Sauce Feast at the Bithorn | shows

A balance between youth and veteran marked the thirty-eighth edition of the National Zalsa Day (DNZ), which after two years of pandemic recess, made the Hiram Bithorn stadium vibrate again, in San Juan.

With 16 years and one of artistic career, Luis Vazquez conquered the stage, where they appeared early The Mulenze and the Apollo Soundand later rose Willie Rosario Y bobby valentinewho at 98 and 81 years old, respectively, made the thousands of attendees sweat who painted the venue with the colors of the Puerto Rican flag.

Tribe of Abrante

The Abrante Tribe brought their fusion of bomba and plena.>Josian E. Bruno Gómez / EL VOCERO

Vázquez, the youngest salsero to perform at the DNZ, was recognized for the production inspiring new generations to carry on the legacy of veterans and keep the music festival alive.

“I receive this by learning from all the salseros. I am on this stage for everything they have left us, what I have learned during this little year, nothing more, that I have been in my career. I feel grateful that they have already recognized me at this great festival,” said Vázquez.

In an aside with the press, the interpreter said he respects the opinion of those who have criticized his recognition and assured that the announcement of the tribute also took him by surprise.


The Hiram Bithorn Stadium became a huge dance floor.>Josian E. Bruno Gómez / EL VOCERO

Marcos Rodríguez, director of programming for Zeta 93 FM, clarified that “this is not recognition of his career because, obviously, he has no career, this is an inspirational award. This is support for the new generation of salsa.”

Vázquez presented the songs Your fan, You have me bad and Danger, which come from his first production Comienzos, and sang a ‘medley’ with the “covers” La cura, by Frankie Ruiz; What’s wrong, by Jerry Rivera; Tell her, by Víctor Manuelle; I don’t know tomorrow, by Luis Enrique; and I will always be, by Tito Rojas.

On the other hand, the Apollo Sound performed for the first time at the DNZ without its leader, percussionist Roberto Roena (1940-2021). Her daughter, Brenda Roena, was during the presentation, close to those who were the extended family of her father.

they are divas

Son Divas was in charge of opening the day.>Josian E. Bruno Gómez / EL VOCERO

The members of the orchestra said that they missed Roena’s presence on stage and stressed that the best way to honor the musician is to continue with his legacy.

“There’s Apollo for a while,” said Manolito Rodríguez, percussionist and director of the group.

“We recognize that Roberto, although he is not physically with us, is in spirit and accompanies us, not only him, but also the trajectory of being 13 years with the teacher by the hand… Emotions invade (on stage), but that is also part of our grieving process,” said vocalist Andrés Waldemar.

Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentín paid tribute to singer Johnny Vázquez, who died in May. >Josian E. Bruno Gómez / THE SPOKESPERSON

On its return to the Bithorn, the DNZ exhibited a two-stage set-up, which allowed the music to be uninterrupted by changing orchestras. This type of assembly that has not been used in the event since 1992.

The female group They are Divas also debuted this Sunday, and opened the day for the salseros who arrived early at the venue and enjoyed the more than 18 exponents that made up the billboard. The orchestra gave representation to women in this event, historically dominated by male exponents.

“We are going to show the world and all of Latin America that Puerto Rico continues to be the country with the most salsa exports in the history of this genre, and we want to thank you Latin America for accepting our genre,” he commented. Victor Manuelle in the middle of his performance.

Victor Manuelle

Víctor Manuelle assured that Puerto Rico continues to be the country with the most salsa exports in the history of this genre. >Josian E. Bruno Gómez / THE SPOKESPERSON

During the salsa day, which closed with the “bestial sound” of Richie Ray and Bobby CruzThey also went on stage Charlie Cruz, The Tribe of Abrante, Michael Stuart, La Sonora Ponceña and Andy Montañez.

Together with vocalist Joe Ayala, Valentín paid tribute on stage to salsero Johnny Vázquez, who died in May, and who for more than 40 years was one of the most popular voices with his orchestra.

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