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Celia Cruz lives! One of her weirdest shows brings her back

"Live: 100 years of Azúcar" will arrive on May 24 on digital and vinyl

Celia Cruz's voice will be back from the rare recording of a live concert held in a Miami club in the 1980s. It will be released on May 24 in a limited edition in digital and vinyl format, Billboard magazine reported and EFE reviewed.

The album “Live: 100 years of Azúcar” is made up of nine songs. It will include as the main theme “Quimbara“, one of the most emblematic songs of the eternal “Guarachera del mundo”.

The publication of this recording is the result of chance: South Florida radio host Albertico Rodríguez found audio material in 2023 in a closet in his house, while cleaning. What would be his surprise when he discovered that the recording corresponded to a show that Celia Cruz offered at the now defunct Casanova Club in 1986 or 1987.

Rodríguez, who was master of ceremonies at many shows in which the legendary Cruz performed, had recorded this performance, saved it and forgotten about it.

live again

Almost 21 years after Cruz's death, the announcer found “an unexpected treasure: an unknown recording by Celia Cruz. An extremely scarce commodity in 2024,” Billboard noted.

The material ended up in the hands of Omer Pardillo, who was Celia Cruz's representative and today directs a foundation that bears her name. He shared it with Nelson Albareda, CEO of Loud and Liver.

“I didn't cry, but I was clearly emotional,” Albareda, who worked with Cruz as a young assistant when he started in the music business more than three decades ago, says in the article. “Not only was the quality of the recording excellent, but it also had hits like 'Quimbara'.”

Thus began Albareda's nearly year-long work process to restore and remaster the audio for the album. It would be the legendary artist's second live recording to be released since her death.

More details

Far from being an unusual recording, “100 Years of Sugar” is unique because it features Celia Cruz performing in a relatively small venue (in front of about 1.000 people). She also captures her interacting with her followers in an up close and personal way.

The release includes a limited edition collector's box with a coffee table book and exclusive photographs of Cruz. Celia became known throughout the world for her usual cry of “Sugar!”.

This recording initiative will mark the beginning of the celebration of the centenary of his birth, which will continue until 2025.

The “queen of salsa” took her music to the world with the Fania Stars, receiving countless awards, including multiple platinum and gold records. She also bagged three Grammy Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Arts and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso was born on October 21, 1921 in Cuba and died on July 16, 2003 in the United States, a victim of cancer.

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