American Trombonist, Singer, Producer, and Activist • Born 1950 • Salsa Music
Born in the South Bronx, New York City
Parents were from Puerto Rico
Began playing trumpet at a young age then switched to TROMBONE
Colón has been a civil rights, community and political activist since the age of 16
Mr. Colón’s work incorporates the rhythms of traditional music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and “that ‘other’ ancestral homeland, Africa”
Best known for playing SALSA
In 1999, Colón was a member of the Jubilee 2000 Delegation to the Vatican along with Randolph Robinson of Trans Africa, Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs, Bono from U2 and Quincy Jones. This work helped to forgive third world debt.
In September 2004, Colón received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from theLatin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
British Rock Singer, Songwriter, and Producer • 1946-1991
Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar to Parsi parents from India.
His birth name was Farrokh Bulsara.
Freddie spent most of his childhood in India, where he began taking piano lessons at age 7.
At age 12, he formed a school band called “The Hectics.”
In 1963, when Freddie was 17, his family escaped political violence in Zanzibar and emigrated to Middlesex, England.
After working a series of odd-jobs, he eventually met musicians that would form a rock band called “Queen.”
The most notable aspect of his songwriting are the wide ranges of genres that he used which included, among others, rockabilly, progressive rock, heavy metal, gospel, and disco.
Mercury wrote many of Queen’s most famous songs including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions.” These two songs have both been voted as “the greatest song of all time” in major polls by Sony Ericcson and Guinness Book of World Records, and both songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Queen has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and The UK Music Hall of Fame. They have received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection, and in 2018 were presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Audra McDonald was born in Berlin, Germany and raised in Fresno, California.
At age 9, she started taking voice lessons and performing at a local dinner theatre.
In 1988, She graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno and went on to study classical singing at The Juilliard School in New York City, graduating in 1993.
One year after graduating, she earned a Tony Award for her role in the musical Carousel.
By age 28, she had earned 3 Tony Awards, becoming the youngest actress ever to do so.
Today, Audra McDonald has 6 Tony Awards and is the only performer to have earned awards in each of the four main acting categories (Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.)
In 2015, She was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
Outside of performing, She is a passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth.
October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003 • Salsa, Guaracha, Rumba, Afro, Son and Bolero
Cuban singer of Latin music.
One of the eldest among fourteen children, and she used to sing cradle songs to put them to sleep.
According to her mother, she began singing as a child at 9 or 10 months of age, often in the middle of the night.
The most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, she earned twenty-three gold albums and was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
Throughout her career, she was awarded numerous prizes and distinctions, including two Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.
Renowned internationally as the “Queen of Salsa”, “La Guarachera de Cuba”, as well as “The Queen of Latin Music.”
While growing up in Cuba’s diverse 1930s musical climate, Cruz listened to many musicians who influenced her adult career, including Fernando Collazo, Abelardo Barroso, Pablo Quevedo and Arsenio Rodríguez.