Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of Salsa!

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Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of Salsa!

Salsa music and dance has long been the passion that burns within many souls. Born Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez, September 30, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of Salsa! Hector came from a musically talented family including singers and performers.

Hector began his musical education early in life during his attendance at the Juan Morel Campos Public School of Music where he learned to play the saxophone. At the young age of 14. Hector dropped out of school to join a 10 piece band and moved permanently to New York City, where he died, in poverty, of AIDS, on June 29, 1993.

In 1967 Hector met Willie Colón, and Pacheco, co-owner of Fania Records and its recording musical director, arranged for Lavoe to record with Willie Colón on his first album El Malo. Willie never officially asked Lavoe to join his band, but they started that Saturday performing together at El Tropicoro Club.

As with many of the great performers of his time, Hector struggled with a narcotics addiction that had him showing up late and missing appointments all together and Willie eventually fired him. Willie stood beside him throughout it though and tried to help Hector get the help he needed to overcome the addiction.

Image of Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of   Salsa!

Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of Salsa!

When Willie Colón departed the band in 1973,. Lavoe was given the option to keep the band together, which he did and they traveled all around the world along with the Fania All-Stars. During his travels, Héctor met a man named Shakti. Shatki in Honolulu, Hawaii whom became his benefactor providing him with spiritual and metaphysical well-being. Shakti. Shatki was a very powerful yogi in disguise, who helped Hector open his spiritual vision. Héctor established himself as a successful singer within a relatively short time and was recognized as a legend in his own time. With a new found spirituality, Hector eventually reconciled with his father, whom he had been estranged from since he left Puerto Rico at age 14.

Despite his success, Héctor’s life was plagued by tragic events, emotional turmoil and pain. Lavoe’s spirit and legacy still lives on through film biopics and those that study Salsa dance. He is one of the few Latin artists to have his life filmed. Hector Lavoe – was the very definition of Salsa!

Listen to Hector Lavoe Salsa hits


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