Latin slala icon Willie Colon to perform at Bronx's Lehman Center

DEARDRA SHULER Special to the AmNews | 6/6/2013, 2:05 p.m.
Latin salsa icon Willie Colon is well-known throughout the world. A renowned singer, composer, humanitarian,...
Latin slala icon Willie Colon to perform at Bronx's Lehman Center

Colon has served as a member of several boards of directors. He chaired the Association of Hispanic Arts. He was on the board of the United Nations Immigrant Foundation. He was the first minority to serve on the ASCAP National Board of Trustees. In 1991, Willie was awarded Yale University's CHUBB Fellowship. He was a spokesperson for CARE, and he campaigned to end U.S. military occupation and bombing of Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, which earned him the EPA's Environmental Quality Award.

"I have been involved in a few political interests. I was involved in the elections in Venezuela, trying to help the opposition candidate against the socialist dictatorship. I produced a theme song for the campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski and sent it to him. It was just a campaign jiggle, but it became a big hit. It went to countries like Puerto Rico and Columbia, places that had nothing to do with the campaign. It went viral and got millions of hits. It's kind of cool to see stuff like that happen. I plan to play the song during my Lehman concert," remarked Colon. "I also directed my attention toward a resolution concerning immigration. As you know, immigration is an important issue affecting the Latin American community right now. In Latin America, there is huge debt and mismanagement caused via governmental leaders."

"I personally believe it's the result of presidents and dictators spending and borrowing monies for their own resources, which has put their various countries in debt. Quincy Jones, Bono and I brought a petition to Pope John Paul asking him to sign on to help forgive Third World debt for all the Latin American countries in debt to the World Bank. The pope did sign, and we took the petition at that time to President Bill Clinton. I was also involved with CARE. I went up into the Andes and helped the indigenous people there make microbanks, explaining how the people could pool their monies together to buy livestock and help construct water tanks, etc.," said Colon of his political and humanitarian efforts.

Colon is proud of his Latin roots and hopes to participate in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which occurs June 9, the day after his concert. He is most proud of his Latin folkloric albums because they were the music his grandmother loved. He hopes to play some of his most heartrending music at Lehman and looks forward to greeting his fans and Latin music enthusiasts on Saturday, June 8.

Interested parties can buy tickets to the Willie Colon concert by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 or by visiting www.lehmancenter.org.