Francisco Molina Reyes II

‘Tato’ Laviera Honored

Nancy Mercado @ Jesus 'Tato' Laviera Way ceremonyPHOTO: Poet Nancy Mercado celebrates the works of Nuyorican poet, playwright, author and activist Tato Laviera


(October 28, 2017)
In celebration of iconic Nuyorican poet, playwright, author and activist Tato Laviera, 123rd Street & 2nd Avenue was renamed Jesus ‘Tato’ Laviera Way. The Santurce transplant, who grew up in the area of New York City known as Loisaida, became a pioneering voice in the Nuyorican Movement. Laviera died from diabetes complications on November 1, 2013.

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Tito Nieves Comes Back Home

Photo: Singer Tito Nieves continues to represent the crème de la crème of NYC salseros @ Lehman Center for the Performing Arts


( October 21, 2017)
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts opened its arms to welcome back home salsa tenor Tito Nieves. The endearing singer, recognized world-wide as “El Pavarotti de la Salsa,” returned to The Bronx, having just finished a successful run with the hit off-Broadway show “I Like It Like That” (PRTT).

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Boogaloo Extravaganza @ Lehman Center

Boogaloo Extravaganza @ Lehman CenterPHOTO: “King of Boogaloo” Pete Rodriguez (left) liking it like that with a little help from his friends @ Lehman Center

(September 30, 2017) The pioneers of “Latin Boogaloo” returned to the stage at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Promoter Richie Bonilla presented “Boogaloo Extravaganza” headlining some of the prominent players from the era.

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“Festival de El Grito De Lares” 2017

"Festival de El Grito De Lares" Relief Effort

PHOTO: The names of towns and cities in Puerto Rico represented at the drive where marked onto the street of the festival venue.


(September 23, 2017)
“Festival de El Grito De Lares” 2017 transformed into a community relief effort for the people of Puerto Rico — one of many held throughout NYC. The drive organized by El Maestro, Inc., Healthy Minds In Healthy Bodies Youth Program and other local civic groups was held at the historic strip along Vyse Avenue between 167th Street & Home Street.

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Loíza Festival in El Barrio 2017 Finale

50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio ProcessionalA group hug between members of a Puerto Rican family, integral to a 50 year legacy in NYC, upon concluding their ritual dance at the Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio.


(July 30, 2017)
The Sunday processional capping the local observance of Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza proceeded smoothly through sublime weather conditions, starting at 106th Street & Lexington Avenue, down to Third Avenue, then up to 115th Street. They were led by this year’s Madrina Manuela Arciniegas, Founder & Director of Legacy Women, Padrino Juan Gutiérrez , Founder & Director of Los Pleneros de la 21, and Ms. Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, collecting cheers from onlookers as they marched by. The group moved to the plena beat, under a hot sun, undeterred, turning west to Lexington Avenue again, then back downtown towards 108th Street, finally making their way to the festival venue on 109th Street between Third & Second Avenue. Once there, family members of the late Matriarch Doña Aida Perez performed their ritual dance, then concluded with a group hug.

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Fiesta de Loíza in El Barrio Celebrates 50th

50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loiza En El BarrioThe new street sign honoring Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio co-founder Doña Aida Perez.


(July 28, 2017)
All weekend, The 50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio celebrated the African heritage of Puerto Ricans here, on the island, and across the Diaspora.

Marking this El Barrio tradition’s longevity in a city where gentrification continues to destroy such notions was a street-naming ceremony honoring the festival’s co-founder Doña Aida Perez. An unveiling of the new sign took place on ‘Day One’ (Friday) which is designated as ‘Children’s Day’. The corner at 105th Street & Lexington Avenue is now known as ‘Miss Aida Perez – Loiza Aldea Lane’. Her daughter, Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, shed joyful tears, as she gave thanks to those in her community and its leaders for honoring her mother in such a way. Doña Aida Perez passed in October of 2012.

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