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Ismael Rivera

Ismael Rivera (El Sonero Mayor "Maelo") was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on October 5, 1931. It all started on the very same street Rivera was born and raised on: Calle Calma. There he was instilled with the sounds and rhythms of Puerto Rico: the bomba and plena. At a young age, Rivera was exposed to the influences that would set him on his musical destiny. First, his mother, Margarita, bore in him a love for singing. And next, his boyhood friend Rafael Cortijo provided Rivera with the impulse and drive as well as a more structured musical forum for him to unleash his unique vocal style. Their relationship would take the sound of Calle Calma, and then all of Puerto Rico, and around the world and immortalized their names and music in the evolution of Latin music and salsa.

In 1954, Ismael Rivera and Cortijo recorded their first hit, "El Bombon de Elena." From the mid- to late '50s, Cortijo y su Combo, with Rivera as the singer, took the Caribbean by storm. At the turn of the decade, they traveled to New York for the first time and it didn't take long for Cortijo and Rivera to solidify their position in the growing Latin music scene of Manhattan. Their popularity was largely due to their rhythmic sound and the band's ability to simultaneously play great music and entertain through rapidly choreographed dance routines. However, the one element that separated Cortijo y su Combo from all the other Latin song-and-dance bands was the voice of Rivera. A key ingredient to the bomba and plena sound of Puerto Rico is vocals and Maelo's voice is the single most defining aspect of his music. With a booming, precisely rhythmic, yet equally spontaneous voice, Ismael Rivera was a master of the Cuban son.

He earned the title "El Sonero Mayor" from none other than Beny Moré, the legendary Cuban singer. The title not only emphasized Maelo's great talent, but showed how Latin music at the time was beginning to mix and blend together all the distinctive musical traditions of America into one sound: salsa. Ismael Rivera embodied a mix of the traditional folk Puerto Rican bomba and plena with the Cuban son vocal singing style. After his successful trip to the U.S., though, Cortijo lost his "voice" when Rivera began a five-year prison sentence in 1962 on drug charges. Maelo later sang about his experience on a track, titled "Las Tumbas (The Tombs)," named after the Kentucky prison that had several floors below ground.

After serving four years, Rivera was eager to get back to singing with Cortijo, but clubs would not book dates for the Latin musician whose past they could not forgive. Cortijo and Rivera found themselves in a changed Latin music scene that would force them to go separate ways. "El Sonero Mayor," however, would go on to record some of his best work with his own band, the Cachimbos, showcasing his unequaled talent better than ever. In the 1970s, Rivera was looked upon as a legend from another era, and he helped a number of young musicians get their start in the New York salsa scene, including Ismael Miranda and Ruben Blades. ~ Roberto Ledesma
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Maelo - A Man And His Music

