by Marvin J. Ramírez
It’s been 10 years since salsa music singer Ray Sepúlveda was interviewed by El Reportero.
It was in the days when Barry Bonds’s career was taking off, and as a Puerto Rican baseball lover, Sepúlveda showed his affection for Bonds, San Francisco Giants’ greater homer in baseball history and proudly wore an original SF Giants’ shirt while visiting the City by the Bay in April 2007.
“I am looking at an interview El Reportero did on me… ten years ago, wow!… many things have happened ever since,” Sepúlveda said while holding the old archive copy of El Reportero bearing his photo, before a crowded Club Roccapulco evening on Saturday, Sept. 15.
It was a time when salsa music was re-blossoming, and Sepúlveda was proud to be back full-time – after a long period of time working at the Post Offi ce to support his family. Salsa music fad was almost turned off, at its lowest, at the time.
His return to SF, however, brings him to another recess of salsa music, which he blames to reggaton.
“Salsa is a little off right now because reggaton,” he says, “I don’t like reggaton much, but every one has the right to choose it own music, but I am glad to be back in San Francisco.
“I home to keep coming back and not let pass years without coming back to sing,” he said.
After reading about himself in the 1997 El Reportero’s interview, things started to change in Sepúlveda’s life, as he compared the time then and after.
“A month after I got married to my lady, Margie… and have received three grandchildren… ha, ha, I have three grandchildren since that time. And I have continued traveling worldwide to Europe, South America, the Caribbean, the U.S., Canada, and everywhere, recorded a few more Cds – well, one more: Salsabor, and participated as invitee to other productions of other artists.”
Coincidentaly, Sepúlveda’s visit coincides with his hero Barry Bonds’ departure from the Giants, which he takes a “a coincidence, what an irony… I wish him the best.
During the last ten years many great have departed too, and Sepúlveda, who is still a middle-age man, has great hopes that his career will keep ascending, but feels the departure of the greatest ever in the salsa music world.
“Tito Puente, Danny Santiago, Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez… there’re many, many… yes, yes, Danny Santiag, from Bobde Valentín’s…” and starts singing one of Santiago’s songs. “Many have passed away, just in the same 1997 Frankie Ruíz died, Héctor Lavoe died in 1993.
Asked about his view on the movie El cantante, which bring back to life the history of Lavoe, he jumped up and proudly pimp points his small participation it in, even though it was only for seconds.
“I was there, I participated in it… I was showed pretty fast… the show me about four time a second-and-half doing chorus of (Fania All Stars’s the song) Quíitate tu pa’ ponerme yo. They show me so fast in the back, that people can’t notice that I am in there,” he said during an exclusive interview with El Reportero.
Sepúlveda’s visit was part of a two-month tour that took him from Italy and Spain, to Colombia, from where he traveled without his orchestra to San Francisco, and would leave on the next morning to New York, where he plays with all his band members. In San Francisco, he hailed Julio Bravo and his orchestra for accompanying him so well playing his original hits at Club Roccapulco. For more info about him, visit: http://www.raySepúlveda.com/.