Puerto Rico/ New York was formed in 1978 in New York City. The group was concieved as an avant-gard latin jazz group. The group performed in a vast amount of venues which featured avant-gard and experimental music. Such venues as The Shuttle Theater, La Mama, Nosotros, Caravan and The African Poetry Theater featured PR/NY on a regular basis. The group eventually took up residency at the Taller Latino Americano cultural center performing on a weekly basis for about three years. During that time other projects such as the Down and Out Orchestra was put together.
When not performing with PR/NY many of the members would perform with a host of salsa, merengue, cumbia, jazz, rock and avant-gard groups. After a short stint in Europe (1981-1984) the group worked sporadicaly for about eight years until in 1994 when PR/NY returned in full force as a latin jazz group. The group performed in the New York area until 1996 when a vocalist / percussion was added and the group took on a new dimension.
In 1996 Yendor Records was formed. A recording company with the purpose of producing an alternative to the commercialism that had dominated the latin music industry.
Puerto Rico/New York's first recording for Yendor Records entitled "PR/NY" produced three tunes which shot to the top of the charts in various cities. New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Connecticut and Puerto Rico gave PR/NY the needed airplay which led to their popularity. As the popularity spread so did the demand for live performances. Offers to record with other lables came in yet PR/NY knew they had a good thing with Yendor and recorded their second CD entitled "If You Don't Know...You Should Know"! This recording produced three tunes which also climbed to the top of the charts in various cities throughout the United States.
Besides the music written by Riki Ayala this recording featured the music and arrangments of the other members of the group. Thinking of the Situation, a mellow jazz tune by pianist Danny Kader, Para Siempre a mix of jazz and salsa by saxophonist Elliot Pineiro, Quiero Grabar the salsa fusion from guitarist Ruben Gonzalez and the afrojazz of U Almost Pretty by bassist Cherina Mastrontonis. The group continued to perform on a regular basis throughout the New York area taking up residency in a few venues.
The next Yendor recording featured the PR/NY percussionist and bassist in a rhythmic tribute to Tito Puente entitled Ritmo ala Puente vol.1. The trio of percussionist: Victor Parrales, Randy Sosa and Riki Ayala are accompanied by bassist Cherina Mastrontonis. The recording is a feature for Victor Parrales a veteren of the latin, jazz and rumba scene in New York. The music is a melodic romp with percussive improvisations reminisent of the earlier recording "Puente in Percussion" (1955).
A year later Ritmo ala Puente went to the studio to record it's second CD vol. 2. This recording featured eight different rhythms in the same melodic style of the first recording (vol. 1). Once again the recording features Victor Parrales on percussions. The group is augmented by bassist Joey Hernandez.
As PR/NY continued to perform, a few of the members found time to venture into solo projects. Guitarist Ruben Gonzalez recorded a CD in Argentina. The recording features Ruben in a softer setting singing his compositions. Victor Parrales formed Mambo NY. A latin jazz group which took up residency in La Vagina in New York City. Elliot Pineiro formed SumbaSwing. A Salsa jazz group which took up residency at Bonitos in New York. Riki Ayala put a trio together which performed regularly in a Long Island venue.
During this period some of the members of PR/NY were selected to perform with the United Nations Orchestra. Under the direction of Rolando Briseno the U.N. Orchestra performed a variety of musical styles, from classical to jazz to latin to pop. A few of the members continue to perform with the U.N. Orchestra today.
The year 2007 found PR/NY in full force performing in a variety of settings and venues in New York City. As of 2012 PR/NY is preparing for it's upcoming CD "That's All I Have To Say About That"! Yendor Records is also preparing recordings by Elliot Pineiro and SambaSwing, Angel Rodriguez "El Cantante Del Barrio", and Ruben Gonzalez with PR/NY.
PUERTO RICO / NEW YORK 2016
Elliot Pineiro................tenor saxophone Has been active for many years in the New York Salsa, Merengue and Latin jazz scene. He has recorded with the I C Express Big Band and PR/NY. When not performing with PR/NY he can be heard with Mike Davis Big Band, The NAMA All-stars and Rolando Briceno Saxophone Quintet. He is also an educator as well as a composer and arranger. He is currently working with his own Latinjazz group "Sumbaswing". Contact info: Elliotpineiro@earthlink.net
Richie Morales.................Piano Richie Morales has performed with a whos who of Latin and Jazz groups. A native New Yorker, Richie is a vetern of the salsa circuit and the jazz elite. When not performing he can be found relaxing which watching others perform. A pianist for all occasions.
Ruben Gonzalez...........guitar Composer and guitarist from Argentina, where he studied classical guitar and was part of the Rock en Espanol movement. In New York has work as a leader of bands featuring his compositions. He also has performed with groups playing Tango, Brazilian, Latin jazz and Salsa. With PR/NY he is featured as guitarist and vocals, as well as contributing compostions. Contact info: http://www.rubengonzalez.info
Victor Ruiz ..........bass Victor comes from Puerto Rico. After a few years performing in Florida, he locates in New York where he performs in a variety of musical settings until he joins PR/NY. A short stint with the UN Orchestra and SumbaSwing keeps Victor busy . He is currently featured with Orquesta Lyrica when not performing with PR/NY.
Ferdinan Lugo..............congas Hailing in from Manati, Puerto Rico Ferdinan began performing on congas and bongos with various groups on the island. Performing mostly with salsa and bomba and plena bands. In New York he has performed with Mambo NY, Masacote and PR/NY. He will be featured on the up-coming Puerto Rico/New York CD.
Randy Sosa...........timbales Vetern of the Salsa scene. Has performed with Latin and Latin jazz gropus through out New York. Performed with many Trios and rumba groups as well as a member of the UN Orchestra. Has been with PR/NY since its beginning and is a member of Ritmo ala Puente. When not performing with PR/NY can be seen free lancing with Latin and Jazz groups.
Angel Rodriguez...............vocals The native New Yorker began his musical career playing bongos with various groups in New York's Barrio. He has performed with Orquesta Exito, Los Rodriguez, Conjunto Maquina, Conjunto Carnaval and Charanga Fanica where he was featured as lead vocalist. He has sang coro with Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Justo Betancourt, Hector LaVoe, Tito Nieves and Tito Allen among others. He briefly led his own group Majica Latina where he performed his own compositions and is lead vocalist with Orquesta Lyrica. He is currently featured with PR/NY as vocalist and percussionist.
Riki Ayala...............trumpet Veteran of the Queens cumbia scene and the New York downtown avant-gard scene, continued to fill in the musical gaps performing with salsa, merengue, jazz and classical orchestras.When not performing with PR/NY occasionally freelances with other latin and jazz groups in and around New York. Has performed & recorded with Orquesta Exito, La Majestad, Santiago Ceron, La Tipica Colombia, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Leroy Jenkins, Butch Morris Ensemble, La Manigua, Los Salseros de Paris, Queens Symphony Orchestra and the United Nations Orchestra. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org