International music on tap for Puerto Rican Festival

Saludos Amigos! The Rochester Puerto Rican Festival, in its 41st edition, brings international music acts to Rochester for everyone to enjoy. I will give you a little bit of history about the acts so when you get to the festival you are familiar with their music and also can make your choices as to which ones to see!

Angel & Khriz is the reageaton act that brought us the song "Ven Bailalo," which became a hit all over the Western Hemisphere. Angel Rivera Guzman and Christian Colon came together under the tutelage of regeaton producers Luny Tunes and Hector "The Father" with their first hit "Cazando Voy." After two albums under their belts, many awards and cameo appearances on other regeaton artists’ productions, Angel Y Khriz will arrive in Rochester promoting their third album titled "Da’ Take Over" with their single "Maltratame."

Carlos M. Vargas Franco Jr. and Bianca Alejandra Feliz came together and became "La Nueva Sensacion" called Carlos & Alejandra. Alejandra, whose parents are Dominican and Puerto Rican, was born in Boston. As a child her major passion was singing, and at the age of 15 she attended the Boston Arts Academy and specialized in voice and classical music. After a stint in modeling, Alejandra signed with Romance Records where she met Carlos. Thanks to his parents and family, Carlos, a Bronx native, grew up with the sounds of bachata that would flood his home. At the age of 17 he moved to Boston and began to play the guitar and play with the different local groups around the city. Together with Alejandra he recorded the album "La Introduccion," and they will come to Rochester promoting their current single "Cafecito."

Reinerio (Rey) Ruiz demonstrated his passion for singing at a very young age by performing in his native Cuba. From television appearances, to gigs at the different hotels in Cuba with local bands, Ruiz impressed many critics with his voice and his good looks. In 1989 Ruiz defected to the United States, and two years later his self-titled production topped the music charts with such hits as "No Me Acostumbro" and "Amiga." Once again, Ruiz made a mark on the scene by his unique romantic style of singing, and this production garnered many awards such as Premio Billboard and Lo Nuestro. After such hits as "Mi Media Mitad," "Luna Negra" and many others, Ruiz will arrive in Rochester with his latest production titled "El Mensaje" and his hit "Si Tu Te Vas."

Plena Libre, under the leadership of Gary Nuñez, was created after a series of plena jam sessions Nuñez participated in with fellow musicians. Except for folkloric performances, the plena rhythm had lay dormant as a mainstream rhythm since the late ’70. In 1994 "free the plena" was the cry of the group, and they burst onto the scene with their first production titled "Juntos Y Revueltos," which became an immediate success on mainstream radio thanks to its fusion of different rhythms. After 15 years, two Grammy nominations and 10 critically acclaimed productions, Plena Libre comes to Rochester to close its North American tour while promoting its live album "Plena Al Salsero," recorded in Mexico.

Víctor Manuelle Ruiz is nicknamed "El Sonero de La Juventud." Manuelle began his singing career as a dare, so to speak. When Gilberto Santa Rosa was playing at his high-school graduation party Manuelle jumped on stage and sang with him. Santa Rosa, impressed by the talent, took Manuelle under his wings and introduced him to Puerto Rican bandleader Don Perignon. After a brief stint with "La Puertorriqueña" in 1993 Manuelle ventured on his own with the production "Justo a Tiempo." Thirteen albums later, many hits such as "Dile A Ella," "Llore Llore," and "Se Me Rompe El Alma," and an appearance at Carnegie Hall, Manuelle comes to Rochester with his album "Yo Mismo" and the single "Mirame."

Rivera is CEO of Latin Roc Entertainment ( and host of Esencia Latina on Jazz90.1 FM/WGMC-FM radio from 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and on Contact him at

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