Every year, by the end of August, the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, sponsors a music concert to welcome students to the new study year. The public consists of students, but you will always spot faculty and people from the community.
La Sonora Ponceña was playing this year (or shall I say “is here playing right now” because I am writing this note at the UPR as I listen to the music). La Sonora is one of those classic salsa bands whose succes has lasted during its sixty years of its existence. The band’s musical director is Papo Lucca, one of the most prestigious piano players in salsa. He wrote many compositons for Fania All Stars. Actually, he is the piano player in “Sin tu Cariño” and “Juan Pachanga”, both sung by Rubén Blades.
Young salsa dancers include Quique Lucca: A 100-year youngster
One of the trademarks of la Sonora Ponceña is a 100-year youngster called Quique Lucca (Papo’s dad) whom is always in tour with the band, dancing next to his son’s piano. This video shows him dancing in a concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vbaSHQBjjY.
Nena, ¿tu bailas?
What happens when you mix together La Sonora Ponceña and students from the University of Puerto Rico is a sea of cute, young salsa dancers that take over the place. As I sit here, a student came to a girl and asked “nena, ¿tu bailas?” They started to dance and while watching them I wondered what was I doing in my first 18 years that I didn’t find the time to learn to dance like that. Nene and Nena just finished their spectacular dance and Nene said “It was a pleasure” and disappeared through the crowd.
So, the next time you are in Puerto Rico around this time of the year, come near the tower of UPR, Rio Piedras Campus, along the Ponce de León Avenue, intersection with Jaime Benitez Avenue, and if you feel brave, ask Nene or Nena to dance with you.
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