1. El Yoyo

2. Traigo Salsa

3. Besitos De Coco

4. Dime Porque

5. Saoco

6. Sala Gente

7. Lo Deje Llorando

8. Tumba Lele

9. El Chivo De La Campana

11. El Mantequero

12. Traigo De Todo

14. El Niche

15. Ahi Na' Ma'

16. Witinila

19. Simbad El Marino

20. Quiero A Mi Pueblo

21. El Que No Sufre No Vive

22. Seis De Borinquen

24. Son Son Sonero

28. Boriqueneando

29. El Dificil Facil

30. Hola

31. Agitando

32. Ella No Merece Un Llanto

33. Este Montuno

34. Comedia

35. Ismael Y Monchito

36. Las Caras Lindas

37. Tambores Africanos

38. Suena El Bongo

40. A Quilo El Bombon

x

Track List: La Herencia

1. Controversia

2. Incomprendido

3. Profesion Esperanza

4. Carimbo

5. Borinquen

6. Colobo

7. La Gata Montesa

8. Siete Pies Bajo La Tierra

9. Mi Jaragual

10. La Soledad

11. Lo Que Dijo La Gitana

12. Dime Por Que

13. Que Te Pasa A Ti

14. Orgullosa

15. Las Caras Lindas

16. El Nazareno

x

Track List: El Sonero Mayor

1. Cucala Cucala

2. El Bombon De Elena

3. El Chivo De La Campana

6. Con La Punta Del Pie Teresa

7. Maquino Landera

9. Besito De Coco

10. Ahi Na' Ma

12. El Negro Bembon

x

Track List: Sonero #1

1. El Negro Bembon

2. Oriza

3. Severa

4. Para Mi Gente

5. Ellos Se Juntan

6. Quitate De La Via Perico

7. Como Son Las Cosas

8. Maquinolandera

9. El Bembon De Elena

10. Perfume De Rosa

x

Track List: Controversia

1. Controversia

2. La Aranita

3. Lo Que Me Dijo La Gitana

4. Ama

5. Jala Jala

6. Tambores Africanos

7. Compay Guito

8. Gulliver

9. Cordero Y Belmonte

10. Increible

x

Track List: De Colores

x

Track List: De Toda Maneras Rosa

1. De Todas Maneras Rosas

2. Hola

3. Si Te Cojo

4. Mi Son Sabroson

5. El Mesias

6. Mi Musica

7. Profesion Esperanza

8. La Oportunidad

x

Track List: Ismael Rivera - Greatest Hits

1. Arrecotin Arrecotan

2. Duena De Mi Inspiracion

3. Las Caras Lindas

4. La Perla

5. De Todas Maneras Rosas

6. Soy Feliz

7. Las Tumbas

8. El Nazareno

9. Mi Negrita Me Espera

10. Dime Por Que

11. Me Tienes Loco

12. Bilongo

13. Dime La Verdad

14. Cucala

15. Borinquen

16. Yo No Quiero Piedras En Mi Camino

x

Track List: Oro

2. Si Te Cojo

3. De Todas Maneras Rosas

5. Carimbo

6. Seis De Borinquen

7. Que Te Pasa A Ti

8. Orgullosa

9. Traigo Salsa

10. La Gata Montesa

x

Track List: Soy Feliz

1. Soy Feliz

2. Son Son Sonero

3. Tonto Del Amor

4. Yo No Quiero Que Te Enamores

5. Las Tumbas

6. No Soy Para Ti

7. Parece Que Le Gusta

8. Boriqueneando

9. Si Yo Pudiera

10. Los Apuros De Miguel

x

Track List: Vengo Por La Maceta

1. Mi Jaragual

2. Que Seria De Mi

3. Tumba Lele

4. Berimbau

5. Suave

6. Carimbo

7. Tus Flores Y Tu Panuelo

8. Si Yo Pudiera Aconsejarte

9. Sala Gente

10. Sacudeme

Comments

Report as inappropriate
bamgam360,.q u i e n con tu MAELO vivira para siempre. for ever sonero.
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Salsa! It's the best!
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%%%%% GRACIAS POR TU MUSICAS && MAELO ECUAGEI && DE UN DOMINICANO. %%%%%
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He was one my father knew and grew up in his Barrio and it's a shame he had a drug addiction however, his messages in his songs will live in our hearts forever!
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He was one of the best. Tenia mas salsa que pescao como dicen en mi pueblo.
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Colobo donde yo soy en mi pueblo Loiza amen 100%Loiza
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thunderarana
No hay man nadie mejor que Maelo
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EL SONERO. $ MAYOR MAELO. $
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Esta butal
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¡Wow!
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el más grande. Maelo.
el humilde, el bueno.
descanse en paz. Eddie Nordelo.
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Àsi es.... El duro...
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Despues de El Sonero Mayor, puedo decir que Ruben Blades and Lavoe are the Best.
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Sonero como era esa,no abra otro lo digo yo lenny831⭐
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Damn good
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Tremendo Sonero,⭐
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Ismael Rivera,uno de mis mas favoritos soneros de puerto rico o.k. de parte de
Lenny Ortiz 831#1que viva la salsa por siempre perdure !!⭐
Report as inappropriate
His voice makes me feel like I can really relate.
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Long live SALSA
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UNICO.. para mi....
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Maelo...siem p r e te vamos a recordar.la isla va estar de fiesta...no llores por mi. .r.i.p.
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ldmartinez20 1 0
Descanza en Paz todavia oigo tu musica el mejores de Los mejores
Report as inappropriate
La esencia pura de mi Isla Borinqueña. Dios lo tenga en la Gloria!
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Un puro salsero divino, gue su musica siempre Vivira en mi Corazon!
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Por eso lo nombraron el sonero mayor...eh cua je...siempre sera el cantante mas querido a nivel mundial....R . I . P .
Report as inappropriate
El mas talentoso cantante de todos los tiempos sin duda alguna mi jente tenemos wie estar orgullosos de este gran puertorrique n o , n u e s t r o patrimonio musical.R.I. P , m a e l o .
Report as inappropriate
Que se puede decir de Ismael Rivera uno de los caballos grandes de la salsa
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Love Ismael Rivera
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Soy Hondureno de la lima le fasina la salsa
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Panama adopted Ismael Rivera and his music gets played in Panama every day. We even have a statue of him in Portobelo Colon. Panama Presente!
Report as inappropriate
yansi_58
Mi hermano siempre me cantaba la canción de Ismael Rivera ...Si te cojo coqueteando. . , . d e c í a portante bien te estoy velando eres muy pequeña
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Soy. Peruano. Y. Me. Gusts. LA. Salsapara. Today. La. Vida.
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Yo soy puertoriquen o y a orguyo
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EL MAESTRO DE MAESTROS
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abeheyman8
Lest we forget all those Jews like myself who loved, listened to and danced to those great bands of yesteryear and still keep this music alive today
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CON "El sonero mayor" LO DICE TODO,AHI QUE RESPETAR A MAELO!!! Que descanse en paz.
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Nancyweissbe i n always proud of my culture. Este donde este...Puert o Rico vive en mi.
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Para mi maelo es una persona que merece un respeto de por vida
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Sweet! Nice old fashioned - can't help but love the old salseros! Weepa!!
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Me criaron escuchando a este Inmortal Artista en Lima-Peru
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Super-Inolvi d a b l e Ismael!!!!!
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Que sazon coño.wepa
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En mi patria el PERU se le recuerda con mucha ternura y placer a un cantante que expuso EL FOLKLORE AFROLATINO CARIBENO AMERICANO SIN OLVIDARSE SUS RAICEZ LEVANTATE AFROLATINO
Report as inappropriate
Wepa éso es música de la buena
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Marlo 4 ever
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Wepaaaaaaaa
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congre_gc
Música que no regresa jajaja y como sueño las congas. .... hoy en día el que toque esa música con este estilo único se hace un Rey.
Report as inappropriate
lriv1028
One of the first sonero with his el negro bembon and mataron elena
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PR ♡ for Life
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eroubert.23
El duro kifra ponce pr
Show more

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