July 20, 2003 |
Mourners danced and music filled the air as about 100,000 fans, who had waited hours in the hot South Florida sunshine Saturday, paid homage to salsa legend Celia Cruz. "She was Cuba's gift to the world," said Blanca Casa, who left the island in 1970. "She is the Cuban symbol, like the flag. I'm so proud of her." Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa" who recorded more than 70 albums, died Wednesday at age 77 of a brain tumor.
July 18, 2003 |
Celia Cruz sent me a Christmas card in 1985. It was one of those that had a photograph on the front, the singer pictured in a festive red dress along with her dapper husband, musician Pedro Knight, his arm around her shoulder. Celia, as everybody knew her, also took the time to send me a couple of postcards while on the road, from Helsinki and Holland. She addressed them to "Amigo Agustin," always on behalf of her and her beloved Pedro.
October 24, 2004 |
More than a year after the death of Cuban singer Celia Cruz, the public's fascination with her lives on. Almost weekly, it seems, we get a new book, DVD documentary or CD compilation summoning up the woman whose career spanned more than half a century. It's no cliche to say Cruz was one of a kind. This grande dame was the only female vocalist to achieve broad acceptance and sustained success in the male-dominated world of Afro-Caribbean music.
October 14, 1993 |
By the time they enter their fifth decade of stardom, most pop performers are winding down--doing the old favorites on stage and recycling the long successful sound on record. The amount of new ideas or passion is normally minimal. Yet Celia Cruz--the undisputed "Queen of Salsa" for as long as anyone can remember--seems, after a three-year lull, to be picking up the pace again.
August 22, 2003 |
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new high school named in memory of "Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz. The DeWitt Clinton High School-Lehman College Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music is scheduled to open in September. The 90 students enrolled this year will take academic classes at DeWitt and their music classes at Lehman College, where the music school will be located. The Cuban-born Cruz died last month from a brain tumor at 77.
October 31, 2004
I'd like to thank Agustin Gurza for his great article on Celia Cruz ("A Big Crown to Fill," Oct. 24). Celia was truly one of a kind and quoting my old friend Tito Puente, "Celia is just as much a musician as any of the guys in the band." Another one of my favorite female singers is Bobi Cespedes of Conjunto Cespedes fame. Her rendition of Lagrimas Negras from the CD "Una Sola Casa" is breathtaking. Bobi Cespedes is a wonderful singer and performer with mucho soul. Another Cuban import.
January 14, 1989
The late Andy Kaufman's tribute/parody should have buried the others-as-Elvis shtick forever, so the Orange County Performing Arts Center's (coming) "Elvis: A Musical Celebration," featuring three actor versions of the King, is an unnecessary and puzzling presentation. By digging up the bloated corpse of Elvis while ignoring the vital contributions of living contemporary musicians, the "Arts Center" reveals itself to be nothing but cold concrete anchored in mud. Only an inventive, diverse booking policy recognizing fine talents such as Celia Cruz, John Lee Hooker, Public Enemy, Yellowman, 3 Mustaphas 3, Eddie Palmieri, Kassav, B-H Surfers, Dwight Yoakam, Black Stalin, Flaco Jimenez, Jane's Addiction, Alpha Blondie, Pancho Sanchez, and Beausoleil--to name a few--will bring much-needed credibility (and patrons)
August 10, 2007 |
NEW YORK -- Playing the Queen of Salsa on stage is a dream come true for Xiomara Laugart, the star of the musical "Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz." But the singer doesn't want to mislead the audience. "I am not Celia. I don't sing like Celia," said Laugart, a former member of funk band Yerba Buena, who is making her stage debut in the off-Broadway production. Like Cruz, Laugart is Cuban and a singer. But Cruz "is the Queen of Salsa. I am the queen of my house," Laugart said. "Imagine!
July 22, 2003 |
A horse-drawn carriage draped in Celia Cruz's favorite color -- purple -- will carry the Queen of Salsa down Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral today, leaving the funeral home where tens of thousands of fans said goodbye Monday. The city will then honor the Havana-born singer the same way she moved the world: with music. Patti LaBelle will sing "Ave Maria." Salsa singer Victor Manuelle will also perform.