Sunday, May 24, 2009

RADIO ALERT: Harry Viggiano Interview TONIGHT on WXDU

***UPDATE: Interview with Harry Viggiano is postponed until this Wednesday (5/27), 6-8 pm ET during my regular program, Azucar y Candela.***

I will be hosting WXDU's Mystery Show tonight, Sunday (5/24), 10 pm - midnight exploring the theme "Electric Guitar Solos in Salsa."

In the '70s, rock session guitarists such as Elliott Randall (Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years") and Jorge Santana were frequently called in to play with the Fania All Stars, Orchestra Harlow and other bands.

However, the use of guitar in Latin music goes back at least as far as La Playa Sextet and Los Zafiros (Manuel Galban) in the '50s and '60s. African salsa has traditionally used electric guitar, from Orchestra Baobab to Ricardo Lemvo, and in Cuba the history reaches from Irakere to Los Van Van's newest album.

The first show (in a series I hope to repeat) will feature a 20-minute interview with elusive legend of electric guitar and tres Harry Viggiano!

Harry contributed essential flavor to some of the classic albums of Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena and Joe Cuba among others. I learned early on as a fan of typical and experimental salsa that his name on the credits of an album is always a quality brand.

Tune in and catch this WXDU exclusive!

WHAT: Salsa Guitar Solos (Vol. 1)
WHEN: Sunday, 5/24, 10:00 pm - 12 midnight
WHERE: The Mystery Show, WXDU 88.7 FM or


See the playlist from Sunday's "Salsa Guitar Solos" Mystery Show here

Hear a sample of Senen Suarez, an early guitarist to integrate it into Cuban music, here.


Fidels Eyeglasses said...

'Juanito Marquez' and 'Senén Suárez'.... two of the most important musicians/guitarists that no one mentions, even in the "Yahoo Latin Jazz group".

IMHO, "style creators" composers and much more interesting and historically important players.

1- 'Senén Suárez' (sound clips)

2- 'Juanito Marquez' (sound clips)

I'd be curious to hear what Harry Viggiano says if asked about them... alternatively, if he even mentions their names.

Mark /N.Y.C.

vig said...

Hello Mark,

I dont make a habit of blogging but your comment seems to imply that, if asked, I would be neglectful and not even mention some great players.

This once, I will satisfy your curiousity but please look before you jump.

I really admired Senen and learned a great deal from his distinct style.

To me Juanito's work is part of the foundation of modern latin guitar playing. He was Les Paul, Arsenio and Charlie Christian all rolled into one.

Unfortunately our paths never crossed. I tried in early 70's; working with LaPlaya sextet six months in Miami(the other act was Willie Chirno). I sought Juanito out; had many questions and wanted to compare notes and hopefully jam but was informed that he was in Europe.

I was young when I entered that scene and to this day, always challenged by the language barrier, but was dilligent in researching and respecting great players.

In the studio, more than once I paid brief tribute(in my own, humble way) to Juanito.

Hopefully, I was able to satisfy your curiousity.


Sylvia P. said...

Honored to have you both here.

Mark, the search function on Yahoo has been busted lately, but both of those names were mentioned on the LJ group.

Harry, my apologies for the postponement due to technical difficulties on my end, but the interview will air this Wednesday, 6-8 pm ET during my regular program on

Thanks for your comments.