Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents ‘Merengue Con Amor 2’

Photo courtesy Lehman Center

The Bronx’s Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present “Merengue Con Amor 2” next month.

The concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, unites the most memorable voices in merengue, promising a night of beloved romantic hits, perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day. Featuring Alex Bueno, Monchy Capricho, Bonny and Richie Cepeda, Carlos David, Pablo Martinez and Peter Cruz, “Merengue Con Amor 2” blends the lively melodies and passionate tempos of the vibrant genre of today’s merengue with classic hits from the ’80s and ’90s.

Alex Bueno, known as one of the best voices of Dominican artists, was born in San José De Las Matas, Dominican Republic. His career began as a participant in his country’s local music competition, “The Voice Festival,” where his exceptional talent led to his integration into the famous Dominican merengue artist Fernando Villalona’s orchestra. In 1982, he then decided to launch his own group, “La Orquesta Liberación,” which gave birth to popular songs such as “Querida,” “Me va, me va,” and “El Hijo de Yemaya.” Since then, he has embarked on a successful solo career, releasing his international record-breaking album “Ternuras” in 1992 and other hits such as “Amores que Matan” and “Me Equivoqué.”

Monchy Capricho, a popular idol of the ’80s and ’90s, was born in the Dominican Republic. He first made a name for himself as a musician when he joined the popular boy band “Mermelada.” At the end of the decade, Capricho went on to form his own merengue orchestra, which produced several beloved tracks, including “Adolescente,” “Chiquilla Malcriada,” and “Our Love.” Following a hiatus, the popular artist marked his return to music in 2010 when he hosted a concert commemorating his 23-year musical career. He has then released songs like “Mátala” and “Porque me Gustas a Morir,” which have had great success among the public.

Bonny Cepeda is a Dominican merengue artist, band leader, and well-known producer. Throughout his career, he was a part of several noteworthy merengue bands, notably “The Bonny Cepeda Orchestra” and “Los Hijos del Rey,” where he performed as a master pianist before transitioning to their musical director. As a producer, he has composed an impressive body of work for himself and other artists, including a collection of 30 full-length albums and 200 songs, showcasing his excellence in musical creation. In 1986, Cepeda was honored with a Grammy Award for Top Tropical Latin Performance for his album, “Noche de Discotheque,” and a Soberano Merit Award in 2014, recognizing his highly successful artistic career that had spanned over three decades.

Richie Cepeda is a Dominican musician known as part of the golden catalog of great merengue singers. His formal entry into the music world was marked by his integration into Bonny Cepeda’s popular orchestra “La Gran Orquesta.” In 1997, his debut album, “Llénate de Gozo,” earned the honored title of Tropical Record of the Year. In his solo career, Cepeda has achieved success in production, composing recordings for artists such as Giovanni Ríos, Rodríguez María, David, and Abraham.

Carlos David, singer and songwriter, was born in La Mata de Cotuí, Dominican Republic. He began his musical career in the Bonny Cepeda Orchestra, where he was a singer, and songwriter. Later on, he formed part of the Dioni Fernández orchestra and then co-leader of the Orquesta Liberación. From there, he went on and formed his own orchestra with successes such as: “Solo Importas Tu,” “Esa Mujer” and many more.

Peter Cruz, known for his unique style of merengue, was born in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. As one of the primary figures in the genre, Cruz dominated the international music scene in the 1980s, establishing himself as a performer of numerous iconic merengue hits. In his early career, he sang with “El Queridísimo” and “Cheché Abreu y Sus Colosos.” He later joined Wilfrido Vargas’ Orchestra, where he spent three years touring Latin America, further nurturing his passion for music. He is renowned for recording memorable hits such as “Cometa blanca” and “Tú mujer,” collaborating alongside Ramón Orlando on these memorable tracks.

Pablo Martinez, considered one of the shining stars within the vibrant merengue music scene, was born in the Dominican Republic. Throughout his career, he was in many notable merengue bands, the most popular being the Dioni Fernandez Orchestra and La Gran Manzana. His voice can be found on hits such as “No Se Murió El Amor,” “Loco Loco,” “Se Muere,” and “Nuestro Inmenso Amor”.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for MERENGUE CON AMOR 2 on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at 8pm ($100, $85, $65, $40, $35) can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at https://www.lehmancenter.org/events/merengue-2. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.

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