Puerto Rico dances salsa again on its national day after pandemic break

San Juan, PR.

Puerto Rico vibrated again this Sunday to the sound of tropical rhythms after the break caused by the pandemic on its National Salsa Day, which was full of emotions and tributes and was attended by some 20,000 people.

With the colors of the Puerto Rican flag very present on shirts, hats and other accessories, the 38th edition of the most important salsa festival on the island and of great relevance in the Caribbean brought together outstanding artists and orchestras such as La Sonora Ponceña, Willie Rosario and Victor Manuelle.

The event, held at the Hiram Bithorn stadium in San Juan, began with the presentation of the Son Divas orchestra, the first group made up only of women to perform at this event.

Next, the La Mulenze orchestra put the thousands of “cocolos” to dance, a term by which the followers of the Caribbean genre are known, who came from countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic to enjoy of the evening


Apollo Sound lit up one of the two stages that the organization set up, interpreting some of its most famous songs such as “Mi Desengaño,” which brought tears to the singer Andrés Waldemar Vomar as he recalled the founder of the orchestra: the recently deceased and legendary Puerto Rican musician Roberto Roena.

Likewise, the group invited its former singers Tito Cruz and Sammy “El Rolo” González to perform “I’m with the poor” and “Cui Cui”, moving the audience.

“Certainly emotions invade, right? However, we recognize that although Roberto is not with us physically, he is in spirit and accompanies us,” Vomar said at a press conference after the presentation.

After the Apollo Sound performance, it was the turn of Charlie Cruz’s orchestra, followed by La Tribu de Abrante, which changed the sound of salsa for that of the native bomba genre.


The event was called “El Desquite” by the organizers, alluding to the fact that the covid-19 pandemic prevented the 2021 edition from being held.

Daniel Valentín, a 51-year-old “salsero de la mata” (faithful follower), told Efe that since he learned that the station Z93 would organize the event again, he did not hesitate to attend.

“I already wanted to come, I already wanted to be here,” admitted Valentín, who is attending this date with salsa for the tenth time and who was especially excited to listen to Apollo Sound.

Accompanied by his wife and a bell, to follow the key to the songs they played live, the man also stressed that “Rolo” González is “the one who makes everyone enjoy” on stage.

“When I listen to salsa, my bad moods go away, my bad feelings go away and I get positive,” he assured.


The organization of the National Salsa Day, the local radio station Z93, paid tribute to the Puerto Rican singer Luis Vázquez, only 16 years old and who received the Generation of the Future Award.

Vázquez, the youngest singer to participate in the event, took advantage of his presentation to perform a mixture of songs from some of the most important salsa artists, such as Frankie Ruiz’s “La Cura”, “What’s wrong?” by Jerry Rivera and “I don’t know tomorrow” by Luis Enrique.

Later, Puerto Rican Michael Stuart performed several songs by fellow Puerto Rican artist Ángel Canales, such as “Perico Macoña”, “Bombacaramboma” and “Lejos de ti”.

The round of presentations was continued by the orchestra led by Bobby Valentín, known as “The King of the Bass” of salsa, with songs like “I will sing with an orchestra” and “Son son charari”.

The other artists and groups that plan to perform on this long festive day are Víctor Manuelle, Willie Rosario, La Sonora Ponceña, Andy Montañez and Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz.

The orchestras led by Willie Rosario, Bobby Valentín and Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz will close the 38th edition of National Salsa Day with “Mi Bandera”, a song dedicated to the Puerto Rican flag.