Another one of the legends of salsa that goes away. The Puerto Rican Raphy Leavitt, musician, composer and founder of La Selecta, died at dawn on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at age 66 after medical complications following surgery. It leaves us a great musical legacy that will continue playing forever at Mambo-inn Radio.

Rafael Ángel Leavitt Rey, better known as Raphy Leavitt, is one of the most important musicians currently in Caribbean music. His orchestra La Selecta is recognized as one of the most deeply rooted and popular orchestral institutions in Puerto Rico and the world. He has celebrated his 40th birthday with his musical proposal of great social and festive content. Here we present in a written way the interview we made in our Mambo-inn Radio , enjoy it … !!!!

Teacher Raphy Leavitt tell us where you were born and how was your entry into the popular music of the Caribbean?

I was born on September 17, 1948 in Puerta de Tierra, a neighborhood that lies at the entrance to Old San Juan and whose name identifies the gate by land that protected the Capital City from the armies of the different nations that wanted to conquer Puerto Rico. I started commercially in popular music in Combo Los Rey, a sextet of cousins-brothers playing the accordion piano. In 1966 I formed my own musical group ‘Los Señoriales’ which I later called ‘La Banda Latina’. During this stage, I interpreted with these groups the successes that other musical groups popularized.

How and when is your La Selecta orchestra born?

I formed the La Selecta Orchestra in 1970 breaking with that pattern of interpreting successes of other groups. With La Selecta, I began a new stage in my musical career: the stage of creation. For the 70s, there were those who criticized the ‘salsa’ as scandalous, vulgar and meaningless music that did not contribute anything to the culture. It was the right moment to silence those destructive comments … it was time to create a different orchestra in sound and style and focused on demonstrating that village music can be enriched with songs that, in addition to entertaining, serve the purpose of carrying messages of conscience Social. La Selecta is selected precisely because of the content of the songs it plays.

For more information about La Selecta Orchestra. Click Here.

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