Posted by: gmontealegre | September 19, 2013

Willie Colon visits El Diario la Prensa

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Willie Colon interview at El Diario la Prensa 09/16/13

Linden, NJ  (Sept 17, 2013) –  El Diario la Prensa’s headquarters in Brooklyn was buzzing as Latin Music icon Willie Colon made his way to the conference room where a television crew waited to interview him.

His visit was to talk about his connection to El Diario la Prensa, the longest published Spanish-Language newspaper celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.

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(l-r) Chegui Torres, Wilie Colon, Dennis Rivera at a press conference to endorse David Dinkins for Mayor of NYC

Willie,” as most people call him, said he began reading El Diario la Prensa to his grandmother when he was a child.

“She would ask me to read the newspaper to her every day and that’s how I learned to read and write Spanish,” Colon said.

“I felt so proud to be able to read and speak Spanish to her,”  he said.

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Erica Gonzalez, Editor-in-Chief of El Diario la Prensa and staff welcome Willie Colon

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Gerardo Romo, El Diario la Prensa Videographer covers the interview and also records a greeting from Willie Colon on the 100th Anniversary of the newspaper.

At the same time his grandmother would take the time to talk to him and to tell him to be proud of who he was and never to forget he was Puerto Rican.

“That helped me form my identity as a Latino at a time when Latinos were not accepted,” he said.

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Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe great contributors in the Fania All Stars

And thanks to her inspiration he began to sing in Spanish –first so she could understand him –and later because meeting the great musicians of his time such Hector Lavoe,  Ruben Blades, Ray Barreto, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Larry Harlowe gave him the platform he needed to expand his art as a trombonist.

At age 17 he was signed by the Fania All Stars band that went on to create Salsa.

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Willie Colon began as a trumpetist and later switched to trombone

Willie Colón, became a musician and a politician.

His interview went well and as he left the TV crew, an El Diario reporter asked the one question they all wanted to know.

How did he feel about his friend Bill Thompson who had just conceded to Bill De Blasio in the race of New York City Mayor.

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Bill Thompson, candidate to NYC Mayor 2013

Colon said, “Thompson worked very hard in this campaign.  He had to be sure he had exhausted every opportunity before conceeding.”

He said now that the elections are over he will concentrate on another CD he will be releasing soon.

El Diario la Prensa is also in conversations with Willie Colon  to have him play at the Grand Centennial Celebration at the also 100 year-old Grand Central Station in New York City, Oct 12.

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