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Great plenero and salsa pioneer, known as “El Rey del Trabalengua” (The Tongue Twister King) (due to the comedic way of playing around with syllables to modify the rhythm and sense of a sentence) and for having started the “trombanga” kind of sound, which replaces trumpets and saxophones with trombones. It was a key innovation in the birth of boogaloo and salsa, which particularly inspired Eddie Palmieri and Willie Colón.

Although Mon lived a great part of his life in New York – where he emigrated in 1950 and where he recorded all the tracks included in this compilation –, he achieved his first hits with a group, Los Ases del Ritmo, that he had formed in his native city of Mayagüez, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Even more importantly, his singing style and his repertoire have always borne witness to the singularity of this place of origin, which is among the main birthplaces of bomba and plena.

Yannis Ruel

Mon Rivera y su Orquesta Biography Gallery
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