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Miguel Angel Álvarez, known as “El Men,” (August 25, 1936 – January 16, 2011) was a Puerto Rican journalist, radio show host, actor, comedian, author, and poet. He was born in San Juan Puerto Rico and raised in the municipality of Bayamon, where he received his primary and secondary education. Álvarez started as a radio show host for WENA. On October 3, 1950, he was among a group of reporters who...
In a recent Taller Boricua exhibition curated by Nitza Tufiño entitled Women of Puerto Rico: Boricua Essence 1920-1950 , Puerto Rico-born, New York-based artist Emma Gonzalez explores the collective unconscious through a Puerto Rican lens, blending the Jungian theory of female archetypes with universal symbols of Puerto Rican history and culture. But beyond the imagery such as the sweet, soothing...
The following article is part of the PR Project and was originally published on jazzdelapena.com It is reprinted here with permission. Multi-instrumentalist, composer Norberto Osvaldo Morales (Noro) was born in the Puerto de Tierra section of San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 4th, 1911. Initially, he was trained as a trombonist however he is remembered as an exceptional pianist and bandleader...
Last month, Google introduced the inaugural class of their Podcast Creator program, a collaboration with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX). The program aims “ to increase the diversity of voices in the industry globally and lower barriers to podcasting .” Among the six podcasts selected was Timestorm , an audio fiction series that follows Alexa and Beni, 12-year-old Puerto Rican twin siblings from...
Manuel Tizol Marquez (1876-1940) is a significant figure in Puerto Rican history. Among his many accomplishments, he founded the Concert Society of San Juan (1913), the Harmonic Club of San Juan (1923) and the first Symphony Orchestra (1926). In the popular realm, Tizol led a dance orchestra, recorded for Columbia records (1910) and directed the Municipal Band of San Juan, which spawned...
*The following article is part of the PR Project and was originally published on jazzdelapena.com It is reprinted here with permission. Rogelio Ramirez (also known as “Roger” or “Ram”) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 10, 1913. He and his parents—Mariana Abraham and Luis Olmo— arrived in New York on the steamship SS Ponce and lived in the San Juan Hill section of Manhattan (where Lincoln...
*The following article is part of the PR Project and was originally published on jazzdelapena.com It is reprinted here with permission. Among the first Boricuas to receive recognition in early jazz was Rafael Escudero. He was born in 1891 and well known in American jazz circles. Today Escudero is mostly forgotten. But this native of Manatí, Puerto Rico was an outstanding tubist and bassist and a...
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the arts have played an outsized role in everything from fundraising to helping deal with the trauma created by the storm. Film is just one among many creative mediums, but often, it can be the most effective in reaching audiences. This year, the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival (IPRFF) will present a total of 52 films, nine of which deal with...
Jerry González, a giant of Puerto Rican, Cuban, Afro-Cuban jazz, and jazz music is no more. He was born in Manhattan on June 5th, 1949, the son of Puerto Rican parents. He grew up in the Bronx and left us on October 1st, 2018, the victim of smoke inhalation leading to cardiac arrest as a fire engulfed the first floor of the building in the neighborhood of Lavapiés, Madrid where he lived. His...
On Thursday, May 3rd, Centro hosted the premiere screening of its latest film, AmeRícan Poet: Tato Laviera (2018), which took place inside a packed auditorium on the second floor of Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem. The one-hour documentary explores the life and legacy of Jesus Abraham ‘Tato’ Laviera , one of the leading figures of the Nuyorican movement , who...