will be five directed workshops for Summer Camps or School groups. Screening projections and other audiovisual material for educational purposes about the history and important people in the Loisaida (Lower East Side) Community. Then we will have the final activity open for the public were we will show a pirate fashion and creatures made out of recycled materials. It will all end with a symbolic peregrination to the Carmen Pabón garden.

    Screening projections and other audiovisual material for educational purposes about the history and important people of the Loisaida (Lower East Side) Community. Then we will have the final activity on Saturday, July 30th at La Plaza Cultural Garden also open to the public. We will show a pirate fashion show and puppet creatures made out of recycled materials, then it will all end with a symbolic peregrination to the Carmen Pabón garden.

    Pedagogical benefits:
    Participants will develop a socio-political approach and learn about crucial contributors to the history of LES through active participation. This will be directed with a pedagogical perspective into recreating what important key people (yet invisible to the mainstream narrative) did for the neighborhood. This will create awareness into reusing waste and reconstructing its concept into resource. Also pointing out the use of communal spaces for the benefit of the community. We will like to empower participants to be active in their communities. The art workshops are beneficial for trans-generational bonding, mental health, motor skills and cognitive development in younger participants. Infusing the creative act with social contemporary issues at stake in the neighborhood and the larger world of many residents, creates empathy, conviviality and a sense of agency to make a difference.


    Overview: The Summer Program will be composed of a two-week intensive open studio workshop accessible to the public; Weekdays 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm from July 11th – 29th. There will be five directed workshops for Summer Camps or School groups; Dates are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm from July 16th – 29th. Contact info@loisaida.org to schedule your group visit.

    Pedagogical benefits: Participants will have a political approach to the history of LES by active participation. This will be directed with a pedagogical perspective into recreating what important people did for the neighborhood. This will create awareness into reusing waste and reconstructing its concept into resource. Also pointing out the use of communal spaces for the benefit of the community. We will like to empower the people to be active in their communities. The art workshops are beneficial for the mental health, motor skills and development of the participants. Using creativity with political consciousness to create more initiative and active people in the community.


    Loisaida’s First Summer Program is made in collaboration with La Plaza Cultural & the Museum of Urban Reclaimed Space

Meet and Greet – Johnny Colón

Loisaida Inc. presents:

The Johnny Colón School of Music @ Loisaida Inc. Center


Eventbrite - Johnny Colon School of Music at Loisaida


Music theory lessons for the younger set by the boogaloo music legend Johnny Colon. Divided into three groups ages; 8-10, 11-14 & 15-18. Bilingual friendly (Spanish, English)


Latin music legend and renown music teacher Johnny Colón revives the tradition of his famous uptown music school, now downtown at the Loisaida Center. An dynamic hands-on weekly series of ongoing music classes focused on Latin rhythms and sounds directly under the instruction of vocalist, multi-instrumenatlist, arranger and musical director Johnny Colón.

About Johnny Colón

Johnny Colón, was born in New York City to parents of Puerto Rican heritage. He is the director of the Johnny Colon Orchestra, founder of the legendary East Harlem Music School and widely recognized as a major and legendary contributor to the popular boogaloo sound of the 1960s. 

Colón, a versatile vocalist, multi-instrumenatlist, arranger and musical director, became one of Latin music’s leading impresarios at the forefront of the new “Latin Boogaloo” sound when he formed the first Johnny Colon Orchestra in the mid 1960’s. He first found success in the world of salsa with his 1966 debut album”Boogaloo Blues” in 1966, which became a classic, selling over 3,000,000 copies worldwide, and which continues to be an anthem for this period on Latin music history. Colón’s hit “Boogaloo Blues” came out during a time of transition in the Latin music scene of New York years before there was such a thing as “salsa,” when the mambo craze was over and Puerto Ricans were coming of age in the city and the “Nuyorican” culture was emerging. As many of their peers went off to fight in Vietnam, some of New York’s younger Puerto Ricans were losing interest in Latin music and beginning to identify more with R&B hits in English than with the music of their roots. Johnny recorded several other notable tunes over the years, releasing five albums over the period 1967-72.

In 1968, with public funding and much of his own money, Colón founded the East Harlem Music School and offered free lessons to the community. His impact as a music instructor for more than three decades may be even greater than the effect of his recordings. Students like the singer Tito Nieves, percussionists Jimmy Delgado and Robin Loeb, bass player Rubén Rodríguez, and singer Marc Anthony would all go on to become stars in salsa and contemporary Latin music. By the mid-1990s, Colón was struggling to secure funding to maintain the school open. In 2004, unable to keep a permanent space for his school, Colón was given the opportunity to bring his brand of music education to New York City public schools. Today, as well as teaching in schools around the city, Colón has begun giving music classes to patients at drug treatment centers. He’s found a new location for his school at The Loisaida Inc. Center.

– Meet and Greet on Saturday, March 19 at Loisaida Inc. 710 East Ninth Street, New York, NY 10009

Stay tuned!