Puerto Rican percussionist and salsa dancer Roberto Roena died in Puerto Rico on Thursday, September 23, at the age of 81. The death of Roberto Roena, a percussionist, conductor and dancer of Salsa music, was announced by people around him on social networks. It is said that he died of a heart attack. Roena was born on January 16, 1940 in Mayaguez, western Puerto Rico, and began her dance career.
At the age of 16, he joined the orchestra of Rafael Cortijo Y su Combo and toured in New York. Before joining the orchestra as a Bongo performer, Roberto Roena worked as a dancer in the troupe for several months. Despite this, he continued to regulate the choreography and danced with the legendary Salceros, Ismail Rivera and Sami Ayala.
Roena then joined the big band Fania All-Star in the Latin music industry, and then El Gran Combo in Puerto Rico, where he found former colleagues of Cortijo Y su Combo, such as Rafael Ithier, Eddie “La bala Pérez and Martín Quinones, etc.” .
In 1967, Roberto Roena decided to form a new band Los Megatones, but his biggest project was born 2 years later, creating the Sound of Apollo named after NASA’s spacecraft, allowing his music to be heard on the moon . This concept combines salsa, rock and bossa nova in a unique era. Only two weeks after its establishment, the band entered the studio and recorded their first work “Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound” under the Fania brand. We owe him iconic titles such as Traición, Chotorro, Fea, Marejada Feliz, Cuicui, El Progreso, Que Se Sepa or El Pueblo Pide Que Toque:
Our specialist Roberto will come back to the phenomenal contribution of Roberto Roena to the world of salsa in the program Domingo Salseros, Sunday September 26 at 8 p.m.