Levantar a la Gente.

In honor of this year’s National Puerto Rican Day I decided to feature the festive sounds of Puerto Rico’s own salsa sensation Héctor Lavoe.

Originally born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Héctor came to New York City at the impressionable age of 17 and was recruited into a band, while attending their rehearsal, during the first week of his arrival. “When he arrived they were rehearsing the romantic bolero Tus Ojos. The lead vocalist was singing off key, and as a gesture of goodwill, Lavoe showed the vocalist how it was supposed to sound. Following this event, the group offered him the spot of lead vocalist, which he subsequently accepted.”

After collaborating with a number of other bands he eventually met South Bronx musician Willie Colón. Lavoe debuted his solo album, La Voz, in 1975 and scored a major hit with “Mi Gente”.

i.

Mi Gente

Mi gente ¡Ustedes!
lo más grande de este mundo
siempre me hacen sentir
un orgullo profundo.

Los llamé ¡vengan conmigo!
no me preguntaron dónde
orgullo tengo de ustedes
mi gente siempre responde.

Vinieron todos para oirme guarachar;
pero como soy de ustedes
yo los invitaré a cantar,
conmigo sí van a bailar
yo los invitaré
a gozar
conmigo sí…

Que cante mi gente…

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