New York City freestyle music was in the house at AJA Wiregrass with special guest George Lamond celebrating AJA’s first Latin night anniversary. Advance ticket purchasers were entitled to open bar from 8:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. Sol Caribe band entertained all dancers with two 45 minute sets ofsalsa, merengue and bachata. But the real fun came about when DJ Soltrix started playing old school music/freestyle as to warm up everyone before George Lamond set a foot on stage.
The Puerto Rican humble singer raised in the Bronx smiled amicably as he greeted everyone just before he belted out his first song. George Lamond performed a few freestyle hits among them ‘Bad of the heart’ and one of his salsa interpretations ‘Que te vas’ from his 1999 all Spanish salsa album ‘Entrega.’ After his performance, George Lamond didn’t hesitate to talk with his fans, take photos and give autographs. To my surprise he recognized me from a tweet I had sent him when he was on his way to Tampa. As was Tommy Pagan one of the last awaiting patiently to greet George Lamond and have a photo taken with him.
Apart from George Lamond’s solo appearances he is also busy with N.Y.R.E. – a live musical performance with the collaboration of also singer Luis Damon. It’s a vivid journey through time, which chronicles some of the major events that helped shape the urban landscape and social dynamics that created a cultural identity, a New Yorican identity.
Growing up Puerto Rican in New York City in the 1980’s and 1990’s has its own flavor, style and rhythm that create an experience like no other. Walking down its streets with its bodegas (Hispanic specialty stores), cuchi fritos, piragueros (shaved ice sellers) and school yards, blasting music out of a boom box while the sounds of sirens whiz by as children cool themselves off from a heat wave with an open fire hydrant underneath the rattling of the train tracks as the A train approaches the station, reminds you of an urban reality that is both distinct and uncommonly familiar. (continues after add)
N.Y.R.E. is an urban masterpiece that is at once hip, stylish, edgy and nostalgic, recreating an era through the medium of music. Both Luis Damon and George Lamond have captured the essence of this period. Their vocal abilities bring range, depth and dimension to such Salsa classics as, ‘La Rueda’, ‘Julia’, ‘Casi te Envidio’ and ‘Un Verano en Nueva York’ as well as more recent hits such as ‘Para Estar Contigo’, ‘Vivir la Vida’, ‘Te Vas’, ‘Jurare’, ‘A Puro Dolor’, ‘No Moriria’ and their latest release ‘El Nuyorican’.
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