Thursday, March 19, 2015

El Corazón del Bolero

by Jenni Morin

José Rubén De León, musician, performer and founder of Teatro Farolito, breaths new life into bolero music with El Corazón del Bolero performed at The Classic Theatre one weekend only beginning March 20 with limited tickets remaining.

José Rubén De León, Aaron Ellington Prado and George Prado
 in concert at The Classic performing bolero music.
Billed as a tribute to male and female bolero composers from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico which offers solace, company and warmth to the heart, El Corazón del Bolero promises to touch on all aspects of amore. As Columbian writer Gabriel García Marquez has remarked, it is difficult to put all that bolero expresses into words. De León says this particular collection of romantic songs touches on pledges of eternal love, bitter disappointment and unrequited love through alluring melodies, intoxicating lyrics and soulful laments.

The program, written and performed by De León, accompanied by Aaron Ellington Prado on piano and George Prado on bass, pays homage to José Pepe Sánchez, the first Cuban bolero musician who drew from Italian opera and French-Haitian music. He is regarded as the Father of the Cuban bolero, originating the genre in Santiago do Cuba with “Tristezas” in the late 19th century. Next, bolero travels through the Caribbean and Latin America. In the late 1920s, Nilo Menéndez and Adolofo Utrera compose “Aquellos ojos verdes” and bring bolero to an international audience with Spanish and English versions hitting the charts. As North American jazz and musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong became popular, arrangers and guitar accompanists were instrumental in the Cuban movement to focus bolero on feeling the music. Bolero today still remains a true expression of love and passion with lulling ballads infused with energetic rhythms.

This journey through the origins and evolution of bolero features an incredibly talented musician and composer in his own right. José Rubén De León will transport audiences to Cuba and back again through beautiful melodies and amorous lyrics.

El Corazón del Bolero plays at The Classic Theatre Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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