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How Do You Say " WOW" in Spanish?

Tribute show honoring Rudy Regalado in the San Fernando Valley is totally off the chain, featuring artists from both coasts

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing editor
Published on LatinoLA: November 7, 2011


How Do You Say " WOW" in Spanish?


Man! ....when musical artists de Aztlan get together to honor one of their own, the sights, sounds, love,and rhythm in the air is almost indescribable.

So it was, last Thursday at the American Legion Hall in Reseda, California, that one of the most impressive joining of musical artists in years came together to celebrate and honor the life of the late great percussionist RUDY REGALADO.

Known for his work with legendary groups EL CHICANO and CHEVERE, and having performed with so many others... friends, family, and fans of Rudy showed up to enjoy food, dancing, and great live music.

Having heard about the party just 2 days prior, I felt honored to be among the invited 300 or so guests that assembled in the heart of the San Fernando Valley for a Thursday night party that drew "oohs," "ahhs," and "wows" from everybody all night long.

I would be remiss to say that I had never been to a Latin Soul party so big, yet so intimate....EVERYBODY there knew Rudy !

On stage were such legendary names as RAY CARRION, SAL RODRIGUEZ, MIKE JIMENEZ, EDGAR SALAS, GEORGE PANDIS, DANIEL HEFERNAN, DEAN ROUBICEK,TONY HERNANDEZ, CHICO HERNANDEZ, TIM McNOGLE, PHIL ROBINSON, HARRY KIM, JUSTO ALMARIO, ALEX ACUNA, LUIS CONDI, KEVIN RICARD, and the great PERICO ORTIZ, all jamming and partying on stage, combining artists from the East and West Coast heart of Latin Soul, that bought back memories of tales I have been told about the great FANIA ALL STAR concerts of the 70s and 80s at New York's famed Shea Stadium, and some of the great music still being played by CHICO MANQUEROS on East L.A. Revue Radio, while being performed by such a select special few in L.A. as well...I was in Latin Soul Music heaven !

If you can imagine sitting less than 20 feet from a stage packed with 16 veteran musicians at one point...powerful brass....4 lead singers....heavy Afro-Latin percussion...stand up bass...hard hitting guitars and keyboard....all of them playing and singing their hearts out...

..." WOW! " is the only word I got to describe it!

Dance floor was packed shoulder to shoulder as an atmosphere of music, love, and dancing forever permeated the air as an overhead projector flashed scenes from Rudy's life, while hot, fresh, delicious food was offered to all....

...like a scene out of a movie...."Wow" was the word....

EL CHICANO came on stage and played to a standing ovation, featuring veteran members MICKY LESPRON, FRED SANCHEZ, and JERRY SALAS, while RAY CORDOVA and JOEY NAVARRO shared keyboard duties as they pounded out Rudy's favorite EL CHICANO tunes from back in the day: "Mas Zacate" and "El Cayuco."

Sitting among such artists as BECKY CORDOVA, ROGER MAX, DANNY SANTILLAN, and so many others, all my Lady and I kept sharing with them was the word "WOW!"... it was that great a show!

In a moving tribute to Rudy towards the end of the evening, all guests were given a white balloon, asked to step outside to release them, and a fusilade of prayer and respect was transformed into a moving tribute, as a cloud of hundreds of white balloons soared into the heavens in honor of one of Latin Soul's most beloved artists ...

...R.I.P. Rudy! ...see you when I get there, Bro! Latin Soul forever, man!

YouTube clips featuring Rudy Regadado:

Viva Tirado Live by El Chicano

Rudy Regalado jams with Tito Puente on Telemundo

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on World wide Internet Radio Station www.eastLArevue.com
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