It's almost as if people think that in Latin America we're not hip to what's happening here.
I decided we should book ourselves, so I started booking the band.
There's something about the tango that brings even more emotion out of the lyrics.
Tango was very popular in Panama at the time when I was growing up. In the Fifties in Panama, the radio stations played all types of music.
So everything that ever happened, we knew about in Panama.
The grandmother, the mother, the worker, the student, the intellectual, the professional, the unemployed, everybody identified with the songs because they were descriptions of life in the city.
Tortured characters are, I think, an actor's dream.
Basically, I would like to be considered for roles that are well-written. I think that part of the problem that we've had as actors is that they insist on looking at us as Latino actors and not as actors, period.
I don't accept ideologies that are not a product of consensus. I don't have an ideology, but I do have a sense of what's right and what's wrong.
At a certain point, people in Panama thought that everything was going to be solved as soon as Noriega was gone. Of course, the disappointment was huge.
In general, both in Spanish and English, the quality of the entertainment media is horrible.
To fix Panama, you need more than charisma and records: you need a program of action.
I was always interested in trying to find how different genres would affect the lyrics that I'd written. Salsa is where most of my songs have been recorded, the genre of salsa. It's very frenetic, fast-paced. And I felt that the lyrics sometimes were being lost.
The first time I played was in Buenos Aires - was in 1983. The dictatorship was in position.
I was never particularly a part of the following of tango; I just liked it... most of all, I recognized that the urban content and the approach seemed very familiar and very connected to the songs that I was doing, the kind of songs that I wanted to write - the songs about the street.
Not everybody goes to government to serve themselves and not their country.
My mother never finished elementary school. My father didn't, and that was a reality for many of us.
I think being born in Panama was a blessing because Panama is a port city. It's a really - the mentality is that - I remember that of admitting things in. You know, ports, ideas come in and out all the time.
I really think that music itself, being one of the greatest possible vehicles for mass communication, should be probed to its extremes, to see how effective it can actually become, which is one of the reasons why I became also interested in presenting political points of view.
I'm planning to retire from salsa. I'm planning to do a farewell tour.
I collected the 'Walking Dead' comics.
Everyone has a black guy inside them. Mine is a Cuban sonero who is 80-something years old and sings better than I do. His name is Medoro Madera. Medoro has been recording since 1997.
It was very interesting, and we went to Germany and we toured Germany like we were a German band in 1985.
In those days the big U.S. labels didn't have any particular interest in the Latin market.
You know, it was uncomfortable doing the same thing. I don't like a rut.
So that when I came to New York again, it was, I'm not too sure right now, but it was '74 or '75. I went to Miami in '74 and then I came to New York, I think, at the end of '74.
So that when I came from Panama... my family was exiled in 1973 and they went to Miami.
There was no television, so the radio provided you with everything.
And, he'd seen me in Panama, and he talked about maybe doing something in New York so I hooked it up when I came here and I recorded in 1969 my first album with Pete Rodriguez.
It doesn't make sense for me to be a lawyer in a place where there is no law.
They're making a ton of money, and no one is getting a nickel.
There was a lot of stuff happening in Havana that was being heard and appreciated by New Orleans musicians because of this situation. And vice versa.
And music was a very important part of our lives. The radio was on all day.
We had something to say. Whenever we played, people didn't dance, they listened.
What is interesting in this is the exchange of music that occurred between New Orleans and Cuba, I mean, they had ferries that would go from one port to another.
Rock is young music, it is youth oriented. It just speaks for a generation.
But, when I was about thirteen, I began to sort of sing in my neighborhood.
Anywhere you had a commerce center, you had a lot of music.
Yes, I was going to law school and it was closed in '69.
So that in 1974, when I graduated as a lawyer, I figured I'm not going to be a lawyer under a military regime.