Ruth E. Hernández Beltrán
New York, Nov. 28. The merengue group La Gran Manzana, which with its name pays homage to New York, where it was born, will keep the promise made to its followers with a concert in this city to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its foundation and the start of the Christmas holidays .
The original members of the band, which only meets occasionally for a presentation, will gather on December 3 at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx for the “El parrandón” concert, where the tour of its four decades will begin.
The group, founded by Dominicans Henry Hierro and Víctor Roque and which was praised by Mayor Eric Adams last August, will share the stage with the merengue band D’Ahora and salsa singer José Alberto “El canario” in which the public this season’s holiday music will also be heard.
“It gives me a lot of emotion when we get together to do some activity because there is a lot of nostalgia and also in the public that has followed us and made us popular in New York,” singer, bassist, pianist and composer Henry Hierro told EFE.
He assured that it will be a meeting where “people will shout with emotion because we have so much to offer that night, since we haven’t seen each other for a long time”.
He indicated that they will host Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Ramón Rodríguez, 75, who has composed songs for the most important salsa performers. The Classical Ensemble is an exponent par excellence of his compositions, recalled Hierro.
He also indicated that in “El parrandón” they will interpret the songs that the public has turned into hits starting from the early 80s until today.
“It will be a whole musical tour for the public. It will be a beautiful evening,” assured Hierro.
In 1983, the group recorded their first record production “Henry, Víctor y La Gran Manzana”, but it was only with the release of their second album in 1984 when they achieved their first hits in all radio charts such as “Mentirosa”, “Mole Mole” and “White Rose”.
In 1985, they managed to catapult themselves as one of the most successful orchestras in the genre with the premiere of the album “El poder de New York” which included “Don’t follow me more”, “I Just Called” or “Por tu querer “.
“El parrandón”, a name that comes from the tradition of celebrating with friends and family during the Christmas season, will include Christmas themes popularized by the merenguero Johnny Ventura (1940-2021), “who left us a legacy” as well as compositions from the musician Félix del Rosario (1934-2012), both Dominicans.
After this concert, they will perform in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the city of Miami and Central and South America in 2023.
They will also welcome the new year by re-recording hits “adapted to the current era”, an album that should be ready by March, which will feature merengue stars such as Puerto Ricans Olga Tañón and Elvis Crespo, but also urban artists who, according to Hierro, they asked to participate in the album.
For his part, José Alberto “El canario” told EFE that he will sing with his orchestra his salsa hits that the public expects, which he has made his own, “because they can’t miss them”, as well as some Christmas themes.
“El canario”, who is promoting his new single “Eso y más”, has ensured that “El parrandón” will be a great party that will please both the musicians and the public.
The artist closes the year with a calendar full of presentations, which will continue next year with a tour that includes Europe between May and July and an album of classic boleros which she gives the finishing touches, which she performs in duet with various artists, including the recently deceased Pablo Milanés. EFE extension